Definition of exquisite in English:


Pronunciation /ɪkˈskwɪzɪt//ˈɛkskwɪzɪt/


  • 1Extremely beautiful and delicate.

    ‘exquisite, jewel-like portraits’
    • ‘Neither of us ever had sampled a more exquisite delicacy.’
    • ‘Salmon is an exquisite delicacy and is also a complete health food, nutritionists tell us.’
    • ‘You're always beautiful, with you dark curls and beautiful eyes and exquisite skin.’
    • ‘Gold and silver were made into exquisite adornments, and beautiful objects were created from indigenous turquoise, marble, and other stones.’
    • ‘He could give her gifts as exquisite and beautiful as the jewelled butterfly he'd given her on the day he realised he loved her.’
    • ‘I felt I was in the presence of an angel; a wondrous, exquisite but delicate angel.’
    • ‘A ring was placed on top of her bag, a really beautiful, exquisite ring.’
    • ‘My friend has a website filled with beautiful art and exquisite illustrations.’
    • ‘It is the most beautiful, immaculate, exquisite piece of paper - splendidly printed, if not actually embossed.’
    • ‘Here, his theme of moral redemption is reflected in the renewing of the seasons - a beautiful metaphor in this exquisite film.’
    • ‘With over 25 stands displaying their beautiful range of exquisite handmade crafts, the fair is sure to attract a large gathering’
    • ‘The feature on fathers and daughters, was exquisite, delightful and beautifully written.’
    • ‘Executed with breathlessly fine strokes, these exquisite images are as beautiful and accomplished as line drawings by Picasso or Matisse.’
    • ‘She has delighted in rendering in delicate detail and exquisite colour the little-known plants and creatures of the desert.’
    • ‘With beautiful scenery and exquisite costumes, Coppelia is a truly delightful production to charm audiences of all ages.’
    • ‘Her fine exquisite features and extremely pale skin were making her look as a statue made by a sculptor master.’
    • ‘These beautiful houses with exquisite carvings were built by eight brothers.’
    • ‘Without creativity, even the most exquisite and beautiful long hair cannot be said to be fashionable.’
    • ‘They expect a degree of service to go with the exquisite delicacies they have selected for purchase.’
    • ‘Their delicate and exquisite prints, some of which use gampi paper as their base, sell for very reasonable prices, an opportunity that may not last.’
    beautiful, lovely, elegant, graceful
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  • 2Intensely felt.

    ‘the most exquisite kind of agony’
    • ‘It's a form of exquisite torture watching George and Martha torment each other, and occasionally this becomes tiresome.’
    • ‘These sorts of wounds are sharp, quick, and part of the game's exquisite agonies.’
    • ‘It is an endearing trait, for it encapsulates the exquisite torture endured by so many football fans at this time of year.’
    • ‘But in practice the prohibition means exquisite torture for the fighting men and women who crave and deserve a stiff drink at day's end.’
    • ‘And it must be the most exquisite torture to be a centrist who is also a patriot.’
    • ‘The agony is not quite as exquisite as it has been in the past.’
    • ‘The last eight years working with her had been, to say the least, the most exquisite type of torture.’
    • ‘It's like tapping a spoon on a bad tooth, exquisite agony.’
    • ‘I could empathise with the exquisite torture of figuring out your place in the world.’
    • ‘They both took quadruple bogey nines and suffered the exquisite torture that golf inflicts on all those who deign to play the game.’
    • ‘I still remember the exquisite agony of my first ice cream headache - no one had warned me not to inhale a chocolate milkshake.’
    • ‘The spring rain that she had worshipped before now trickled down the back of her neck like the most exquisite torture.’
    • ‘Where was the pain of probing the pressure points, the exquisite agony of muscular crystals breaking up under relentless fingers?’
    • ‘Nights of research, practicing accents, roles and dances, were exquisite torture.’
    • ‘She found it exquisite torture to have to hold still, to remain kneeling, but somehow she managed.’
    • ‘It was an illuminating moment of exquisite agony still vivid these many years later.’
    • ‘And you wonder, lucid in exquisite agony, how this child will ever be born without tearing you in two,’
    • ‘My heart was simultaneously full of exquisite joy and unbearable sadness.’
    • ‘It drew on sociological studies from several countries that describe confinement under sentence of death as exquisite psychological torture.’
    • ‘We know envy as a state of exquisite tension, torment and ill-will, provoked by an overwhelming sense of inferiority, impotence and worthlessness.’
    intense, acute, keen, piercing, sharp, severe, racking, excruciating, agonizing, harrowing, torturous, tormenting, searing
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    1. 2.1 Highly sensitive or discriminating.
      ‘her exquisite taste in painting’
      • ‘A catalogue of unparalleled scope and exquisite taste accompanied the exhibit.’
      • ‘His exquisite taste and critical attitude has resulted in a collection in the finest imaginable condition.’
      • ‘He had exquisite taste in literature, but curiously enough these wonderful books didn't sell.’
      • ‘Clearly, however, he is a man of exquisite taste and judgement.’
      • ‘Happily, the technology is now doing its job, collecting data methodically and with exquisite sensitivity.’
      • ‘In nearly five decades of concert going this writer has rarely heard more exquisite, sensitively projected Chopin.’
      • ‘She had exquisite taste and a flawless grasp of the Court's Byzantine code of conduct.’
      • ‘The nervous system is thus specialized skin that has been internalized to preserve its exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness.’
      • ‘His exquisite sensitivity to the difficulties faced by employers never failed him.’
      • ‘How could someone so morally degenerate have such exquisite taste?’
      • ‘Its high-ceilinged rooms, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, are decorated and furnished with exquisite taste.’
      • ‘The exquisite taste in clothing of the Indian upper class is in sharp contradistinction to its complete indifference to the external appearance of houses and streets.’
      • ‘Not only did she touch my heart with her sincere and charming correspondence, I was impressed with her exquisite taste and her very modest requests.’
      • ‘Musically, the film is epic yet nuanced, and evidences an exquisite sensitivity to detail.’
      • ‘They have exquisite taste in home furnishings.’
      • ‘My hostess was a woman dressed in exquisite taste, friendly but politely distant.’
      • ‘Soprano Juliane Banse's fruity voice is neither childish nor stereotypically innocent, but her diction and sensitivity to words are exquisite.’
      • ‘I'd like to think that I'm a man of exquisite taste.’
      • ‘Sirk's is a popular cinema fashioned with exquisite taste during what we now know as the twilight of Hollywood's self-enclosed grandeur.’
      • ‘The exquisite sensitivity of the nose can be defeated by a common cold.’
      discriminating, discerning, sensitive, selective, fastidious
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  • A man who is affectedly concerned with his clothes and appearance; a dandy.

    • ‘Using brightly coloured, almost grotesque distortion of an individual's salient features, he targeted the royal family, politicians, society figures, exquisites, and charlatans.’
    dandy, fop, beau, man about town, bright young thing, glamour boy, rake
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘precise’): from Latin exquisit- ‘sought out’, from the verb exquirere, from ex- ‘out’ + quaerere ‘seek’.