adj. dain·ti·er, dain·ti·est
1. Delicately beautiful or charming and usually small: dainty slippers.
2. Delicious; tasty: a dainty dish.
3. Fastidious or finicky: "They chided [them] for being too dainty to eat army rations" (Stephen Berry).
4. Frail in constitution or health: "Such heroines have [been]replaced by the dainty young thing who faints away at the sight of a six-shooter" (Molly Gloss).
n. pl. dain·ties
Something delicious; a delicacy.
[Middle English deinte, excellent, excellence, from Old French deintie, from Latin dignitās, from dignus, worthy; see dek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus