- 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 finessing
They made for him boldly; there was no need of finessing in his case.Harvard Stories
Waldron Kintzing Post
And that shows that you are only a man after all; in spite of your finessing.The March Family Trilogy, Complete
William Dean Howells
He threw aside his first intention of finessing Belle into his bedroom on the plea of asking her to help him to pack.The Sins of the Children
Come, Chief Inspector, this finessing with me is highly improper on your part—highly improper.The Secret Agent
That desire was the one real and substantial thing in a somewhat superficial, egotistic, and finessing character.Stella Fregelius
H. Rider Haggard
- 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 finessing
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.)).