of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, coloring, music, or poetry.
extraordinarily fine or admirable; consummate:exquisite weather.
intense; acute, or keen, as pleasure or pain.
of rare excellence of production or execution, as works of art or workmanship:the exquisite statues of the Renaissance.
keenly or delicately sensitive or responsive:an exquisite ear for music; an exquisite sensibility.
of particular refinement or elegance, as taste, manners, etc., or persons.
carefully sought out, chosen, ascertained, devised, etc.
[Archaic.]a person, esp. a man, who is excessively concerned about clothes, grooming, etc.; dandy; coxcomb.
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
(ek′skwi 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.