adjective, dain·ti·er, dain·ti·est.
- of delicate beauty; exquisite: a dainty lace handkerchief.
- pleasing to the taste and, often, temptingly served or delicate; delicious: dainty pastries.
- of delicate discrimination or taste; particular; fastidious: a dainty eater.
- overly particular; finicky.
noun, plural dain·ties.
- something delicious to the taste; a delicacy.
adjective -tier or -tiest
- delicate or eleganta dainty teacup
- pleasing to the taste; choice; deliciousa dainty morsel
- refined, esp excessively genteel; fastidious
noun plural -ties
- a choice piece of food, esp a small cake or sweet; delicacy
c.1300, “delightful, pleasing,” from dainty (n.). Meaning evolved in Middle English to “choice, excellent” (late 14c.) to “delicately pretty.” Related: Daintiness.
c.1300, “excellence, elegance; a luxury,” from Old French deintie (12c.) “price, value,” also “delicacy, pleasure,” from Latin dignitatem (nominative dignitas) “greatness, rank, worthiness, worth, beauty,” from dignus “worthy” (see dignity).