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nice

[nahys] /naɪs/
adjective, nicer, nicest.
1.
pleasing; agreeable; delightful:
a nice visit.
2.
amiably pleasant; kind:
They are always nice to strangers.
3.
characterized by, showing, or requiring great accuracy, precision, skill, tact, care, or delicacy:
nice workmanship; a nice shot; a nice handling of a crisis.
4.
showing or indicating very small differences; minutely accurate, as instruments:
a job that requires nice measurements.
5.
minute, fine, or subtle:
a nice distinction.
6.
having or showing delicate, accurate perception:
a nice sense of color.
7.
refined in manners, language, etc.:
Nice people wouldn't do such things.
8.
virtuous; respectable; decorous:
a nice girl.
9.
suitable or proper:
That was not a nice remark.
10.
carefully neat in dress, habits, etc.
11.
(especially of food) dainty or delicate.
12.
having fastidious, finicky, or fussy tastes:
They're much too nice in their dining habits to enjoy an outdoor barbecue.
13.
Obsolete. coy, shy, or reluctant.
14.
Obsolete. unimportant; trivial.
15.
Obsolete, wanton.
Idioms
16.
make nice, to behave in a friendly, ingratiating, or conciliatory manner.
17.
nice and, sufficiently:
It's nice and warm in here.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English: foolish, stupid < Old French: silly, simple < Latin nescius ignorant, incapable, equivalent to ne- negative prefix + sci- (stem of scīre to know; see science) + -us adj. suffix
Related forms
nicely, adverb
niceness, noun
overnice, adjective
overnicely, adverb
overniceness, noun
unnice, adjective
unnicely, adverb
unniceness, noun
Can be confused
nice, niceness, nicety.
nice, Nice.
gneiss, nice (see usage note at the current entry)
Synonyms
2. friendly. 3. delicate, exact, exacting, critical, scrupulous, discriminating, discerning, particular. 7. polite. 10, 12. finical.
Antonyms
1. unpleasant. 2. unkind. 3. careless. 9. improper.
Usage note
The semantic history of nice is quite varied, as the etymology and the obsolete senses attest, and any attempt to insist on only one of its present senses as correct will not be in keeping with the facts of actual usage. If any criticism is valid, it might be that the word is used too often and has become a cliché lacking the qualities of precision and intensity that are embodied in many of its synonyms.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for nicely
  • Nay, that's certain: they that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton.
  • We are not too nicely to scrutinize motives as long as action is irreproachable.
  • Our own interest is again a marvellous instrument for nicely putting out our eyes.
  • And in both cases, the skin wasn't as nicely colored.
  • The frames in the honey super were filling in nicely.
  • And, as you can tell from the photos, it is surviving the mastiff's giant paws quite nicely.
  • Now, nearly two years after the redesign, the oak is recovering nicely and the resident deer are coexisting with the plants.
  • They are made from polyurethane plastic, so they'll hold moisture nicely and were a cinch to drill into.
  • The coffee flavor is subtle and works nicely with the rich chocolate.
  • Compact, twiggy plant that is nicely mounded, takes well to shearing.
British Dictionary definitions for nicely

nice

/naɪs/
adjective
1.
pleasant or commendable: a nice day
2.
kind or friendly: a nice gesture of help
3.
good or satisfactory: they made a nice job of it
4.
subtle, delicate, or discriminating: a nice point in the argument
5.
precise; skilful: a nice fit
6.
(rare) fastidious; respectable: he was not too nice about his methods
7.
(obsolete)
  1. foolish or ignorant
  2. delicate
  3. shy; modest
  4. wanton
8.
nice and, pleasingly: it's nice and cool
Derived Forms
nicely, adverb
niceness, noun
nicish, adjective
Word Origin
C13 (originally: foolish): from Old French nice simple, silly, from Latin nescius ignorant, from nescīre to be ignorant; see nescience

Nice

/French nis/
noun
1.
a city in SE France, on the Mediterranean: a leading resort of the French Riviera; founded by Phocaeans from Marseille in about the 3rd century bc. Pop: 342 738 (1999)

NICE

/naɪs/
noun acronym
1.
(in Britain) National Institute for Clinical Excellence: a body established in 1999 to provide authoritative guidance on current best practice in medicine and to promote high-quality cost-effective medical treatment in the NHS
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
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Word Origin and History for nicely
adv.

early 14c., "foolishly," from nice + -ly (2). From c.1600 as "scrupulously;" 1714 as "in an agreeable fashion."

nice

adj.

late 13c., "foolish, stupid, senseless," from Old French nice (12c.) "careless, clumsy; weak; poor, needy; simple, stupid, silly, foolish," from Latin nescius "ignorant, unaware," literally "not-knowing," from ne- "not" (see un-) + stem of scire "to know" (see science). "The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj." [Weekley] -- from "timid" (pre-1300); to "fussy, fastidious" (late 14c.); to "dainty, delicate" (c.1400); to "precise, careful" (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to "agreeable, delightful" (1769); to "kind, thoughtful" (1830).

"In many examples from the 16th and 17th centuries it is difficult to say in what particular sense the writer intended it to be taken." [OED]
By 1926, it was pronounced "too great a favorite with the ladies, who have charmed out of it all its individuality and converted it into a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness." [Fowler]
"I am sure," cried Catherine, "I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should I not call it so?"
"Very true," said Henry, "and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk; and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for everything." [Jane Austen, "Northanger Abbey," 1803]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nicely in Culture
Nice [(nees)]

City in southeastern France on the Mediterranean Sea.

Note: Nice is the most famous resort of the French Riviera.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for nicely

nice

Related Terms

make nice


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for nicely

NICE

National Institute for Consumer Education
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

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