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subtlemore about subtle


  4  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Subtile  \Sub"tile\,  a.  [L.  subtilis.  See  {Subtile}.] 
  1.  Thin;  not  dense  or  gross;  rare  as  subtile  air;  subtile 
  vapor;  a  subtile  medium. 
  2.  Delicately  constituted  or  constructed;  nice;  fine; 
  delicate;  tenuous;  finely  woven.  ``A  sotil  [subtile] 
  twine's  thread.''  --Chaucer. 
  More  subtile  web  Arachne  can  not  spin.  --Spenser. 
  I  do  distinguish  plain  Each  subtile  line  of  her 
  immortal  face.  --Sir  J. 
  3.  Acute;  piercing;  searching. 
  The  slow  disease  and  subtile  pain.  --Prior. 
  5.  Characterized  by  nicety  of  discrimination;  discerning; 
  delicate;  refined;  subtle.  [In  this  sense  now  commonly 
  written  {subtle}.] 
  The  genius  of  the  Spanish  people  is  exquisitely 
  subtile,  without  being  at  all  acute;  hence  there  is 
  so  much  humor  and  so  little  wit  in  their  literature. 
  The  genius  of  the  Italians,  on  the  contrary,  is 
  acute,  profound,  and  sensual,  but  not  subtile;  hence 
  what  they  think  to  be  humorous,  is  merely  witty. 
  The  subtile  influence  of  an  intellect  like 
  Emerson's.  --Hawthorne. 
  5.  Sly;  artful;  cunning;  crafty;  subtle;  as  a  subtile 
  person;  a  subtile  adversary;  a  subtile  scheme.  [In  this 
  sense  now  commonly  written  {subtle}.] 
  Syn:  {Subtile},  {Acute}. 
  Usage:  In  acute  the  image  is  that  of  a  needle's  point;  in 
  subtile  that  of  a  thread  spun  out  to  fineness.  The 
  acute  intellect  pierces  to  its  aim  the  subtile  (or 
  subtle)  intellect  winds  its  way  through  obstacles.  -- 
  {Sub"tile*ly},  adv  --  {Sub"tile*ness},  n. 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Subtle  \Sub"tle\,  a.  [Compar.  {Subtler};  superl.  {Subtlest}.] 
  [OE.  sotil,  subtil,  OF  soutil,  later  subtil,  F.  subtil,  L. 
  subtilis;  probably,  originally,  woven  fine,  and  fr  sub  under 
  +  tela  a  web,  fr  texere  to  weave.  See  {Text},  and  cf 
  1.  Sly  in  design;  artful;  cunning;  insinuating;  subtile;  -- 
  applied  to  persons;  as  a  subtle  foe.  ``A  subtle 
  traitor.''  --Shak. 
  2.  Cunningly  devised;  crafty;  treacherous;  as  a  subtle 
  3.  Characterized  by  refinement  and  niceness  in  drawing 
  distinctions;  nicely  discriminating;  --  said  of  persons; 
  as  a  subtle  logician;  refined;  tenuous;  sinuous; 
  insinuating;  hence  penetrative  or  pervasive;  --  said  of 
  the  mind;  its  faculties,  or  its  operations;  as  a  subtle 
  intellect;  a  subtle  imagination;  a  subtle  process  of 
  thought;  also  difficult  of  apprehension;  elusive. 
  Things  remote  from  use  obscure  and  subtle. 
  4.  Smooth  and  deceptive.  [Obs.] 
  Like  to  a  bowl  upon  a  subtle  ground  [bowling 
  ground].  --Shak. 
  Syn:  Artful;  crafty;  cunning;  shrewd;  sly;  wily. 
  Usage:  Subtle  is  the  most  comprehensive  of  these  epithets  and 
  implies  the  finest  intellectual  quality.  See  {Shrewd}, 
  and  {Cunning}. 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  adj  1:  be  difficult  to  detect  or  grasp  by  the  mind;  "his  whole 
  attitude  had  undergone  a  subtle  change";  "a  subtle 
  difference";  "that  elusive  thing  the  soul"  [syn:  {elusive}] 
  2:  faint  and  difficult  to  analyze;  "subtle  aromas" 
  3:  able  to  make  fine  distinctions;  "a  subtle  mind" 
  4:  working  or  spreading  in  a  hidden  and  usually  injurious  way 
  "a  subtle  poison"  [syn:  {insidious},  {pernicious}] 
  From  U.S.  Gazetteer  (1990)  [gazetteer]: 
  Subtle,  KY 
  Zip  code(s):  42129 

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