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subtle
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Childhood's End
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subtle
Used In
Childhood's End
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as in: a subtle poison Define
working in an indirect or hidden way
  • But behind that display of sleeping force were other and much subtler weapons.

  • There are no more uses of "subtle" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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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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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)
  • The Supervisor did not use those actual words, of course, and the thoughts he really expressed were far more subtle.

  • There are no more uses of "subtle" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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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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unspecified meaning
  • Not necessarily through any deliberate act, but in a subtler fashion.
  • He had ceased to wonder if the action was wise, for Kareilen’s plans were often too subtle for merely human understanding.

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  • You can call it a paralysis, but it’s much subtler than that.
  • Jet reaction, used both directly and in the more subtle form of boundary layer control, drove his flyers forward and held them in the air.
  • Karellen’s senses were no subtler than Man’s.
  • There are other, subtler laws, first glimpsed in the early twentieth century by mathematicians such as Weiner and Rashavesky.

  • 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
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