Dictionary.com Unabridged


1 [fahyn]
adjective, finer, finest.
of superior or best quality; of high or highest grade: fine wine.
choice, excellent, or admirable: a fine painting.
consisting of minute particles: fine sand; a fine purée.
very thin or slender: fine thread.
keen or sharp, as a tool: Is the knife fine enough to carve well?
delicate in texture; filmy: fine cotton fabric.
delicately fashioned: fine tracery.
highly skilled or accomplished: a fine musician.
trained to the maximum degree, as an athlete.
characterized by or affecting refinement or elegance: a fine lady.
polished or refined: fine manners.
affectedly ornate or elegant: A style so fine repels the average reader.
delicate or subtle: a fine distinction.
bright and clear: a fine day; fine skin.
healthy; well: In spite of his recent illness, he looks fine.
showy or smart; elegant in appearance: a bird of fine plumage.
good-looking or handsome: a fine young man.
(of a precious metal or its alloy) free from impurities or containing a large amount of pure metal: fine gold; Sterling silver is 92.5 percent fine.
Informal. in an excellent manner; very well: He did fine on the exams. She sings fine.
very small: She writes so fine I can hardly read it.
Billiards, Pool. in such a way that the driven ball barely touches the object ball in passing.
Nautical. as close as possible to the wind: sailing fine.
verb (used without object), fined, fining.
to become fine or finer, as by refining.
to become less, as in size or proportions; reduce; diminish (often followed by down ): The plumpness fines down with exercise.
verb (used with object), fined, fining.
to make fine or finer, especially by refining or pulverizing.
to reduce the size or proportions of (often used with down or away ): to fine down the heavy features; to fine away superfluous matter in a design.
to clarify (wines or spirits) by filtration.
Mining. crushed ore sufficiently fine to pass through a given screen. Compare short ( def 29e ).
Agriculture. the fine bits of corn kernel knocked off during handling of the grain.
cut fine, to calculate precisely, especially without allowing for possible error or accident: To finish in ten minutes is to cut it too fine.

1250–1300; Middle English fin < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin fīnis end, utmost limit, highest point

1. finished, consummate, perfect; select. Fine, choice, elegant, exquisite are terms of praise with reference to quality. Fine is a general term: a fine horse, person, book. Choice implies a discriminating selection of the object in question: a choice piece of steak. Elegant suggests a refined and graceful superiority that is generally associated with luxury and a cultivated taste: elegant furnishings. Exquisite suggests an admirable delicacy, finish, or perfection: an exquisite piece of lace. 3. powdered, pulverized. 5. acute.

1. inferior.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To finest
World English Dictionary
fine1 (faɪn)
1.  excellent or choice in quality; very good of its kind: a fine speech
2.  superior in skill, ability, or accomplishment: a fine violinist
3.  (of weather) clear and dry
4.  enjoyable or satisfying: a fine time
5.  informal (postpositive) quite well; in satisfactory health: I feel fine
6.  satisfactory; acceptable: that's fine by me
7.  of delicate composition or careful workmanship: fine crystal
8.  (of precious metals) pure or having a high or specified degree of purity: fine silver; gold 98 per cent fine
9.  subtle in perception; discriminating: a fine eye for antique brasses
10.  abstruse or subtle: a fine point in argument
11.  very thin or slender: fine hair
12.  very small: fine dust; fine print
13.  (of edges, blades, etc) sharp; keen
14.  ornate, showy, or smart
15.  good-looking; handsome: a fine young woman
16.  polished, elegant, or refined: a fine gentleman
17.  morally upright and commendable: a fine man
18.  cricket (of a fielding position) oblique to and behind the wicket: fine leg
19.  informal (prenominal) disappointing or terrible: a fine mess
20.  informal quite well; all right: that suits me fine
21.  a nonstandard word for finely
22.  billiards, snooker (of a stroke on the cue ball) so as to merely brush the object ball
23.  cut it fine to allow little margin of time, space, etc
vb (often foll by down or away) (foll by up)
24.  to make or become finer; refine
25.  to make or become smaller
26.  (tr) to clarify (wine, etc) by adding finings
27.  (tr) billiards, snooker to hit (a cue ball) fine
28.  informal (Austral), (NZ) (of the weather) to become fine
[C13: from Old French fin, from Latin fīnis end, boundary, as in fīnis honōrum the highest degree of honour]

fine2 (faɪn)
1.  a certain amount of money exacted as a penalty: a parking fine
2.  a payment made by a tenant at the start of his tenancy to reduce his subsequent rent; premium
3.  feudal law a sum of money paid by a man to his lord, esp for the privilege of transferring his land to another
4.  a method of transferring land in England by bringing a fictitious law suit: abolished 1833
5.  in fine
 a.  in short; briefly
 b.  in conclusion; finally
6.  (tr) to impose a fine on
[C12 (in the sense: conclusion, settlement): from Old French fin; see fine1]

fine3 (ˈfiːneɪ)
1.  the point at which a piece is to end, usually after a da capo or dal segno
2.  an ending or finale
[Italian, from Latin fīnis end]

fine4 (fin)
brandy of ordinary quality
[literally: fine]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. fin "perfected, of highest quality," from L. finis "end, limit" (see finish); hence "acme, peak, height," as in finis boni "the highest good." In French, the main meaning remains "delicate, intricately skillful;" in English since mid-15c. fine is also a
general expression of admiration or approval, the equivalent of Fr. beau (cf. fine arts, 1767, translating Fr. beaux-arts). Related: Finely; finer; finest. Fine print "qualifications and limitations of a deal" first recorded 1960. Fine-tune (v.) is 1969, a back-formation from fine-tuning (1924), originally in reference to radio receivers.

c.1200, "termination," from O.Fr. fin "end," from M.L. finis "a payment in settlement, fine or tax," from L. finis "end" (see finish). Modern meaning is via sense of "sum of money paid for exemption from punishment or to compensate for injury" (mid-14c., from the same sense
in Anglo-Fr., late 13c.) and from phrases such as to make fine "make one's peace, settle a matter" (c.1300). Meaning "sum of money imposed as penalty for some offense" is first recorded 1520s. The verb (c.1300) originally meant "pay as a ransom or penalty;" inverted meaning "to punish by a fine" is from 1550s. Related: Fined; fining.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Students work with, and learn from, the world's finest artists.
We should have a good navy, and our sea-coast defences should be put in the
  finest possible condition.
The fluency and ornaments of the finest poems or music or orations or
  recitations are not independent but dependent.
Part of the afternoon had waned, but much of it was left, and what was left was
  of the finest and rarest quality.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature