To better see all uses of the word
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - (13 chapter version)
please enable javascript.

Used In
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - (13 chapter version)
Show Multiple Meanings
Go to Book Vocabulary

unspecified meaning
  • And yet what a subtle magic there was in them!
  • Lord Henry watched him with a subtle sense of pleasure.

  • Show more
  • Was there some subtle affinity between the chemical atoms, that shaped themselves into form and color on the canvas, and the soul that was within him?
  • Eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joys and wilder sins,—he was to have all these things.
  • He would not see Lord Henry any more,—would not, at any rate, listen to those subtle poisonous theories that in Basil Hallward’s garden had first stirred within him the passion for impossible things.
  • Some love might come across his life, and purify him, and shield him from those sins that seemed to be already stirring in spirit and in flesh,—those curious unpictured sins whose very mystery lent them their subtlety and their charm.
  • The fuming censers, that the grave boys, in their lace and scarlet, tossed into the air like great gilt flowers, had their subtle fascination for him.
  • The mere cadence of the sentences, the subtle monotony of their music, so full as it was of complex refrains and movements elaborately repeated, produced in the mind of the lad, as he passed from chapter to chapter, a form of revery, a malady of dreaming, that made him unconscious of the falling day and the creeping shadows.
  • His little dinners, in the settling of which Lord Henry always assisted him, were noted as much for the careful selection and placing of those invited, as for the exquisite taste shown in the decoration of the table, with its subtle symphonic arrangements of exotic flowers, and embroidered cloths, and antique plate of gold and silver.
  • For, while he was but too ready to accept the position that was almost immediately offered to him on his coming of age, and found, indeed, a subtle pleasure in the thought that he might really become to the London of his own day what to imperial Neronian Rome the author of the "Satyricon" had once been, yet in his inmost heart he desired to be something more than a mere arbiter elegantiarum, to be consulted on the wearing of a jewel, or the knotting of a necktie, or the conduct of a…

  • Show more again
  • Mysticism, with its marvellous power of making common things strange to us, and the subtle antinomianism that always seems to accompany it, moved him for a season; and for a season he inclined to the materialistic doctrines of the Darwinismus movement in Germany, and found a curious pleasure in tracing the thoughts and passions of men to some pearly cell in the brain, or some white nerve in the body, delighting in the conception of the absolute dependence of the spirit on certain…
  • …sensations that would be at once new and delightful, and possess that element of strangeness that is so essential to romance, he would often adopt certain modes of thought that he knew to be really alien to his nature, abandon himself to their subtle influences, and then, having, as it were, caught their color and satisfied his intellectual curiosity, leave them with that curious indifference that is not incompatible with a real ardor of temperament, and that indeed, according to…

  • There are no more uses of "subtle" in the book.

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 . . . enhancing vocabulary while reading