V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. only slightly noticeable and difficult to grasp or analyze; 2. capable of making fine judgments and distinctions; 3. cleverly hidden

Synonyms: quiet, delicate, faint, inconspicuous, slight, suggestive, indirect, understated, discriminating, keen, sophisticated, crafty, cunning, sly

Antonyms: loud, conspicuous, flamboyant, obvious

Tips: Subtle is derived from the Latin subtilis, which means "fine, delicate." Subtle describes things that are delicate and hardly noticeable. The related noun subtlety means "the quality of being almost undetectable." "No room for subtlety" is a common phrase in Modern English. It means that the situation calls for straight-forwardness.

Usage Examples:

He was wearing a subtle hint of cologne. (slight, faint, delicate)

If you look hard enough, you can see a subtle difference in the twins. (faint, slight)

There is no room for subtlety when talking to Mike because he cannot take a hint. (suggestion, indirectness) noun

After he received the promotion, he underwent a subtle change and seemed more sure of himself. (understated, inconspicuous, slight)

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