[ fi-ness ]
/ fɪˈnɛss /


verb (used without object), fi·nessed, fi·ness·ing.

to use finesse or artifice.
to make a finesse at cards.

verb (used with object), fi·nessed, fi·ness·ing.

Nearby words

  1. fineness ratio,
  2. finer,
  3. finery,
  4. fines herbes,
  5. finespun,
  6. finest,
  7. finestra,
  8. finfish,
  9. finfoot,
  10. fingal's cave

Origin of finesse

1400–50; late Middle English: degree of excellence or purity < Middle French < Vulgar Latin *fīnitia. See fine1, -ice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for finesse

British Dictionary definitions for finesse


/ (fɪˈnɛs) /


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

C15: from Old French, from fin fine, delicate; see fine 1

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 finesse
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper