Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “subtle”

subtle

adjective     /ˈsʌtl/
NOT OBVIOUS not obvious or easy to notice: a subtle change/difference a subtle hint Indistinct and invisible
NOT STRONG A subtle flavour, colour, etc is delicate and not strong or bright.The qualities of colourIndistinct and invisibleFlavours and tastes
CLEVER clever in a way that does not attract attention: a subtle way of solving the problemIntelligencePerceptive
subtly adverb
(Definition of subtle adjective from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Definitions of “subtle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

closeness

the quality of knowing someone very well, liking them a lot, and wanting to spend a lot of time together

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More