Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Subtilty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

Etymologies

From Middle French subtilité, from Latin subtīlitas. See subtle. (Wiktionary)

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

  • + 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.

    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

  • Wherein is displayed, the apparant folly of jealousie: And the subtility of some religious carnall minded men, to beguile silly and simple maried men

    The Decameron

  • The politician will acquire greater foresight and subtility, in the subdividing and balancing of power; the lawyer more method and finer principles in his reasonings; and the general more regularity in his discipline, and more caution in his plans and operations.

    An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

  • The separation of it often requires great attention, accuracy, and subtility.

    An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

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