adj. sub·tler, sub·tlest
    • so slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive: a subtle smile
    • difficult to understand; abstruse: an argument whose subtle point was lost on her opponent
  1. able to make fine distinctions: a subtle mind
    • characterized by skill or ingenuity; clever
    • crafty or sly; devious
    • operating in a hidden, usually injurious way; insidious: a subtle poison