[ nahys ]
See synonyms for nice on
adjective,nic·er, nic·est.
  1. pleasing; agreeable; delightful: a nice visit.

  2. amiably pleasant; kind: They are always nice to strangers.

  1. characterized by, showing, or requiring great accuracy, precision, skill, tact, care, or delicacy: nice workmanship; a nice shot; a nice handling of a crisis.

  2. showing or indicating very small differences; minutely accurate, as instruments: a job that requires nice measurements.

  3. minute, fine, or subtle: a nice distinction.

  4. having or showing delicate, accurate perception: a nice sense of color.

  5. refined in manners, language, etc.: Nice people wouldn't do such things.

  6. virtuous; respectable; decorous: a nice girl.

  7. suitable or proper: That was not a nice remark.

  8. carefully neat in dress, habits, etc.

  9. (especially of food) dainty or delicate.

  10. having fastidious, finicky, or fussy tastes: They're much too nice in their dining habits to enjoy an outdoor barbecue.

  11. Obsolete. coy, shy, or reluctant.

  12. Obsolete. unimportant; trivial.

  13. Obsolete. wanton.

Idioms about nice

  1. make nice, to behave in a friendly, ingratiating, or conciliatory manner.

  2. nice and, sufficiently: It's nice and warm in here.

Origin of nice

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English: “foolish, stupid,” from Old French: “silly, simple,” from Latin nescius “ignorant, incapable,” equivalent to ne- negative prefix + sci- (stem of scīre “to know”; see science) + -us adjective suffix

usage note For nice

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.

Other words for nice

Opposites for nice

Other words from nice

  • nicely, adverb
  • niceness, noun
  • o·ver·nice, adjective
  • o·ver·nice·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·nice·ness, noun
  • un·nice, adjective
  • un·nice·ly, adverb
  • un·nice·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with nice

Other definitions for Nice (2 of 2)

[ nees ]

  1. a port in and the capital of Alpes-Maritimes, in southeastern France, on the Mediterranean: known as a vacation resort.

Origin of Nice

From French, (Provençal Niça ), from Latin Nīcaea, from Greek Nīkaía, proper noun use of adjective nīkaía “victorious,” from nī́kē “victory” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use nice in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nice (1 of 3)


/ (naɪs) /

  1. pleasant or commendable: a nice day

  2. kind or friendly: a nice gesture of help

  1. good or satisfactory: they made a nice job of it

  2. subtle, delicate, or discriminating: a nice point in the argument

  3. precise; skilful: a nice fit

  4. rare fastidious; respectable: he was not too nice about his methods

  5. obsolete

    • foolish or ignorant

    • delicate

    • shy; modest

    • wanton

  6. nice and pleasingly: it's nice and cool

Origin of nice

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

Derived forms of nice

  • nicely, adverb
  • niceness, noun
  • nicish, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Nice (2 of 3)


/ (French nis) /

  1. 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 3)


/ (naɪs) /

n acronym for
  1. (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

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

Cultural definitions for Nice


[ (nees) ]

City in southeastern France on the Mediterranean Sea.

Notes for Nice

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.