Definition of nuance in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈn(y)o͞oˌäns/


A subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound: the nuances of facial expression and body language
More example sentences
  • It's not a point of view I've ever heard before, and I may not entirely have got the subtler nuances of it.
  • In short, he's learning subtle nuances.
  • To them, I say, you obviously don't appreciate the subtle comedic nuances of Question Time.
fine distinction, subtle difference;
shade, shading, gradation, variation, degree;
subtlety, nicety, overtone


[with object]
Give nuances to: the effect of the music is nuanced by the social situation of listeners
More example sentences
  • Each mood and move is perfectly underscored and nuanced by sensitively composed music.
  • So, yes, they talk around the edges - nuancing this, quibbling with that - as they search for an edge in an election year.
  • Of course, a ‘blanket ban’ on drinking on public transport will be nuanced much like the smoking ban was.


Late 18th century: from French, 'shade, subtlety', from nuer 'to shade', based on Latin nubes 'cloud'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nu·ance

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