[ nahys ]
/ naɪs /

adjective, nic·er, nic·est.


    make nice, to behave in a friendly, ingratiating, or conciliatory manner.
    nice and, sufficiently: It's nice and warm in here.

Origin of nice

1250–1300; Middle English: foolish, stupid < Old French: silly, simple < Latin nescius ignorant, incapable, equivalent to ne- negative prefix + sci- (stem of scīre to know; see science) + -us adj. suffix
Related forms
Can be confusednice niceness nicetynice Nicegneiss nice (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

The semantic history of nice is quite varied, as the etymology and the obsolete senses attest, and any attempt to insist on only one of its present senses as correct will not be in keeping with the facts of actual usage. If any criticism is valid, it might be that the word is used too often and has become a cliché lacking the qualities of precision and intensity that are embodied in many of its synonyms.

Definition for nice (2 of 3)


[ nees ]
/ nis /


a port in and the capital of Alpes-Maritimes, in SE France, on the Mediterranean: resort.
Can be confusednice Nice

Definition for nice (3 of 3)


[ alp-ma-ree-teem ]
/ alp ma riˈtim /


a department in SE France. 1527 sq. mi. (3955 sq. km). Capital: Nice. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nice

British Dictionary definitions for nice (1 of 4)


/ (naɪs) /


Derived Formsnicely, adverbniceness, nounnicish, adjective

Word Origin for nice

C13 (originally: foolish): from Old French nice simple, silly, from Latin nescius ignorant, from nescīre to be ignorant; see nescience

British Dictionary definitions for nice (2 of 4)


/ (French nis) /


a city in SE France, on the Mediterranean: a leading resort of the French Riviera; founded by Phocaeans from Marseille in about the 3rd century bc . Pop: 342 738 (1999)

British Dictionary definitions for nice (3 of 4)


/ (naɪs) /

n acronym for

(in Britain) National Institute for Clinical Excellence: a body established in 1999 to provide authoritative guidance on current best practice in medicine and to promote high-quality cost-effective medical treatment in the NHS

British Dictionary definitions for nice (4 of 4)


/ (French alp maritim) /


a department of the SE corner of France in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region. Capital: Nice. Pop: 1 045 973 (2003 est). Area: 4298 sq km (1676 sq miles)
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 nice


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for nice


[ (nees) ]

City in southeastern France on the Mediterranean Sea.


Nice is the most famous resort of the French Riviera.
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.