- 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 nuances
But even if he didn't understand all of the nuances of Lou's disability, he was convinced it was serious.The Stacks: The Day Lou Gehrig Delivered Baseball’s Gettysburg Address
July 4, 2014
His only offense was a moral one, though none of his critics could possibly know the terms and nuances of his marriage.Too Late To 'Pologize For NSA Revenge Porn Leak
June 28, 2014
The pair traveled to Penn Hills at least a dozen times over three months, teasing out the nuances and former life of the property.A Most Illegal Adventure with New York City’s Wildest Underground Event Planners
December 16, 2013
How many of the decision makers in Israel can confidently respond to the nuances of API?The Arab Peace Initiative Makes Its Way to the Knesset
May 20, 2013
It is part of a continuing quest to sort through the nuances and reach a modern conclusion in these turbulent times.The New Era of Evolution Helps Pols Switch Stance on Issues from Gay Marriage to Immigration
April 3, 2013
He was a stickler for the nuances of behaviour, especially in women.Painted Veils
It is short, pregnant—what is to follow is incorporated in its nuances.Iconoclasts
It has been well said that words are inadequate to describe the nuances of taste.A History of Chinese Literature
Herbert A. Giles
"The correspondences of nuances," he sings to his neighbour, who happens to be Whistler.Unicorns
In spite of the shock, the newness, Dr. Stern was sensitive to nuances.West Of The Sun
- a subtle difference in colour, meaning, tone, etc; a shade or graduation
- to give subtle differences tocarefully nuanced words
Word Origin and History for nuances
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.”