Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Subtileness or subtleness; the quality of being subtile or subtle. Also subtlety.
  • noun A fine-drawn distinction; a nicety. Also subtlety.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun rare Subtilty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete Cunning, craftiness.
  • noun obsolete A cunning scheme; a trick, a con.
  • noun Excessive refinement of argument; casuistry.
  • noun A convoluted or refined argument.
  • noun Fineness; subtlety.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French subtilité, from Latin subtīlitas. See subtle.

Examples

  • Such a subtility is a dear proof of the falshood, as the contrary simplicity of the truth, of any system.

    A Treatise of Human Nature

  • Such a subtility is a dear proof of the falshood, as the contrary simplicity of the truth, of any system.

    A Treatise of Human Nature

  • Such a subtility is a dear proof of the falshood, as the contrary simplicity of the truth, of any system.

    A treatise of human nature

  • + The fourth quality is "subtility", by which the body becomes subject to the absolute dominion of the soul.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • The movie has been out in France for quite a few months and even if the story is lacking any subtility (but who cares) you have to admit that the action delivers big time!

    Liam Neeson Returns in a New Trailer for Taken! « FirstShowing.net

  • Yeah, my translation back into English might not pick up all the subtility of the phrase.

    Lanarius - person who does stuff with wool

  • I went, and by smooth words, and a piece of money, got him to come into the house with me; where, in the presence of divers people, I demanded of him several astrological questions, which he answered with great subtility, and through all his discourse carried it with a cunning much beyond his years, which seemed not to exceed ten or eleven.

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian

  • I was not very much pleased at this account of Hume, for I had just been reading, with infinite relish, that completest of all metaphysical choke-pears, his Treatise on Human Nature, to which the Essays, in point of scholastic subtility and close reasoning are mere elegant trifling, light summer reading.

    Hazlitt on Coleridge on Hume, Berkeley, and Butler

  • I was not very much pleased at this account of Hume, for I had just been reading, with infinite relish, that completest of all metaphysical choke-pears, his Treatise on Human Nature, to which the Essays, in point of scholastic subtility and close reasoning are mere elegant trifling, light summer reading.

    Archive 2005-12-01

  • If you want to create a tool that is widely used, implementing categories, keywords and tags will confuse most users, and even most of your readers surely don't grasp the subtility of the differences between your categories, your keywords and your tags.

    Plugin Idea: Weighted Tags by Category — Climb to the Stars

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