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Webster 1913 Edition


Nice

Nice

(nīs)
,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Nicer
(nī′sẽr)
;
sup
erl.
Nicest
.]
[OE., foolish, fr. OF.
nice
ignorant, fool, fr. L.
nescius
ignorant;
ne
not +
scius
knowing,
scire
to know. Perhaps influenced by E.
nesh
delicate, soft. See
No
, and
Science
.]
1.
Foolish; silly; simple; ignorant; also, weak; effeminate.
[Obs.]
Gower.
But say that we ben wise and nothing
nice
.
Chaucer.
2.
Of trifling moment; unimportant; trivial.
[Obs.]
The letter was not
nice
, but full of charge
Of dear import.
Shakespeare
4.
Overscrupulous or exacting; hard to please or satisfy; fastidious in small matters.
Curious not knowing, not exact but
nice
.
Pope.
And to taste
Think not I shall be
nice
.
Milton.
5.
Delicate; refined; dainty; pure; – of people.
Dear love, continue
nice
and chaste.
Donne.
A
nice
and subtile happiness.
Milton.
6.
Apprehending slight differences or delicate distinctions; distinguishing accurately or minutely; carefully discriminating;
as, a
nice
taste or judgment
; – of people.
“Our author happy in a judge so nice.”
Pope.
Nice verbal criticism.”
Coleridge.
7.
Done or made with careful labor; suited to excite admiration on account of exactness; evidencing great skill; exact; fine; finished;
as,
nice
proportions,
nice
workmanship, a
nice
application
.
8.
Hence:
Exactly or fastidiously discriminated; requiring close discrimination; fine; subtle;
as, a
nice
point of law, a
nice
distinction in philosophy
.
The difference is too
nice

Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice.
Pope.
9.
Pleasing; agreeable; gratifying; delightful; good;
as, a
nice
party; a
nice
excursion; a
nice
day; a
nice
sauce, etc.
; – of events, actions, experiences.
To make nice of
,
to be scrupulous about.
[Obs.]
Shak.
Syn. – Dainty; delicate; exquisite; fine; subtle; accurate; exact; correct; precise; particular; pleasant; kind; scrupulous; punctilious; fastidious; squeamish; finical; effeminate; well-mannered; well-behaved.

Webster 1828 Edition


Nice

NICE

,
Adj.
[G. To eat dainties or sweetmeats]
1.
Properly, soft; whence, delicate; tender; dainty; sweet or very pleasant to the taste; as a nice bit; nice food.
2.
Delicate; fine; applied to texture, composition or color; as cloth of a nice texture; nice tints of color.
3.
Accurate; exact; precise; as nice proportions; nice symmetry; nice workmanship; nice rules.
4.
Requiring scrupulous exactness; as a nice point.
5.
Perceiving the smallest difference; distinguishing accurately and minutely by perception; as a person of nice taste; hence,
6.
Perceiving accurately the smallest faults, errors or irregularities; distinguishing and judging with exactness; as a nice judge of a subject; nice discernment.
Our author happy in a judge so nice.
7.
Over scrupulous or exact.
Curious, not knowing; not exact, but nice.
8.
Delicate; scrupulously and minutely cautious.
The letter was not nice, but full of charge of dear import.
Dear love, continue nice and chaste.
9.
Fastidious; squeamish.
And to taste, think not I shall be nice.
10.
Delicate; easily injured.
How nice the reputation of the maid!
11.
Refined; as nice and subtle happiness.
12.
Having lucky hits. [Not used.]
13.
Weak; foolish; effeminate.
14.
Trivial; unimportant.
To make nice, to be scrupulous.

Definition 2021


Nice

Nice

See also: nice and NICE

English

Proper noun

Nice

  1. A city in southeast France on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, capital of the department of Alpes-Maritimes.
  2. A surname. (pronounced /ni:s/ or /naɪs/)

Derived terms

Translations

Anagrams


French

Etymology

From the Roman name, Latin Nīcaea, from Ancient Greek Νίκαια (Níkaia), from νίκη (níkē, victory).

Proper noun

Nice

  1. Nice

Derived terms

Anagrams


Portuguese

Proper noun

Nice f

  1. (Greek mythology) Nike (goddess of victory)
  2. Nice (a city in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

nice

nice

See also: Nice and NICE

English

Alternative forms

  • nyc (non-standard)

Pronunciation

  • enPR: nīs, IPA(key): /naɪs/
  • Rhymes: -aɪs

Adjective

nice (comparative nicer, superlative nicest)

  1. (obsolete) Silly, ignorant; foolish. [14th-17th c.]
  2. (now rare) Particular in one's conduct; scrupulous, painstaking; choosy. [from 14th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, II.2:
      There is nothing he seemed to be more carefull of than of his honesty, and observe a kinde of decencie of his person, and orderly decorum in his habits, were it on foot or on horsebacke. He was exceeding nice in performing his word or promise.
    • 1999, Joyce Crick, translating Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, Oxford 2008, p.83:
      But if I dispense with the dreams of neurotics, my main material, I cannot be too nice [transl. wählerisch] in my dealings with the remainder.
  3. (obsolete) Particular as regards rules or qualities; strict. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1818, Jane Austen, Persuasion:
      Good company requires only birth, education and manners, and with regard to education is not very nice. Birth and good manners are essential.
  4. Showing or requiring great precision or sensitive discernment; subtle. [from 16th c.]
    • 1914: Saki, Laura:
      "It's her own funeral, you know," said Sir Lulworth; "it's a nice point in etiquette how far one ought to show respect to one's own mortal remains."
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p.131:
      It would be a nice theological point to try and establish whether Ophis os Moslem or gnostic.
    • 2006, Clive James, North Face of Soho, Picador 2007, p.242:
      Why it should have attained such longevity is a nice question.
  5. (obsolete) Doubtful, as to the outcome; risky. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, IV.1:
      To set so rich a maine / On the nice hazard of one doubtfull houre? It were not good.
    • 1822, T. Creevey, Reminiscences, 28 Jul.:
      It has been a damned nice thing - the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.
  6. Respectable; virtuous. [from 18th c.]
    What is a nice person like you doing in a place like this?
  7. Pleasant, satisfactory. [from 18th c.]
    • 1998, Baha Men - Who Let the Dogs Out?
      When the party was nice, the party was jumpin' (Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo)
    • 2008, Rachel Cooke, The Guardian, 20 Apr.:
      "What's difficult is when you think someone is saying something nice about you, but you're not quite sure."
  8. Of a person: friendly, attractive. [from 18th c.]
  9. With "and", shows that the given adjective is desirable: pleasantly. [from 18th c.]
    The soup is nice and hot.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      We toted in the wood and got the fire going nice and comfortable. Lord James still set in one of the chairs and Applegate had cabbaged the other and was hugging the stove.
Quotations
  • 1710, Jonathan Swift, The Examiner No. XIV
    I have strictly observed this rule, and my imagination this minute represents before me a certain great man famous for this talent, to the constant practice of which he owes his twenty years’ reputation of the most skilful head in England, for the management of nice affairs.
  • 1930, H.M. Walker, The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case
    Here's another nice mess you've gotten us into.
  • 1973, Cockerel Chorus, Nice One, Cyril!
    Nice one, Cyril!
Usage notes

Sometimes used sarcastically to mean the opposite or to connote excess.

Synonyms
Antonyms
Related terms
Derived terms
Translations

Adverb

nice (comparative more nice, superlative most nice)

  1. (colloquial) Nicely.
    Children, play nice.
    He dresses real nice.

Interjection

nice!

  1. Used to signify a job well done.
    Nice! I couldn't have done better.
  2. Used to signify approval.
    Is that your new car? Nice!
Translations

Etymology 2

Name of a Unix program used to invoke a script or program with a specified priority, with the implication that running at a lower priority is "nice" (kind, etc.) because it leaves more resources for others.

Verb

nice (third-person singular simple present nices, present participle nicing, simple past and past participle niced)

  1. (transitive, computing, Unix) To run a process with a specified (usually lower) priority.
Derived terms

Anagrams