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subtle? or sublte

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subtle? or sublte

Postby Bailey » Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:17 am

sub·tle (stl)
adj. sub·tler, sub·tlest
1.
a. So slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive: a subtle smile.
b. Difficult to understand; abstruse: an argument whose subtle point was lost on her opponent.
2. Able to make fine distinctions: a subtle mind.
3.
a. Characterized by skill or ingenuity; clever.
b. Crafty or sly; devious.
c. Operating in a hidden, usually injurious way; insidious: a subtle poison.



[Middle English sotil, from Old French, from Latin subtlis; see teks- in Indo-European roots.]



subtle·ness n.
subtly adv.

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Bailey
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Postby gailr » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:33 pm

Iago (neither nice nor subtle himself) likes this word:

Othello
Act I, Scene 3
Iago ... If Sanctimony and a frail Vow betwixt
an erring Barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian
be not too hard for my Wits and all the Tribe
of Hell, ...

Act II, Scene 1
Iago ... a Slipper and Subtle Knave, a Finder
out of Occasions, that has an Eye can stamp and
counterfeit Advantages, though true Advantage
never present itself; ...

-gailr
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