Definitions: (1) beautiful in texture, quality, or workmanship; (2) elegantly mild, light, or soft; (3)slight and subtle <a delicate difference>; (4) sensitive in feeling, understanding, or responsiveness; <delicate demeanor>; (5) having a discriminating distaste for the offensive or unseemly; (6) finely skilled; well done; light-handed; (7) considerate and tactful

Derivation: Latin, “giving pleasure”

Balancing Quality: firm

Too Far: If you keep digging up a delicate plant to see how well the roots are taking, it dies. — Patricia Oren Kearney Cadigan (1953-) British-American author, Variation on a Man {1984}

Quote: Like the entomologist in search of colorful butterflies, my attention has chased in the gardens of the grey matter cells with delicate and elegant shapes, the mysterious butterflies of the soul, whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the secrets of the mind. — Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852–1934) Spanish neuroscientist & pathologist

Symbols: 1) a butterfly’s wing; 2) the almond tree [sweet blossoms that can be destroyed by frost]