5. Sly; artful; cunning; crafty; subtle; as, a subtile person; a subtile adversary; a subtile scheme. [In this
sense now commonly written subtle.]
Syn. Subtile, Acute. In acute the image is that of a needle's point; in subtile that of a thread spun
out to fineness. The acute intellect pierces to its aim; the subtile (or subtle) intellect winds its way through
Sub"tile*ly, adv. Sub"tile*ness, n.
(Sub*til"i*ate) v. t. [LL. subtiliare.] To make thin or rare. [Obs.] Harvey. Sub`til*i*a"tion
n. [Obs.] Boyle.
(Sub"til*ism) n. The quality or state of being subtile; subtility; subtlety.
The high orthodox subtilism of Duns Scotus.Milman.
(Sub*til"i*ty) n. [L. subtilitas: cf. F. subtilité. See Subtle.] Subtilty. [R.]
(Sub`til*i*za"tion) n. [Cf. F. subtilization.]
1. The act of making subtile.
2. (Old Chem.) The operation of making so volatile as to rise in steam or vapor.
3. Refinement; subtlety; extreme attenuation.
(Sub"til*ize) v. t. [imp. & p. p. Subtilized ; p. pr. & vb. n. Subtilizing ] [L. subtiliser.]
1. To make thin or fine; to make less gross or coarse.
2. To refine; to spin into niceties; as, to subtilize arguments.
Nor as yet have we subtilized ourselves into savages.Burke.
(Sub"til*ize), v. i. To refine in argument; to make very nice distinctions. Milner.
(Sub"til*i`zer) n. One who subtilizes.
(Sub"til*ty) n. [Contr. fr. subtility.]
1. The quality or state of being subtile; thinness; fineness; as, the subtility of air or light.
2. Refinement; extreme acuteness; subtlety.
Intelligible discourses are spoiled by too much subtility in nice divisions.Locke.
3. Cunning; skill; craft. [Obs.]
To learn a lewd man this subtility.Chaucer.
4. Slyness in design; artifice; guile; a cunning design or artifice; a trick; subtlety.
O full of all subtility and all mischief.Acts xiii. 10.
In senses 2, 3, and 4 the word is more commonly written subtlety.