finesse

[fi-ness]
noun
  1. extreme delicacy or subtlety in action, performance, skill, discrimination, taste, etc.
  2. skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management: exceptional diplomatic finesse.
  3. a trick, artifice, or stratagem.
  4. 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.
verb (used without object), fi·nessed, fi·ness·ing.
  1. to use finesse or artifice.
  2. to make a finesse at cards.
verb (used with object), fi·nessed, fi·ness·ing.
  1. to bring about by finesse or artifice.
  2. to avoid; circumvent.
  3. to make a finesse with (a card).
  4. to force the playing of (a card) by a finesse.

Origin of finesse

1400–50; late Middle English: degree of excellence or purity < Middle French < Vulgar Latin *fīnitia. See fine1, -ice

Synonyms for finesse

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for finessed

Contemporary Examples of finessed

Historical Examples of finessed


British Dictionary definitions for finessed

finesse

noun
  1. elegant skill in style or performance
  2. subtlety and tact in handling difficult situations
  3. 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
  4. a trick, artifice, or strategy
verb
  1. to manage or bring about with finesse
  2. 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 finessed

finesse

v.

1746, originally as a term in whist; see finesse (n.). Related: Finessed; finessing.

finesse

n.

1520s, from Middle French finesse "fineness, subtlety," from Old French fin "subtle, delicate" (see fine (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper