Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or character of being subtile; thinness; fineness; tenuity: as, the subtilty of air or light; the subtilty of a spider's web. Also subtlety.
  • noun The practice of making fine-drawn distinctions; extreme niceness or refinement of discrimination; intricacy; complexity. Also subtlety.
  • noun Same as subtlety, 4.
  • noun Same as subtlety, 5.
  • noun Skill; skilfulness.
  • noun A delicacy; a carefully contrived dainty.
  • noun An intricate or curious device, symbol, or emblem.

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

  • noun The quality or state of being subtile; thinness; fineness.
  • noun Refinement; extreme acuteness; subtlety.
  • noun obsolete Cunning; skill; craft.
  • noun Slyness in design; artifice; guile; a cunning design or artifice; a trick; subtlety.

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

  • noun archaic Subtlety

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • That is the heart and soul of the Constitutional structure, and what makes it unique among such documents in the world, so much so that widely different minds, from Ho Chi Minh to Kurt Goedel, appreciated its cunning and structural subtilty.

    Ron Paul’s Good News « Antiwar.com Blog

  • At the same time one must not miss the subtilty of the context, nor the unpleasant messages that can be conveyed in the humblest of fashions.

    Not only are they better capitalists, but better peacemakers too? « Antiwar.com Blog

  • The subtilty of Bastiat, who was no ideologue, may escape many who are.

    Bush Slanders Freedom « Antiwar.com Blog

  • All this he saw, and summoned together his subtilty to evade the impending danger, resolved, should he find that impossible, to defend himself to the last against whomsoever should assail him.

    Quentin Durward

  • I rejoice to concur with the common reader; for by the common sense of readers, uncorrupted by literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtilty and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to poetical honours.

    Common. Reader.

  • I rejoice to concur with the common reader; for by the common sense of readers, uncorrupted by literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtilty and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to poetical honours.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • The other is, when the matter of the point controverted, is great, but it is driven to an over – great subtilty, and obscurity; so that it becometh a thing rather ingenious, than substantial.

    The Essays

  • But as philosophy was widely spread over the world, at the time when Christianity arose, the teachers of the new sect were obliged to form a system of speculative opinions; to divide, with some accuracy, their articles of faith; and to explain, comment, confute, and defend with all the subtilty of argument and science...

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Nonideological Evil in the Harry Potter Series:

  • Some are never without a difference, and commonly by amusing men with a subtilty, blanch the matter; of whom A. Gellius saith, Hominem delirum, qui verborum minutiis rerum frangit pondera.

    The Essays

  • But this seems to me a subtilty that is not discoverable in nature.

    On the Sublime and Beautiful

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