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Compact vs Delicate - What's the difference?

compact | delicate |

As adjectives the difference between compact and delicate

is that compact is closely packed, ie packing much in a small space while delicate is .

As a noun compact

is an agreement or contract or compact can be a small, slim folding case, often featuring a mirror, powder and a powderpuff; that fits into a woman's purse or handbag, or that slips into ones pocket.

As a verb compact

is to make more dense; to compress.


Etymology 1

From (etyl) .


(en noun)
  • An agreement or contract.
  • Synonyms
    * agreement, contract, pact, treaty

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl), from (etyl) .


    (en adjective)
  • Closely packed, i.e. packing much in a small space.
  • * Isaac Newton
  • glass, crystal, gems, and other compact bodies
  • Having all necessary features fitting neatly into a small space.
  • a compact laptop computer
  • (mathematics, uncomparable, of a set in an Euclidean space) Closed and bounded.
  • A set S of real numbers is called compact if every sequence in S has a subsequence that converges to an element again contained in S.
  • (topology, uncomparable, of a set) Such that every open cover of the given set has a finite subcover.
  • Brief; close; pithy; not diffuse; not verbose.
  • a compact discourse
  • (obsolete) Joined or held together; leagued; confederated.
  • * Shakespeare
  • compact with her that's gone
  • * Peacham
  • a pipe of seven reeds, compact with wax together
  • (obsolete) Composed or made; with of .
  • * Milton
  • A wandering fire, / Compact of unctuous vapour.
    * (closely packed) concentrated, dense, serried, solid, thick, tight
    Derived terms
    * compact car * compact disc * locally compact


    (en noun)
  • A small, slim folding case, often featuring a mirror, powder and a powderpuff; that fits into a woman's purse or handbag, or that slips into ones pocket.
  • A broadsheet newspaper published in the size of a tabloid but keeping its non-sensational style.
  • * 2012 , BBC News: Dundee Courier makes move to compact [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-16576612]:
  • The Dundee Courier has announced the newspaper will be relaunching as a compact later this week. Editor Richard Neville said a "brighter, bolder" paper would appear from Saturday, shrunk from broadsheet to tabloid size.

    See also



    (en verb)
  • To make more dense; to compress.
  • * '>citation
  • To unite or connect firmly, as in a system.
  • * Bible, Eph. iv. 16
  • The whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth.
    * (make more dense) compress, condense


    * English heteronyms ----




    (en adjective)
  • Easily damaged or requiring careful handling.
  • Those clothes are made from delicate lace.
    The negotiations were very delicate .
  • * F. W. Robertson
  • There are some things too delicate and too sacred to be handled rudely without injury to truth.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2012 , date=April 23 , author=Angelique Chrisafis , title=François Hollande on top but far right scores record result in French election , work=the Guardian citation , page= , passage=The final vote between Hollande and Sarkozy now depends on a delicate balance of how France's total of rightwing and leftwing voters line up.}}
  • Characterized by a fine structure or thin lines.
  • Her face was delicate .
    The spider wove a delicate web.
    There was a delicate pattern of frost on the window.
  • Intended for use with fragile items.
  • Set the washing machine to the delicate cycle.
  • Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; said of manners, conduct, or feelings.
  • delicate''' behaviour; '''delicate''' attentions; '''delicate thoughtfulness
  • Of weak health; easily sick; unable to endure hardship.
  • a delicate''' child; '''delicate health
  • * Shakespeare
  • a delicate and tender prince
  • (informal) Unwell, especially because of having drunk too much alcohol.
  • Please don't speak so loudly: I'm feeling a bit delicate this morning.
  • (obsolete) Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
  • * 1360–1387 , (William Langland), (Piers Plowman) (C-text), passus IX, line 285:
  • Þenk þat diues for hus delicat lyf to þe deuel wente.
  • * circa'' 1660 , (John Evelyn) (author), , volume I of II (1901), entry for the 19th of August in 1641, page 29:
  • Haerlem is a very delicate town and hath one of the fairest churches of the Gothic design I had ever seen.
  • Pleasing to the senses; refined; adapted to please an elegant or cultivated taste.
  • a delicate''' dish; '''delicate flavour
  • Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful.
  • * circa'' 1603 , (William Shakespeare), ''(Othello) , act II, scene iii, lines 18 and 20–21:
  • :   She’s a most exquisite lady.…Indeed, she’s a most fresh and delicate creature.
  • Light, or softly tinted; said of a colour.
  • a delicate shade of blue
  • Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
  • Highly discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite.
  • a delicate''' taste; a '''delicate ear for music
  • Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes.
  • a delicate thermometer


    * (easily damaged) fragile


    (en noun)
  • A delicate item of clothing, especially underwear or lingerie.
  • Don't put that in with your jeans: it's a delicate !
  • (obsolete) A choice dainty; a delicacy.
  • With abstinence all delicates he sees. — Dryden.
  • (obsolete) A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
  • All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, — those I mean that would seem to be more fine in their houses than their neighbours, — are only of the Corinth metal. — Holland.