Why was clemency trending last week?
1896, past participle adjective from verb nuance (q.v.).
The new co-operative history of English literature which the University of Cambridge is now publishing prints "genre" without italics. And it even permits one contributor--and a contributor who is discussing Shakespeare!--to say that something is delicately "nuanced." Is there now an English verb "to nuance"? It is terrible to think of the bad language the scholars of the venerable English university might have used if "nuanced" had been first discovered in the text of an American author. [Scribner's Magazine," January 1911]
1781, from French nuance "slight difference, shade of color" (17c.), from nuer "to shade," from nue "cloud," from Gallo-Romance *nuba, from Latin nubes "a cloud, mist, vapor," from PIE *sneudh- "fog" (cf. Avestan snaoda "clouds," Latin obnubere "to veil," Welsh nudd "fog," Greek nython, in Hesychius "dark, dusky"). According to Klein, a reference to "the different colors of the clouds."
1886, from nuance (n.). Related: Nuanced.
A fine shade of meaning: “I liked the film, but I know I missed some of its nuances.”