VS.

Subtile vs. Subtle

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Subtileadjective

(obsolete) subtle

Subtleadjective

Hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable.

‘The difference is subtle, but you can hear it if you listen carefully.’;

Subtileadjective

Thin; not dense or gross; rare; as, subtile air; subtile vapor; a subtile medium.

Subtleadjective

(of a thing) Cleverly contrived.

Subtileadjective

Delicately constituted or constructed; nice; fine; delicate; tenuous; finely woven.

‘More subtile web Arachne can not spin.’; ‘I do distinguish plainEach subtile line of her immortal face.’;

Subtleadjective

(of a person or animal) Cunning, skillful.

Subtileadjective

Acute; piercing; searching.

‘The slow disease and subtile pain.’;

Subtleadjective

Insidious, deceptive, malicious.

Subtileadjective

Characterized by nicety of discrimination; discerning; delicate; refined; 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.’;

Subtleadjective

Tenuous; rarefied; of low density or thin consistency.

Subtileadjective

Sly; artful; cunning; crafty; subtle; as, a subtile person; a subtile adversary; a subtile scheme.

Subtleadjective

(obsolete) Refined; exquisite.

Subtleadjective

Sly in design; artful; cunning; insinuating; subtile; - applied to persons; as, a subtle foe.

Subtleadjective

Cunningly devised; crafty; treacherous; as, a subtle stratagem.

Subtleadjective

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.’;

Subtleadjective

Smooth and deceptive.

‘Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground [bowling ground].’;

Subtleadjective

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’;

Subtleadjective

faint and difficult to analyze;

‘subtle aromas’;

Subtleadjective

able to make fine distinctions;

‘a subtle mind’;

Subtleadjective

working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way;

‘glaucoma is an insidious disease’; ‘a subtle poison’;

Subtleadjective

(especially of a change or distinction) so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyse or describe

‘his language expresses rich and subtle meanings’;

Subtleadjective

(of a mixture or effect) delicately complex and understated

‘subtle lighting’;

Subtleadjective

capable of making fine distinctions

‘a subtle mind’;

Subtleadjective

arranged in an ingenious and elaborate way

‘the German plan was simple yet subtle’;

Subtleadjective

making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something

‘he tried a more subtle approach’;

Subtleadjective

crafty; cunning

‘the subtle fiend dissembled’;

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