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subtle
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Dune
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subtle
Used In
Dune
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as in: a subtle poison Define
working in an indirect or hidden way
  • A poison—so subtle, so insidious . . . so irreversible. It won’t even kill you unless you stop taking it.

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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)
  • ...hawk features, blue-ink eyes that suggested he was a native of Arrakis, but subtleties of movement and stance told her he was not.
  • "I asked your name," Paul said, and he called up the subtleties of Voice: "Tell me your name!"

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  • In the subtleties of the Fremen tongue, the word meant "something acquired in battle" and with the added overtone that the something no longer was used for its original purpose.

  • 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
  • And with subtle bulges beneath folds of his dark robes to reveal that all this fat was sustained partly by portable suspensors harnessed to his flesh.
  • He realized she had done this to taunt him subtly, a reproof against his recent pose of coldness.

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  • The subtle code signs were all around.
  • He had the Giedi Prime speech pattern—subtly masked, but exposed to her trained awareness as though he had announced himself.
  • By giving me Arrakis, His Majesty is forced to give us a CHOAM directorship . a subtle gain.
  • And Hawat—Paul recalled how the old Mentat had acted during the conference—subtle hesitations, signs of unrest.
  • "Your man Hawat’s subtle," Kynes said, "but his object’s plain enough."
  • Kynes directed a speculative look at Jessica, gave a subtle hand signal to Tuek.
  • From its placement above the end of the hall and from subtle differences in construction, she guessed it had been added onto the roof of this wing long after the original building’s completion.
  • Subtlety and self-control were, after all, the most deadly threats to us all.

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  • She had that Bene Gesserit serene repose about her that the young man found subtly disturbing.
  • He had seen the subtle betrayals in the Baron’s manner.
  • It was, from instinct as much as her own subtle knowledge, the precisely correct answer to calm him.
  • We became adept, my mother and sisters and I, at avoiding subtle instruments of death.
  • Stilgar’s voice lost some of its subtle undertone of reasoning, took on an edge of bitterness.
  • And that was a more subtle and profound matter.
  • But now there was a subtle space around Paul, a drawing back as the troop honored him by a respectful isolation.
  • With its subtle oddities.
  • The stuff in the sack had a bitter smell subtly akin to many poisons that she knew, but unlike them, too.
  • But the set of the vision had been subtly different, like an optical image that had disappeared into his consciousness, been absorbed by memory, and now failed of perfect registry when projected onto the real scene.
  • If you had finesse and subtlety to match such courage, you’d be truly formidable.
  • It was not a large hall—perhaps forty meters long and half that in width—but false pillars along the sides had been shaped with an abrupt taper, and the ceiling had a subtle arch, all giving the illusion of much greater space.
  • There’d been a man of delicate, devilish subtlety.
  • Is it some subtle hint to me?
  • Subtle signs of a struggle greeted them here — a suspensor lamp displaced, a bedcushion on the floor, a soother-reel spilled open across a bedstand.
  • But he knew there might be some other punishment, perhaps a more subtle one, a more brutal lever to bend him.
  • Yet, when it was born, when it came into the pressures of reality, the now had its own life and grew with its own subtle differences.
  • It was the tau, the oneness of the sietch community, a compensation from the subtle poison of the spice diet they shared.
  • But there were subtle differences, too, and it was in these that most adults found Alia disquieting.
  • Adults were shocked to find her laughing at a subtle play of words between the sexes.
  • There had been a strange subtle intonation in Stilgar’s voice, as though he would rather have said something else.
  • Paul nodded, thinking how easily Gurney had fallen back into the pattern of Atreides retainer . but with subtle reservations . differences.
  • And Jessica heard the subtle intonations as he used the powers of Voice she had taught him.
  • Here was an instrument she herself had helped train with subtle hints and suggestions.
  • I’ve examined his blood in the most subtle ways without detecting it.
  • "A subtle piece of business indeed," Gurney said.
  • He sensed the subtle, prideful competition among them — each hoping for notice from Muad’Dib.
  • EGO-LIKENESS: portraiture reproduced through a shigawire projector that is capable of reproducing subtle movements said to convey the ego essence.
  • Its mouth was some eighty meters in diameter . crystal teeth with the curved shape of crysknives glinting around the rim . the bellows breath of cinnamon, subtle aldehydes . acids . The worm blotted out the moonlight as it brushed the rocks above them.
  • His own eyes, he knew, had a touch of the color, but smugglers could get offworld foods and there was a subtle caste implication in the tone of the eyes among them.
  • Paul crouched, realizing then that he had no shield, but was trained to fighting with its subtle field around him, trained to react on defense with utmost speed while his attack would be timed to the controlled slowness necessary for penetrating the enemy’s shield.
  • The Baron advanced another step into the antechamber, noting how the men moved back, clearing a subtle space around Nefud, dissociating themselves from the object of wrath.
  • Hawat is subtle.
  • Certainly, this is the time in which they consolidated their hold upon the sorceresses, explored the subtle narcotics, developed prana-bindu training and conceived the Missionaria Protectiva, that black arm of superstition.
  • Senses that his mother had trained to detect the most subtle clues picked out a significant fact — the Fremen fought against men wearing smuggler robes, but the smugglers were crouched in trios, backed into triangles where pressed.
  • And she saw the thread of the past carried by Sayyadina after Sayyadina—first by word of mouth, hidden in the sand chanteys, then refined through their own Reverend Mothers with the discovery of the poison drug on Rossak . and now developed to subtle strengthen Arrakis in the discovery of the Water of Life.
  • Her fingers detected the subtle coded dots, scanned them in a single passage: "Your son and Duke are in immediate danger.
  • There’s a subtle piece of business," Paul said.
  • Little enough profit in our venture," Paul said, and he noted the subtle finger signal flashed to him by Gurney’s right hand — the old hand code out of their past.

  • 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)
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