nuance

[ noo-ahns, nyoo-, noo-ahns, nyoo-; French ny-ahns ]
/ ˈnu ɑns, ˈnyu-, nuˈɑns, nyu-; French nüˈɑ̃s /
See synonyms for: nuance / nuances on Thesaurus.com

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.

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Origin of nuance

First recorded in 1775–85; from French: “shade, hue,” equivalent to nu(er) “to shade” (literally, “to cloud”), from unattested Vulgar Latin nūbāre, derivative of unattested nūba, for Latin nūbēs “cloud”) + -ance noun suffix; see -ance

OTHER WORDS FROM nuance

nu·anced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences 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

Cultural 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.