Subtle vs Micro - What's the difference?

subtle | micro |

As an adjective subtle

is hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable.

As a proper noun micro is

a town in north carolina.



Alternative forms

* subtil (obsolete) * subtile (obsolete)


  • 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


    * (hard to grasp) simple

    Derived terms

    * subtle body * subtleness * subtlety * subtly


    * * *


    * * * *



    Etymology 1


    (en adjective)
  • Small, relatively small; (used to contrast levels of the noun modified).
  • At the micro level he was a good manager. At the macro level he failed.
    * macro

    Etymology 2


    (en noun)
  • (computing, dated)
  • * 1984 , Mike Gerrard, Bryan Skinner, Mr Chips comes home: micros and home education (page 23)
  • If you can possibly afford to spend a few more pounds then you should move up into the next price bracket, where the potential of the home micro starts to be realised.
  • * 1986 , Rachael Smith, Bomb Jack'' (video game review) in ''Your Sinclair issue 5, May 1986
  • So what sort of hero is this bounding, bomb collecting midget? The answer is an arcade hero - and now he's let loose in your micro courtesy of conversion kings, Elite.

    Etymology 3


  • (lb) micromanagement
  • Verb

  • (lb) to micromanage
  • ----