- extreme delicacy or subtlety in action, performance, skill, discrimination, taste, etc.
- skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management: exceptional diplomatic finesse.
- a trick, artifice, or stratagem.
- Bridge, Whist. an attempt to win a trick with a card while holding a higher card not in sequence with it, in the hope that the card or cards between will not be played.
- to use finesse or artifice.
- to make a finesse at cards.
- to bring about by finesse or artifice.
- to avoid; circumvent.
- to make a finesse with (a card).
- to force the playing of (a card) by a finesse.
Origin of finesse
Synonyms for finesseSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for finesseguile, acumen, subtlety, tact, sophistication, quickness, savvy, skill, competence, stratagem, adroitness, diplomacy, artifice, racket, polish, gimmick, ruse, cleverness, adeptness, discretion
Examples from the Web for finesse
Contemporary Examples of finesse
The best whiskies are made with finesse and the same attention to detail and mindfulness as the finest teas or sushi.Watch Out, Scotland! Japanese Whisky Is on the Rise
November 16, 2014
A lot of Republican candidates are trying to finesse the establishment-Tea Party Maginot Line and be both things to all people.The Tea Party Is Dead? Nah, That’s Just a Flesh Wound
May 20, 2014
Whereas the first three seasons were subtle, there is a decided lack of finesse here.‘Arrested Development’: Why Netflix’s Revival Failed
May 27, 2013
Perhaps the language loses some finesse after being translated from Italian, by Jamie Richards.This Week’s Hot Reads: May 29, 2012
May 29, 2012
The days when skill in ball placement and finesse could outgun power have long past.Nadal's Head Game
September 3, 2009
Historical Examples of finesse
As he was clumsy in finesse, she understood his idea, and her eyes flashed.Quaint Courtships
We see nothing but nature; not a particle of false delicacy or finesse.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
Through his father's finesse, Paul moved in select London circles.Oswald Langdon
Carson Jay Lee
The public taste condones it, may even be said to relish it to finesse.Recollections
David Christie Murray
However, I have no doubt that with a little delicacy and finesse the end may be attained.The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
- elegant skill in style or performance
- subtlety and tact in handling difficult situations
- bridge whist an attempt to win a trick when opponents hold a high card in the suit led by playing a lower card, hoping the opponent who has already played holds the missing card
- a trick, artifice, or strategy
- to manage or bring about with finesse
- to play (a card) as a finesse
Word Origin for finesse
1520s, from Middle French finesse "fineness, subtlety," from Old French fin "subtle, delicate" (see fine (adj.)).
1746, originally as a term in whist; see finesse (n.). Related: Finessed; finessing.