1 fragile, breakable, frail, tender, frangible, dainty; perishable, flimsy:
This filament is extremely delicate, so be careful.
2 fine, exquisite, dainty, graceful, elegant, subtle:
A delicate border of lace sets off the collar.
3 feeble, weak, sickly, frail, debilitated, weakened, enfeebled, unhealthy:
Her condition is too delicate for her to be moved.
4 critical, ticklish, sensitive, dangerous, tricky, precarious, touchy, Slang hairy; Colloq sticky:
Rescuing the survivors of the avalanche was a delicate operation.
5 dainty, squeamish, queasy, fastidious, prudish, Victorian, finicky, finical, refined, discriminating, discerning, sensitive, puristic, proper, coy, modest, demure:
In those days ladies were thought to be too delicate to mention such matters.
6 gradual, subtle, nice, precise, muted, soft, faint, subdued:
The delicate shading at the horizon is characteristic of this artist.