Basic+ Word of the Day: subtle

subtle (adjective) LISTEN

The evening sky was subtle shades of blue and pink.

Subtle means ‘difficult to notice.’

  • The subtle aroma of coffee brewing woke her husband.
  • Hal has a subtle sense of humor, so it's difficult to know if he is joking.
  • Sandy's subtle smile showed that she understood the joke.

Related words

subtly: in a subtle way. Example: “Leonard subtly changed the subject to avoid an argument.”

subtlety: quality of being subtle. Example: “The comedian’s sense of humor lacks subtlety.”

In pop culture

Listen to Marian Hill sing “It’s a Subtle Thing” and sing along with her.

There are other meanings of subtle.
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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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