noun (plural niceties)(usually niceties)
- 1A fine detail or distinction, especially one regarded as intricate and fussy: she was never interested in the niceties of Greek and LatinMore example sentences
subtlety, fine point, nuance, refinement, detail
- But why be squeamish about fine points and legal niceties when we're at war?
- Fry's displaced neighbors may not have known it, but their financial future hung on a legal nicety - the distinction between real estate and personal property or, in legal terms, chattel.
- Legal niceties matter only when the interests of enemies are at stake.
- 1.1Accuracy or precision: she prided herself on her nicety of pronunciationMore example sentences
- Last year, Porto brushed aside Monaco; the previous year Milan won on penalties after a match that was long on tactical nicety but short on excitement for the neutral.
- This confluence happens 100 yards behind Bath railway station, and matches the city's nicety of line.
- Nevertheless, the book is rich in historical nicety culled from scholarly sources, and the avid fan of cultural folklore and the role of fraternal societies will experience it as a tough but rewarding nut to crack.
- 1.2A minor aspect of polite social behavior; a detail of etiquette: we were brought up to observe the nicetiesMore example sentences
- She would not mince her words or thoughts and never subscribed to social niceties of polite but fallacious and insincere expressions.
- The outside, or biruni, is by contrast a public space where social niceties must be observed.
- You don't have to follow the rules of social decorum or the niceties of society because you are privileged.
to a nicety
- Precisely.More example sentences
- Come the next election and these guys were beginning to suspect that the populace had them sussed to a nicety and, lacking any other credible platform, began to play the nationalist card.
- Each is provided with an eight-inch cylinder, which may be made to revolve by a delicate system of clockwork so finely regulated that both instruments work together to a nicety.
- Dawson and Wilkinson have played so much together as to have the ploy down to a nicety which, at the crunch, as the World Cup final so graphically illustrated, can be just the ticket.
Middle English (in the sense 'folly, foolish conduct'): from Old French nicete, based on Latin nescius 'ignorant' (see nice).