Delicate vs Mellow - What's the difference?

delicate | mellow |

As adjectives the difference between delicate and mellow

is that delicate is easily damaged or requiring careful handling while mellow is soft or tender by reason of ripeness; having a tender pulp.

As nouns the difference between delicate and mellow

is that delicate is a delicate item of clothing, especially underwear or lingerie while mellow is a relaxed mood.

As a verb mellow is

to make mellow; to relax or soften.




(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.




  • Soft or tender by reason of ripeness; having a tender pulp.
  • a mellow apple
  • Easily worked or penetrated; not hard or rigid.
  • a mellow soil
  • * Drayton
  • flowers of rank and mellow glebe
  • Not coarse, rough, or harsh; subdued, soft, rich, delicate; said of sound, color, flavor, style, etc.
  • * Wordsworth
  • the mellow horn
  • * Thomson
  • the mellow -tasted Burgundy
  • * Percival
  • The tender flush whose mellow stain imbues / Heaven with all freaks of light.
  • Well matured; softened by years; genial; jovial.
  • * Wordsworth
  • May health return to mellow age.
  • * Washington Irving
  • as merry and mellow an old bachelor as ever followed a hound
  • Relaxed; calm; easygoing; laid-back.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham)
  • , title=(The China Governess) , chapter=3 citation , passage=Here the stripped panelling was warmly gold and the pictures, mostly of the English school, were mellow and gentle in the afternoon light.}}
  • Warmed by liquor, slightly intoxicated; or, stoned, high.
  • (Addison)

    Derived terms

    * mellowness


    (en noun)
  • A relaxed mood.
  • *
  • *
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • To make mellow; to relax or soften.
  • (Shakespeare)
  • * J. C. Shairp
  • The fervour of early feeling is tempered and mellowed by the ripeness of age.
  • To become .
  • Derived terms

    * harshing my mellow (harsh one's mellow) * mellow out