Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SUBTLE

He had breathed into the atmosphere a subtle malaria, and George had caught the disease.

Then, he bethought himself of a subtle form of rebuke by emphasizing his generosity.

The words were uttered with a subtle renunciation that was this man's religion.

Joe was not subtle, not even clever; but he was a lover, and he knew the ways of love.

Though I felt a subtle and wondrous change, I could not trace or track the miracle.

He had planned this sudden accusation with subtle forethought.

Not a sound escaped them; the most subtle examination could not have told they breathed.

The girl became aware also of other subtle changes in her father.

"Thou art a subtle reasoner, my friend," said Ferdinand, smiling gently.

It is the manner of communicating these diseases; it is the subtle way in which they go about.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, sutel, soutil, in reference to things, "of thin consistency;" in reference to craftsmen, "skilled, clever," from Old French soutil, from Latin subtilis "fine, thin, delicate, finely woven," from sub "under" (see sub-) + -tilis, from tela "web" and texere "to weave" (see texture). The spelling with -b- reflects confusion with subtile. Most non-material senses were present by late 14c.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SUBTLE

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.