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nicety

[nahy-si-tee]
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noun, plural ni·ce·ties.
  1. a delicate or fine point; punctilio: niceties of protocol.
  2. a fine distinction; subtlety; detail: the niceties of the filigree work.
  3. Usually niceties. a refined, elegant, or choice feature, as of manner or living: working hard to acquire the niceties of life.
  4. exactness or precision.
  5. the quality of being nice; niceness.
  6. delicacy of character, as of something requiring care or tact: a matter of considerable nicety.
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Origin of nicety

1275–1325; Middle English: silliness, extravagance, cleverness < Old French niceté. See nice, -ty2
Related formso·ver·ni·ce·ty, noun, plural o·ver·ni·ce·ties.
Can be confusednice niceness nicety
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for niceties

refinement, subtlety, rigor, nuance, meticulousness, detail, precision, shade, exactness

Examples from the Web for niceties

Contemporary Examples of niceties

Historical Examples of niceties


British Dictionary definitions for niceties

nicety

noun plural -ties
  1. a subtle point of delicacy or distinctiona nicety of etiquette
  2. (usually plural) a refinement or delicacythe niceties of first-class travel
  3. subtlety, delicacy, or precision
  4. excessive refinement; fastidiousness
  5. to a nicety with precision
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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 niceties

nicety

n.

mid-14c., "folly, stupidity," from Old French niceté "foolishness, childishness, simplicity," from nice "silly" (see nice). Underwent sense evolution parallel to nice, arriving at "minute, subtle point" 1580s and "exactitude" in 1650s. Phrase to a nicety "exactly" is attested from 1795.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper