Definition of Subtle

1. Adjective. Difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze. "That elusive thing the soul"

Exact synonyms: Elusive
Similar to: Impalpable
Derivative terms: Elude, Elusiveness



2. Adjective. Able to make fine distinctions. "A subtle mind"
Similar to: Perceptive

3. Adjective. Working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way. "A subtle poison"
Exact synonyms: Insidious, Pernicious
Similar to: Harmful
Derivative terms: Insidiousness, Perniciousness

Definition of Subtle

1. a. Sly in design; artful; cunning; insinuating; subtile; -- applied to persons; as, a subtle foe.

Definition of Subtle

1. Adjective. Hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable. ¹

2. Adjective. (context: of a thing) Cleverly contrived. ¹

3. Adjective. (context: of a person or animal) Cunning, skillful. ¹

4. Adjective. insidious ¹

5. Adjective. Tenuous; rarefied; of low density or thin consistency. ¹

¹ Source: wiktionary.com

Definition of Subtle

1. so slight as to be difficult to detect [adj -TLER, -TLEST] : SUBTLY [adv]

Subtle Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Subtle

subtilizations
subtilize
subtilized
subtilizer
subtilizers
subtilizes
subtilizing
subtilties
subtilty
subtitle
subtitled
subtitler
subtitlers
subtitles
subtitling
subtle (current term)
subtlely
subtleness
subtlenesses
subtler
subtlest
subtleties
subtlety
subtly
subtone
subtones
subtonic
subtonics
subtopia
subtopian

Literary usage of Subtle

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián y Morales, Joseph Jacobs (1892)
"Here one requires extraordinary care, deep observation, subtle discernment, and judicious decision. ccxcii Let your personal Dualities surpass those of your ..."

2. The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge (1918)
"The pictures he then painted are true to nature, subtle in characterization and abound in wholesome humor. FAGGING, in the schools of intermediate or ..."

3. The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge (1918)
"... to indulge his taste for quoting wise saws, even if they fitted loosely in the context, and to give to some sayings a subtle turn. ..."

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