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subtle
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1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) by Orwell
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subtle
Used In
1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) by Orwell
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as in: a subtle difference or thinker Define
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions) or: capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
  • His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer.
  • There was something subtly wrong with Syme.

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  • It need hardly be said that the subtlest practitioners of doublethink are those who invented doublethink and know that it is a vast system of mental cheating.
  • Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods.
  • But there were other days when they settled down to their work almost eagerly, making a tremendous show of entering up their minutes and drafting long memoranda which were never finished — when the argument as to what they were supposedly arguing about grew extraordinarily involved and abstruse, with subtle haggling over definitions, enormous digressions, quarrels threats, even, to appeal to higher authority.

  • There are no more uses of "subtle" identified with this meaning in the book.

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  • She used subtle reasoning to expose the absurdity of his argument.
  • She guessed which spices were used by their subtle aromas.

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as in: a subtle poison Define
working in an indirect or hidden way
  • But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler.
  • That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed.

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  • Or Katharine would die, and by subtle manoeuvrings Winston and Julia would succeed in getting married.
  • This drama that I have played out with you during seven years will be played out over and over again generation after generation, always in subtler forms.
  • It was perceived that in thus abbreviating a name one narrowed and subtly altered its meaning, by cutting out most of the associations that would otherwise cling to it.

  • There are no more uses of "subtle" identified with this meaning in the book.

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  • She is working subtly against us.
  • It is a subtle poison. In small doses, it might never be detected, but eventually your heart will fail.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: a subtle poison Define
working in an indirect or hidden way
as in: a subtle shade of blue Define
understated so as not to draw attention to itself
as in: a subtle difference or thinker Define
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions) or: capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Show Multiple Meanings
Go to Book Vocabulary
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