Subtle vs Gradual - What's the difference?

subtle | gradual |


As adjectives the difference between subtle and gradual

is that subtle is hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable while gradual is proceeding by steps or small degrees; advancing step by step, as in ascent or descent or from one state to another; regularly progressive; slow.

As a noun gradual is

(roman catholic church) an antiphon or responsory after the epistle, in the mass, which was sung on the steps, or while the deacon ascended the steps.

subtle

English

Alternative forms

* subtil (obsolete) * subtile (obsolete)

Adjective

(er)
  • Hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable.
  • The difference is subtle , but you can hear it if you listen carefully.
  • (of a thing) Cleverly contrived.
  • (of a person or animal) Cunning, skillful.
  • insidious
  • * 1623 , , act iv, scene 4,
  • Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle , bloody, treacherous.
  • Tenuous; rarefied; of low density or thin consistency.
  • Synonyms

    * crafty, cunning, skillful * (insidious) insidious

    Antonyms

    * (hard to grasp) simple

    Derived terms

    * subtle body * subtleness * subtlety * subtly

    References

    * * *

    Anagrams

    * * * *

    gradual

    English

    Alternative forms

    * graduall (obsolete)

    Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Proceeding by steps or small degrees; advancing step by step, as in ascent or descent or from one state to another; regularly progressive; slow.
  • a gradual''' increase of knowledge; a '''gradual decline
  • * Milton
  • Creatures animate with gradual life / Of growth, sense, reason, all summed up in man.

    Synonyms

    * (l)

    Antonyms

    * sudden * abrupt

    Derived terms

    * gradually

    See also

    * (l)

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • (Roman Catholic Church) An antiphon or responsory after the epistle, in the Mass, which was sung on the steps, or while the deacon ascended the steps.
  • (Roman Catholic Church) A service book containing the musical portions of the Mass.