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nicety

[nahy-si-tee] /ˈnaɪ sɪ ti/
noun, plural niceties.
1.
a delicate or fine point; punctilio:
niceties of protocol.
2.
a fine distinction; subtlety; detail:
the niceties of the filigree work.
3.
Usually, niceties. a refined, elegant, or choice feature, as of manner or living:
working hard to acquire the niceties of life.
4.
exactness or precision.
5.
the quality of being nice; niceness.
6.
delicacy of character, as of something requiring care or tact:
a matter of considerable nicety.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English: silliness, extravagance, cleverness < Old French niceté. See nice, -ty
Related forms
overnicety, noun, plural overniceties.
Can be confused
nice, niceness, nicety.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for over nicety

nicety

/ˈnaɪsɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
a subtle point of delicacy or distinction: a nicety of etiquette
2.
(usually pl) 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 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 over nicety

nicety

n.

mid-14c., "folly, stupidity," from Old French niceté "foolishness, childishness, simplicity," 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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