subtle Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Definition of “subtle” - English Dictionary

"subtle" in American English

See all translations

subtleadjective

 us   /ˈsʌt̬·əl/
not ​loud, ​bright, ​noticeable, or ​obvious: subtle ​flavors a subtle ​shade of ​pink The subtle ​nuances of ​Englishpronunciation are hard to ​master. Subtle can also ​meansmall but ​important: There are subtle ​differences between the two.
subtly
adverb  us   /ˈsʌt̬·əl·i, ˈsʌt·li/
He subtly ​affects the ​lives of everyone he ​encounters.
(Definition of subtle from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"subtle" in British English

See all translations

subtleadjective

uk   /ˈsʌt.əl/  us   /ˈsʌt̬-/ approving
C2 not ​loud, ​bright, ​noticeable, or ​obvious in any way: The ​room was ​painted a subtle ​shade of ​pink. The play's ​message is ​perhaps too subtle to be ​understood by ​youngchildren. small but ​important: There is a subtle ​difference between these two ​plans.C2 achieved in a ​quiet way that does not ​attractattention to itself and is ​therefore good or ​clever: a subtle ​plan/​suggestion subtle ​questions

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

subtly
adverb uk   us   /-li/

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

This ​discovery had subtly changed/​altered the way I ​thought about myself.
(Definition of subtle from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of subtle?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

float

a large vehicle with a flat surface that is decorated and used in festivals

Word of the Day

PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
by Colin McIntosh,
February 09, 2016
New words are entering the language all the time. A few of these are completely new and original coinages, but the vast majority are based on the existing stock of words in some way, for example by using affixes (prefixes and suffixes). These can have the effect of changing the meaning of the

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More