Definition of indelicacy in English:



  • 1A lack of sensitive understanding or tact:

    ‘the magazine printed the photographs with manifest indelicacy for commercial ends’
    [count noun] ‘diplomatic indelicacies’
    • ‘Apologising for the indelicacy he asks Nelly the amount involved.’
    • ‘She was divided between indignation at Mr. Bennet's indelicacy and overwhelming pity for Miss Darcy.’
    • ‘Mr. Grantley, without any indelicacy or mention of their previous meeting, smiled at her when the customary salutations were being made.’
    • ‘If, when you are out, you can inconspicuously run a clean powder-puff over your face, no one will accuse you of indelicacy.’
    • ‘Being aware of the indelicacy and impropriety of this positioning they helped Lydia remove herself from her post.’
    • ‘Excuse my indelicacy, but how much are you worth?’
    impropriety, unseemliness, unbecomingness, indignity, immodesty, indecency, obscenity, indecorum, indiscretion, immorality, shamelessness
    insensitivity, tactlessness
    undesirability, unacceptability, impoliteness, discourtesy, bad taste, ill breeding, bad manners
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  • 2The quality of being slightly indecent:

    ‘the play's cynicism and sexual indelicacy’
    [count noun] ‘such crude indelicacies’
    • ‘At M. Lambercier's a good maidservant was discharged for having once made use of an expression before us which was thought to contain some degree of indelicacy.’
    • ‘My father did not witness enough of our cousin's indelicacy to give alarm or he would have acted.’
    • ‘Innuendo is only ever really funny in a setting where direct indelicacy is inappropriate.’
    • ‘We yearned for private space to read, and we squirmed at the indelicacy of having to pee in public down tubes on the deck.’
    • ‘Coupled with the use of her given name, Elizabeth was too flustered to think very much about the indelicacy of the situation.’