Definition of subtly in English:


Translate subtly into Spanish


  • 1In a manner that is so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe.

    ‘the script subtly shifts in tone from comedy to tragedy’
    • ‘the mood and pacing subtly convey a creeping paranoia’
    • ‘On the opposite wall are four more subtly disturbing photographs.’
    • ‘His pictures of people also subtly upset our expectations.’
    • ‘The sacramental ritual performed by the Corpus Domini priest differs subtly from that delivered by Christ in the Corpus Domini Altarpiece.’
    • ‘The emotional tone of the two images is subtly different.’
    • ‘The artist's best-known works, big color photographs of wealthy WASPs at home, show us characters both instantly recognizable and subtly surprising.’
    1. 1.1In a delicately complex and understated way.
      ‘a subtly flavored dessert’
      • ‘subtly colored fabrics’
      • ‘The marks of the plywood formwork on the concrete surface subtly evoke the presence of wood.’
      • ‘The double-skinned glass curtain wall reflects the trees and changing light to become a subtly mutable (and deceptively insubstantial) external membrane.’
      • ‘Each canvas features the richly textured and subtly modulated expanses of color for which he is well known.’
      • ‘The light puff-pastry melts away to release the flavours of subtly seasoned potatoes or cauliflower.’
      • ‘The dish featured succulent chicken chunks in a thick, creamy sauce subtly flavoured with leek and tarragon.’
  • 2In a clever and indirect way, in order to achieve something.

    ‘he would prattle on about something else for a while before subtly raising the question again’
    • ‘the report subtly shifts blames onto the complainants’
    • ‘His book began subtly to reshape the problematic reputation of the artist.’
    • ‘The writer uses the highway near Dubai to subtly illustrate the effects of environmental damage.’
    • ‘Equipped with all the facilities required by modern travel interchanges, the hall is subtly designed to shape passenger flows.’
    • ‘Yet this beautiful show also challenges our moment in a subtly subversive way.’
    • ‘She subtly skews the story by using partisan testimony as fact.’



/ˈsədəlē/ /ˈsədəli/