Definition of subtlety in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsʌt(ə)lti/

noun (plural subtleties)

[mass noun]
1The quality or state of being subtle: the textural subtlety of Degas
More example sentences
  • They have many qualities, but subtlety is not their strong suit.
  • At least there was now some quality in the hitting, even if subtlety remained notably absent.
  • Let's have a bit of subtlety and sophistication here, qualities that postmodernists are always urging us to adopt.
1.1 [count noun] A subtle distinction, feature, or argument: the subtleties of English grammar
More example sentences
  • Every time you go back to it, you can pick up different subtleties, nuances of flavour that you perhaps missed earlier.
  • It was a mixture of the cheap yellow home-peroxided hair and their utter lack of humour, in all its subtleties and nuances.
  • Finns also listen very carefully and easily pick up subtleties and nuances.
fineness, subtleness, precision, preciseness, niceness, nicety, nuance, shade, detail, slightness, minuteness, narrowness, tenuousness, indistinctness, indefiniteness, lack of definition, elusiveness


Middle English: from Old French soutilte, from Latin subtilitas, from subtilis 'fine, delicate' (see subtle).

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Line breaks: subtle¦ty

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