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SUBTLE

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does subtle mean? 

SUBTLE (adjective)
  The adjective SUBTLE has 4 senses:

1. be difficult to detect or grasp by the mind
2. faint and difficult to analyze
3. able to make fine distinctions
4. working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way

  Familiarity information: SUBTLE used as an adjective is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


SUBTLE (adjective)


Sense 1subtle [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Be difficult to detect or grasp by the mind

Synonyms:

subtle; elusive

Context examples:

his whole attitude had undergone a subtle change / a subtle difference / that elusive thing the soul

Similar:

impalpable (imperceptible to the senses or the mind)


Sense 2subtle [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Faint and difficult to analyze

Context example:

subtle aromas

Similar:

delicate (exquisitely fine and subtle and pleasing; susceptible to injury)


Sense 3subtle [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Able to make fine distinctions

Context example:

a subtle mind

Similar:

perceptive (having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment)


Sense 4subtle [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way

Synonyms:

pernicious; insidious; subtle

Context examples:

glaucoma is an insidious disease / a subtle poison

Similar:

harmful (causing or capable of causing harm)


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Familiarity breeds contempt." (English proverb)

"«He who teaches himself hath a fool for a teacher», but he who does not teach himself has no teachers at all." (Christopher Berkeley)

"Close the door from which the wind blows and relax." (Arabic proverb)

"Every little pot has a fitting lid." (Dutch proverb)

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