- a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc.
- a very slight difference or variation in color or tone.
Origin of nuance
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for nuance
He has none of the subtlety and nuance of black conservative academics such as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.The Conservatives' Great Black Hope
May 19, 2014
What these trips show is that there is a bit of nuance to life in North Korea.North Korean Tourism: There’s an App for That
May 10, 2014
I do not envy him this ministry of reconciliation, which is fraught with complexity and nuance.What the Archbishop of Canterbury Should Have Said About Gay Rights
April 13, 2014
Mistakes happen, nuance is often lost, and everything is seen through a prism of who is winning and who is losing.When Campaign Spin Becomes Fact
March 21, 2014
Perhaps they're loath to identify themselves with a worldview that leaves so little room for nuance.Welcome to Glenn Greenwald, Inc.?
February 10, 2014
There was a nuance of profound bewilderment in her exclamation.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
They do not understand me; the big noisy boors do not understand rhythm or nuance.Melomaniacs
He was the master of the nuance, and the nuance was his lyricism, his special gift, his genius.Adventures in the Arts
Of course I don't expect you, just at first, to feel the difference, to see the nuance.The Reef
The sand is fine as face powder, nuance Rachel, packed hard.Mr. Incoul's Misadventure
- a subtle difference in colour, meaning, tone, etc; a shade or graduation
- to give subtle differences tocarefully nuanced words
Word Origin and History for nuance
1781, from French nuance "slight difference, shade of color" (17c.), from nuer "to shade," from nue "cloud," from Gallo-Romance *nuba, from Latin nubes "a cloud, mist, vapor," from PIE *sneudh- "fog" (cf. Avestan snaoda "clouds," Latin obnubere "to veil," Welsh nudd "fog," Greek nython, in Hesychius "dark, dusky"). According to Klein, a reference to "the different colors of the clouds."
1886, from nuance (n.). Related: Nuanced.
A fine shade of meaning: “I liked the film, but I know I missed some of its nuances.”