noun, plural niceties.
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.

1275–1325; Middle English: silliness, extravagance, cleverness < Old French niceté. See nice, -ty

overnicety, noun, plural overniceties.

nice, niceness, nicety. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nicety (ˈnaɪsɪtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  a subtle point of delicacy or distinction: a nicety of etiquette
2.  (usually plural) a refinement or delicacy: the niceties of first-class travel
3.  subtlety, delicacy, or precision
4.  excessive refinement; fastidiousness
5.  to a nicety with precision

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

mid-14c., "folly, stupidity," from O.Fr. niceté "foolishness," 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
For academe though, such niceties do not seem commonplace.
Other than the expected niceties, the phone has little going on inside.
Daley has never shown much interest in the niceties of checks and balances.
He's conscientious about such authorial niceties as setting the scene and
  attributing dialogue.
Related Words
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