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Choice vs Exquisite vs Elegant vs RecherchÉ vs Rare vs Dainty vs Delicate

Choice, exquisite, elegant, recherché, raredainty, delicate are comparable when they mean having qualities that appeal to a fine or highly refined taste.

Choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind rather than careful selection of the best, although the latter may also be connoted; consequently, the word usually suggests an appeal to a highly cultivated and discriminating taste.

Exquisite implies consummate perfection in workmanship, in choice, in quality, or in impression produced —a perfection so fine and unobtrusive that it attracts only the most sensitive and fastidious.

Elegant differs widely from exquisite; it implies either an impressive richness or grandeur restrained by fine taste, or grace and dignity characterized by a noble simplicity.

Recherche like the preceding terms implies care in selection; it often suggests a studied exquisiteness or elegance.

Very frequently, however, it implies a search for the novel or fresh as well as the choice, and it may carry a connotation of artificiality or of straining for effect.

Rare derives from its ordinary senses (see INFREQUENT, THIN) connotations of uncommonness and of a fineness associated with the rarefied air of the upper regions; nevertheless, its major implication is distinction in merit or excellence or a superlative quality.

Dainty (see also NICE 1) may come close to choice, but is then used chiefly to describe things which give delight to the fastidious taste, especially to the eye, and often also the palate.

More often, however, the term implies smallness and exquisiteness.

Delicate, like dainty, implies exquisiteness and an appeal to a fastidious taste, but it ascribes fineness, subtlety, and often fragility to the thing rather than smallness, and it implies an appeal not only to the eye or palate, but to any of the senses or to the mind or spirit.