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nice

[nahys]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective, nic·er, nic·est.
  1. pleasing; agreeable; delightful: a nice visit.
  2. amiably pleasant; kind: They are always nice to strangers.
  3. characterized by, showing, or requiring great accuracy, precision, skill, tact, care, or delicacy: nice workmanship; a nice shot; a nice handling of a crisis.
  4. showing or indicating very small differences; minutely accurate, as instruments: a job that requires nice measurements.
  5. minute, fine, or subtle: a nice distinction.
  6. having or showing delicate, accurate perception: a nice sense of color.
  7. refined in manners, language, etc.: Nice people wouldn't do such things.
  8. virtuous; respectable; decorous: a nice girl.
  9. suitable or proper: That was not a nice remark.
  10. carefully neat in dress, habits, etc.
  11. (especially of food) dainty or delicate.
  12. having fastidious, finicky, or fussy tastes: They're much too nice in their dining habits to enjoy an outdoor barbecue.
  13. Obsolete. coy, shy, or reluctant.
  14. Obsolete. unimportant; trivial.
  15. Obsolete. wanton.
Idioms
  1. make nice, to behave in a friendly, ingratiating, or conciliatory manner.
  2. nice and, sufficiently: It's nice and warm in here.

Origin of nice

1250–1300; Middle English: foolish, stupid < Old French: silly, simple < Latin nescius ignorant, incapable, equivalent to ne- negative prefix + sci- (stem of scīre to know; see science) + -us adj. suffix
Related formsnice·ly, adverbnice·ness, nouno·ver·nice, adjectiveo·ver·nice·ly, adverbo·ver·nice·ness, nounun·nice, adjectiveun·nice·ly, adverbun·nice·ness, noun
Can be confusednice niceness nicetynice Nicegneiss nice (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. friendly. 3. delicate, exact, exacting, critical, scrupulous, discriminating, discerning, particular. 7. polite. 10, 12. finical.

Antonyms

1. unpleasant. 2. unkind. 3. careless. 9. improper.

Usage note

The semantic history of nice is quite varied, as the etymology and the obsolete senses attest, and any attempt to insist on only one of its present senses as correct will not be in keeping with the facts of actual usage. If any criticism is valid, it might be that the word is used too often and has become a cliché lacking the qualities of precision and intensity that are embodied in many of its synonyms.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for make nice

nice

adjective
  1. pleasant or commendablea nice day
  2. kind or friendlya nice gesture of help
  3. good or satisfactorythey made a nice job of it
  4. subtle, delicate, or discriminatinga nice point in the argument
  5. precise; skilfula nice fit
  6. rare fastidious; respectablehe was not too nice about his methods
  7. obsolete
    1. foolish or ignorant
    2. delicate
    3. shy; modest
    4. wanton
  8. nice and pleasinglyit's nice and cool
Derived Formsnicely, adverbniceness, nounnicish, adjective

Word Origin

C13 (originally: foolish): from Old French nice simple, silly, from Latin nescius ignorant, from nescīre to be ignorant; see nescience

Nice

noun
  1. a city in SE France, on the Mediterranean: a leading resort of the French Riviera; founded by Phocaeans from Marseille in about the 3rd century bc . Pop: 342 738 (1999)

NICE

n acronym for
  1. (in Britain) National Institute for Clinical Excellence: a body established in 1999 to provide authoritative guidance on current best practice in medicine and to promote high-quality cost-effective medical treatment in the NHS
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for make nice

nice

adj.

late 13c., "foolish, stupid, senseless," from Old French nice (12c.) "careless, clumsy; weak; poor, needy; simple, stupid, silly, foolish," from Latin nescius "ignorant, unaware," literally "not-knowing," from ne- "not" (see un-) + stem of scire "to know" (see science). "The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj." [Weekley] -- from "timid" (pre-1300); to "fussy, fastidious" (late 14c.); to "dainty, delicate" (c.1400); to "precise, careful" (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to "agreeable, delightful" (1769); to "kind, thoughtful" (1830).

"In many examples from the 16th and 17th centuries it is difficult to say in what particular sense the writer intended it to be taken." [OED]

By 1926, it was pronounced "too great a favorite with the ladies, who have charmed out of it all its individuality and converted it into a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness." [Fowler]

"I am sure," cried Catherine, "I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should I not call it so?"
"Very true," said Henry, "and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk; and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for everything." [Jane Austen, "Northanger Abbey," 1803]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

make nice in Culture

Nice

[(nees)]

City in southeastern France on the Mediterranean Sea.

Note

Nice is the most famous resort of the French Riviera.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.