- extreme delicacy or subtlety in action, performance, skill, discrimination, taste, etc.
- skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management: exceptional diplomatic finesse.
- a trick, artifice, or stratagem.
- Bridge, Whist. an attempt to win a trick with a card while holding a higher card not in sequence with it, in the hope that the card or cards between will not be played.
- to use finesse or artifice.
- to make a finesse at cards.
- to bring about by finesse or artifice.
- to avoid; circumvent.
- to make a finesse with (a card).
- to force the playing of (a card) by a finesse.
Origin of finesse
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for finessed
At the same time, settlements are belittled (they can be “finessed” according to Morris).Of Herrings and Elephants: Benny Morris and "Palestinian Rejectionism"
April 16, 2012
He finessed questions about his personal opposition to contraception and found ways to keep jabbing back at Romney.Rick Santorum’s Beltway Curse Is Hurting His 2012 Campaign
February 24, 2012
Santorum finessed the question by saying his wife, Karen, had helped him write that section.Santorum’s Popularity Puzzle
February 13, 2012
The word "finessed" in my last, your compositor has transformed into finified.
As he had reached Her without equipment and without resources, they finessed a little about his leave.The Bbur-nma in English
Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
- elegant skill in style or performance
- subtlety and tact in handling difficult situations
- bridge whist an attempt to win a trick when opponents hold a high card in the suit led by playing a lower card, hoping the opponent who has already played holds the missing card
- a trick, artifice, or strategy
- to manage or bring about with finesse
- to play (a card) as a finesse
Word Origin and History for finessed
1746, originally as a term in whist; see finesse (n.). Related: Finessed; finessing.
1520s, from Middle French finesse "fineness, subtlety," from Old French fin "subtle, delicate" (see fine (adj.)).