- a delicate or fine point; punctilio: niceties of protocol.
- a fine distinction; subtlety; detail: the niceties of the filigree work.
- Usually niceties. a refined, elegant, or choice feature, as of manner or living: working hard to acquire the niceties of life.
- exactness or precision.
- the quality of being nice; niceness.
- delicacy of character, as of something requiring care or tact: a matter of considerable nicety.
Origin of nicety
Examples from the Web for nicety
For to exaggerate with judgment one must begin by measuring with nicety.The Secret Agent
Calculating the instant to a nicety, he paid off the sheet and pulled up the tiller.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
To the college student life is not classified and systematized to a nicety.College Teaching
It was to accomplish this nicety that the principle of the club was found to be so well adapted.The Book-Hunter
John Hill Burton
He had gauged the character of his most uncompromising and powerful enemy to a nicety.Half a Hero
- a subtle point of delicacy or distinctiona nicety of etiquette
- (usually plural) a refinement or delicacythe niceties of first-class travel
- subtlety, delicacy, or precision
- excessive refinement; fastidiousness
- to a nicety with precision
Word Origin and History for nicety
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.