Definition of exquisite in US English:

exquisite

adjective

  • 1Extremely beautiful and, typically, delicate.

    ‘exquisite, jewellike portraits’
    • ‘Her fine exquisite features and extremely pale skin were making her look as a statue made by a sculptor master.’
    • ‘She has delighted in rendering in delicate detail and exquisite colour the little-known plants and creatures of the desert.’
    • ‘My friend has a website filled with beautiful art and exquisite illustrations.’
    • ‘Salmon is an exquisite delicacy and is also a complete health food, nutritionists tell us.’
    • ‘They expect a degree of service to go with the exquisite delicacies they have selected for purchase.’
    • ‘It is the most beautiful, immaculate, exquisite piece of paper - splendidly printed, if not actually embossed.’
    • ‘Without creativity, even the most exquisite and beautiful long hair cannot be said to be fashionable.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gold and silver were made into exquisite adornments, and beautiful objects were created from indigenous turquoise, marble, and other stones.’
    • ‘These beautiful houses with exquisite carvings were built by eight brothers.’
    • ‘Neither of us ever had sampled a more exquisite delicacy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Here, his theme of moral redemption is reflected in the renewing of the seasons - a beautiful metaphor in this exquisite film.’
    • ‘I felt I was in the presence of an angel; a wondrous, exquisite but delicate angel.’
    • ‘With beautiful scenery and exquisite costumes, Coppelia is a truly delightful production to charm audiences of all ages.’
    • ‘A ring was placed on top of her bag, a really beautiful, exquisite ring.’
    • ‘With over 25 stands displaying their beautiful range of exquisite handmade crafts, the fair is sure to attract a large gathering’
    • ‘Executed with breathlessly fine strokes, these exquisite images are as beautiful and accomplished as line drawings by Picasso or Matisse.’
    • ‘You're always beautiful, with you dark curls and beautiful eyes and exquisite skin.’
    • ‘The feature on fathers and daughters, was exquisite, delightful and beautifully written.’
    beautiful, lovely, elegant, graceful
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    1. 1.1 Intensely felt.
      ‘the most exquisite kind of agony’
      • ‘It drew on sociological studies from several countries that describe confinement under sentence of death as exquisite psychological torture.’
      • ‘It's like tapping a spoon on a bad tooth, exquisite agony.’
      • ‘And it must be the most exquisite torture to be a centrist who is also a patriot.’
      • ‘We know envy as a state of exquisite tension, torment and ill-will, provoked by an overwhelming sense of inferiority, impotence and worthlessness.’
      • ‘She found it exquisite torture to have to hold still, to remain kneeling, but somehow she managed.’
      • ‘It is an endearing trait, for it encapsulates the exquisite torture endured by so many football fans at this time of year.’
      • ‘And you wonder, lucid in exquisite agony, how this child will ever be born without tearing you in two,’
      • ‘I could empathise with the exquisite torture of figuring out your place in the world.’
      • ‘The last eight years working with her had been, to say the least, the most exquisite type of torture.’
      • ‘I still remember the exquisite agony of my first ice cream headache - no one had warned me not to inhale a chocolate milkshake.’
      • ‘My heart was simultaneously full of exquisite joy and unbearable sadness.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nights of research, practicing accents, roles and dances, were exquisite torture.’
      • ‘It was an illuminating moment of exquisite agony still vivid these many years later.’
      • ‘They both took quadruple bogey nines and suffered the exquisite torture that golf inflicts on all those who deign to play the game.’
      • ‘The agony is not quite as exquisite as it has been in the past.’
      • ‘It's a form of exquisite torture watching George and Martha torment each other, and occasionally this becomes tiresome.’
      • ‘The spring rain that she had worshipped before now trickled down the back of her neck like the most exquisite torture.’
      • ‘These sorts of wounds are sharp, quick, and part of the game's exquisite agonies.’
      • ‘Where was the pain of probing the pressure points, the exquisite agony of muscular crystals breaking up under relentless fingers?’
      intense, acute, keen, piercing, sharp, severe, racking, excruciating, agonizing, harrowing, torturous, tormenting, searing
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    2. 1.2 Highly sensitive or discriminating.
      ‘her exquisite taste in painting’
      • ‘My hostess was a woman dressed in exquisite taste, friendly but politely distant.’
      • ‘Musically, the film is epic yet nuanced, and evidences an exquisite sensitivity to detail.’
      • ‘In nearly five decades of concert going this writer has rarely heard more exquisite, sensitively projected Chopin.’
      • ‘I'd like to think that I'm a man of exquisite taste.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The nervous system is thus specialized skin that has been internalized to preserve its exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness.’
      • ‘He had exquisite taste in literature, but curiously enough these wonderful books didn't sell.’
      • ‘How could someone so morally degenerate have such exquisite taste?’
      • ‘Soprano Juliane Banse's fruity voice is neither childish nor stereotypically innocent, but her diction and sensitivity to words are exquisite.’
      • ‘They have exquisite taste in home furnishings.’
      • ‘The exquisite sensitivity of the nose can be defeated by a common cold.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sirk's is a popular cinema fashioned with exquisite taste during what we now know as the twilight of Hollywood's self-enclosed grandeur.’
      • ‘Clearly, however, he is a man of exquisite taste and judgement.’
      • ‘Its high-ceilinged rooms, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, are decorated and furnished with exquisite taste.’
      • ‘She had exquisite taste and a flawless grasp of the Court's Byzantine code of conduct.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His exquisite sensitivity to the difficulties faced by employers never failed him.’
      • ‘Happily, the technology is now doing its job, collecting data methodically and with exquisite sensitivity.’
      discriminating, discerning, sensitive, selective, fastidious
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noun

literary
  • 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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Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘precise’): from Latin exquisit- ‘sought out’, from the verb exquirere, from ex- ‘out’ + quaerere ‘seek’.

Pronunciation