- 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 nuanced
Sophisticated, nuanced, melodious pop music, that sweeps you away.Belle & Sebastian Aren’t So Shy Anymore
January 7, 2015
The issue of authenticity in American hip-hop is rich and nuanced.The Cultural Crimes of Iggy Azalea
December 29, 2014
Hip-hop and faith have a long and sometimes conflicted history; but it was often presented in nuanced or subdued ways.Down With the King: Christianity Isn’t Hiding in Rap’s Closet
December 28, 2014
The price reflects its rarity as well, but also the finicky, difficult, and nuanced process of making Champagne.Champagne: You’re Drinking It All Wrong
December 20, 2014
The New York kingmaker who died Monday believed voters could actually handle a nuanced argument.David Garth, the Consultant Who Talked Up to Voters
December 15, 2014
- a subtle difference in colour, meaning, tone, etc; a shade or graduation
- to give subtle differences tocarefully nuanced words
Word Origin and History for nuanced
1896, past participle adjective from verb nuance (q.v.).
The new co-operative history of English literature which the University of Cambridge is now publishing prints "genre" without italics. And it even permits one contributor--and a contributor who is discussing Shakespeare!--to say that something is delicately "nuanced." Is there now an English verb "to nuance"? It is terrible to think of the bad language the scholars of the venerable English university might have used if "nuanced" had been first discovered in the text of an American author. [Scribner's Magazine," January 1911]
1886, from nuance (n.). Related: Nuanced.
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."
A fine shade of meaning: “I liked the film, but I know I missed some of its nuances.”