from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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