nuance

[ noo-ahns, nyoo-, noo-ahns, nyoo-; French ny-ahns ]
/ ˈnu ɑns, ˈnyu-, nuˈɑns, nyu-; French nüˈɑ̃s /

noun, plural nu·anc·es [noo-ahn-siz, nyoo-, noo-ahn-siz, nyoo-; French ny-ahns] /ˈnu ɑn sɪz, ˈnyu-, nuˈɑn sɪz, nyu-; French nüˈɑ̃s/.

a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc.
a very slight difference or variation in color or tone.

Nearby words

  1. nu soul,
  2. nu, u,
  3. nu-,
  4. nu-metal,
  5. nu-value,
  6. nuanced,
  7. nub,
  8. nuba,
  9. nubain,
  10. nubbin

Origin of nuance

1775–85; < French: shade, hue, equivalent to nu(er) to shade (literally, to cloud < Vulgar Latin *nūbāre, derivative of *nūba, for Latin nūbēs cloud) + -ance -ance

Related formsnu·anced, adjectiveun·nu·anced, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nuance


British Dictionary definitions for nuance

nuance

/ (njuːˈɑːns, ˈnjuːɑːns) /

noun

a subtle difference in colour, meaning, tone, etc; a shade or graduation

verb (tr; passive)

to give subtle differences tocarefully nuanced words

Word Origin for nuance

C18: from French, from nuer to show light and shade, ultimately from Latin nūbēs a cloud

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 nuance
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for nuance

nuance

[ (nooh-ahns) ]

A fine shade of meaning: “I liked the film, but I know I missed some of its nuances.”

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.