Dainty - Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Dainty - Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Dainty meaning refers to something delicately small, exquisite, or pleasing, often related to food, fashion, or behavior.

History of the Word Dainty

Early Usage

The term dainty has been in the English language for centuries. It first appeared in Middle English, derived from the Old French word "daintie" and ultimately from the Latin "dignitas," meaning worthiness or elegance.

Culinary Delicacies

Initially, it was primarily associated with food. It described delicate, finely crafted dishes that were pleasing to the palate. This association continues in contemporary usage, with dainty treats like petit fours.

Expanding Meanings

Over time, dainty extended its meaning beyond food to include anything characterized by delicate beauty or charm. It can describe fine clothing, elegant manners, or even a small and delicate person.

English (Dainty As Adjective)


Dainty comes from Middle English "daintie," originating from Old French and Latin "dignitas" (worthiness).


Pronounced: /ˈdeɪnti/ (DAYN-tee)

Forms of Dainty

Part of Speech Form Example
Adjective Dainty She wore a dainty necklace.
Comparative More Dainty Her dress was more dainty than mine.
Superlative Most Dainty Among the desserts, hers was the most dainty.
Adverb Daintily She ate the cake daintily.
Noun Daintiness The daintiness of the tea set delighted guests.

Derived Terms

  • Dainty eater
  • Dainty jewelry
  • Dainty flower
  • Dainty shoes
  • Dainty pastries


  • Spanish: Delicado
  • French: Délicat
  • German: Zart
  • Italian: Raffinato
  • Portuguese: Delicado
  • Chinese (Simplified): 精致 (Jīngzhì)
  • Japanese: 優美 (Yūbi)
  • Dainty meaning in Hindi: सुंदर (Sundar)
  • Urdu: خوشنما (Khushnama)
  • Russian: Изящный (Izyashchnyy)


  • Delicate
  • Elegant
  • Exquisite
  • Refined
  • Petite
  • Charming
  • Graceful
  • Lovely
  • Pretty
  • Tasteful
  • Fragile
  • Precious
  • Airy
  • Finicky
  • Fussy
  • Small
  • Fine
  • Dignified
  • Winsome
  • Select


  • Clumsy
  • Unrefined
  • Coarse
  • Unpleasant
  • Hearty

Examples Sentence

  • She prepared dainty finger sandwiches for the tea party.
  • The ballerina's movements were as dainty as a swan.
  • He admired the dainty lace detailing on the dress.

FAQs (People May Also Ask)

What does dainty mean in English?

Dainty describes something that is delicately small, exquisite, or pleasing, often related to food, fashion, or behavior.

Are there comparative and superlative forms of dainty?

Yes, the comparative form is "daintier," and the superlative form is "daintiest."

Can dainty be used as a noun?

Yes, dainty can also be used as a noun, referring to the quality of being dainty, known as daintiness.

What are some synonyms for dainty?

Synonyms for dainty include delicate, exquisite elegant, and charming.

What's the opposite of dainty?

The opposite of dainty includes terms like clumsy, unrefined, coarse, and hearty.

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