Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The quality or state of being subtle.
  • n. Something subtle, especially a nicety of thought or a fine distinction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality or fact of being subtle.
  • n. An instance of being subtle, a subtle thing, especially a subtle argument or distinction.
  • n. An ornate medieval illusion dish or table decoration, especially when made from one thing but crafted to look like another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being subtle, or sly; cunning; craftiness; artfulness.
  • n. Nice discernment with delicacy of mental action; nicety of discrimination.
  • n. Something that is sly, crafty, or delusive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as subtilty, 1.
  • n. Acuteness of intellect; delicacy of discrimination or penetration; intellectual activity; subtility.
  • n. Same as subtilty, 2.
  • n. Slyness; artifice; cunning; craft; stratagem; craftiness; artfulness; wiliness.
  • n. Also subtilty.
  • n. That which is subtle or subtile. Also subtilty.
  • n. That which is intellectually acute or nicely discriminating.
  • n. That which is of false appearance; a deception; an illusion.
  • n. Same as subtilty, 6.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the quality of being difficult to detect or analyze
  • n. a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French sutilté, from Latin subtīlitās, from subtīlis ("subtle").

Examples

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