WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
ex•quis•ite /ɪkˈskwɪzɪt, ˈɛkskwɪzɪt/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. of special beauty and appealing excellence:an exquisite statuette.
  2. intense;
    acute: exquisite pain.
  3. keenly sensitive or responsive: She had an exquisite ear for music.
  4. of particular refinement or elegance: exquisite manners.
ex•quis•ite•ly, adv. 
ex•quis•ite•ness, n. [uncountable]See -quis-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
ex•quis•ite  (ik skwiz′it, ekskwi zit),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, coloring, music, or poetry.
  2. extraordinarily fine or admirable; consummate:exquisite weather.
  3. intense;
    acute, or keen, as pleasure or pain.
  4. of rare excellence of production or execution, as works of art or workmanship:the exquisite statues of the Renaissance.
  5. keenly or delicately sensitive or responsive:an exquisite ear for music; an exquisite sensibility.
  6. of particular refinement or elegance, as taste, manners, etc., or persons.
  7. carefully sought out, chosen, ascertained, devised, etc.

  1. [Archaic.]a person, esp. a man, who is excessively concerned about clothes, grooming, etc.;
ex•quis ite•ly, adv. 
ex•quis ite•ness, n. 
  • Latin exquīsītus meticulous, chosen with care, origin, originally past participle of exquīrere to ask about, examine = ex- ex-1 + -quīrere, combining form of quaerere to seek
  • late Middle English 1400–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dainty, beautiful, elegant, rare. See delicate.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged perfect, matchless. See fine1.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged poignant.
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged select, choice, precious.
    • 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged discriminating.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged gross.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged ordinary.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dull.
    The pronunciation of exquisite has undergone a rapid change from (ekskwi zit)USA pronunciation to (ik skwiz′it),USA pronunciation with stress shifting to the second syllable. The newer pronunciation is still criticized by some, but is now more common in both the U.S. and England, and many younger educated speakers are not even aware of the older one. See  harass. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

exquisite /ɪkˈskwɪzɪt; ˈɛkskwɪzɪt/ adj
  1. possessing qualities of unusual delicacy and fine craftsmanship
  2. extremely beautiful and pleasing
  3. outstanding or excellent
  4. sensitive; discriminating
  5. fastidious and refined
  6. intense or sharp in feeling
  1. obsolete a dandy
Etymology: 15th Century: from Latin exquīsītus excellent, from exquīrere to search out, from quaerere to seek

exˈquisitely adv exˈquisiteness n

'exquisite' also found in these entries:

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