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See also: Finesse

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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English fīnesse (degree of excellence; (of metal) fineness, purity), from Middle French finesse, Old French finesse (fineness; delicacy; slenderness),[1] from fine, fin (fine, thin) (from Latin fīnis (end); compare Middle English fīn (of superior quality; precious, valuable; admirable, pleasing; pure, refined; fineness, purity; delicate, exquisite, fine; sharp, thin))[2] + -esse (suffix forming nouns describing the condition of being something).[3]

The verb is derived from the noun.[4]

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

finesse (countable and uncountable, plural finesses)

  1. (uncountable) Skill in the handling or manipulation of a situation. [from c. 1520]
    Synonym: finessing
  2. (uncountable) The property of having elegance, grace, refinement, or skill. [from mid 16th c.]
  3. (countable) An adroit manoeuvre. [from mid 16th c.]
  4. (countable, card games) In bridge, whist, etc.: a technique which allows one to win a trick, usually by playing a card when it is thought that a card that can beat it is held by another player whose turn is over. [from early 18th c.]

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

finesse (third-person singular simple present finesses, present participle finessing, simple past and past participle finessed)

  1. (transitive, chiefly Canada, US, politics) To evade (a problem, situation, etc.) by using some clever argument or strategem. [from mid 20th c.]
  2. (transitive, card games) To play (a card) as a finesse. [from mid 18th c.]
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To handle or manage carefully or skilfully; to manipulate in a crafty way. [from mid 18th c.]
    • 2017, Kendrick Lamar, Humble
    • Finesse a nigga with some counterfeits, but now I'm countin' this Parmesan where my accountant lives.
    Synonym: zhoosh (slang)
  4. (intransitive, card games) To attempt to win a trick by finessing. [from mid 18th c.]

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ fīnesse, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 7 October 2018; “finesse” (US) / “finesse” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ fīn, adj.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 7 October 2018.
  3. ^ finesse, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, September 2016.
  4. ^ finesse, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, September 2016.

Further readingEdit


FrenchEdit

NounEdit

finesse f (plural finesses)

  1. fineness (of hair, writing etc.)
  2. thinness
  3. keenness, sharpness (of blade)
  4. fineness, delicacy; slenderness
  5. perceptiveness; sensitivity, finesse

Further readingEdit