nuance [ noo-ahns, nyoo-, noo- ahns, nyoo-; n French y- ah] ns Synonyms Word Origin See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com noun, plural nu·anc·es . [ noo-ahn-siz, nyoo-, noo- ahn-siz, nyoo-; n French y- ah] ns /ˈnu ɑn sɪz, ˈnyu-, nuˈɑn sɪz, nyu-; nüˈɑ̃s/ French a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc. a very slight difference or variation in color or tone. Origin of nuance 1775–85;
shade, hue, equivalent to
) to shade (literally, to cloud <
Vulgar Latin *nūbāre,
-ance -ance Related forms nu·anced, adjective un·nu·anced, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for un-nuanced a subtle difference in colour, meaning, tone, etc; a shade or graduation to give subtle differences to carefully nuanced words Word Origin
C18: from French, from
nuer to show light and shade, ultimately from Latin nūbēs a cloud
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 un-nuanced nuance v.
nuance (n.). Related: Nuanced. nuance n.
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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A fine shade of meaning: “I liked the film, but I know I missed some of its nuances.”
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.