See also: Nice, NICE, -nice, and niče

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English nyce, nice, nys, from Old French nice, niche, nisce (simple, foolish, ignorant), from Latin nescius (ignorant, not knowing); compare nesciō (to know not, be ignorant of), from ne (not) + sciō (to know).

Adjective edit

nice (comparative nicer, superlative nicest)

  1. (chiefly informal) Pleasant, satisfactory. [from 18th c.]
    • 1998, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”, performed by Baha Men:
      When the party was nice, the party was jumpin' (Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo)
    • 2008 April 19, Rachel Cooke, quoting David Lodge, “Nice work”, in The Observer[1], →ISSN:
      What's difficult is when you think someone is saying something nice about you, but you're not quite sure.
  2. (chiefly informal) Of a person: friendly, attractive. [from 18th c.]
  3. Respectable; virtuous. [from 18th c.]
    What is a nice person like you doing in a place like this?
    • 1995, Nick Hornby, High Fidelity, London: Victor Gollancz, →ISBN, page 14:
      She was so nice, in fact, that she wouldn't let me put my hand underneath or even on top of her bra, and so I finished with her, although obviously I didn't tell her why.
  4. (with and, chiefly informal) Shows that the given adjective is desirable, or acts as a mild intensifier; pleasantly, quite. [from 18th c.]
    The soup is nice and hot.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter VIII, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      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.
  5. (chiefly informal) Giving a favorable review or having a favorable impression.
    For Candy Crush Saga, the critics were far nicer than the audience (7.9/10 vs. 3.2/10). [2]
  6. (chiefly informal) Showing refinement or delicacy, proper, seemly
    a nice way of putting it
  7. (obsolete) Silly, ignorant; foolish. [14th–17th c.]
  8. (now rare) Particular in one's conduct; scrupulous, painstaking; choosy. [from 14th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 2, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC:
      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.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:
      Mr Blifil, I am confident, understands himself better than to think of seeing my niece any more this morning, after what hath happened. Women are of a nice contexture; and our spirits, when disordered, are not to be recomposed in a moment.
    • 1999, Sigmund Freud, translated by Joyce Crick, The Interpretation of Dreams, Oxford, published 2008, page 83:
      But if I dispense with the dreams of neurotics, my main material, I cannot be too nice [translating wählerisch] in my dealings with the remainder.
  9. (dated) Having particular tastes; fussy, fastidious. [from 14th c.]
  10. (obsolete) Particular as regards rules or qualities; strict. [16th–19th c.]
    • 1815 December (indicated as 1816), [Jane Austen], chapter 14, in Emma: [], volume II, London: [] [Charles Roworth and James Moyes] for John Murray, →OCLC:
      “Well, my dear,” he deliberately began, “considering we never saw her before, she seems a very pretty sort of young lady; and I dare say she was very much pleased with you. She speaks a little too quick. A little quickness of voice there is which rather hurts the ear. But I believe I am nice; I do not like strange voices; and nobody speaks like you and poor Miss Taylor. ..."
    • 1818, Jane Austen, chapter 16, in Persuasion:
      "Good company requires only birth, education and manners, and with regard to education is not very nice. Birth and good manners are essential."
  11. 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, published 1992, page 131:
      It would be a nice theological point to try and establish whether Ophis is Moslem or gnostic.
    • 2006, Clive James, North Face of Soho, Picador, published 2007, page 242:
      Why it should have attained such longevity is a nice question.
  12. (obsolete) Easily injured; delicate; dainty.
  13. (obsolete) Doubtful, as to the outcome; risky. [16th–19th c.]
    • c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
      [W]ere it good / To ſet the exact wealth of al our ſtates / Al at one caſt? to ſet ſo rich a maine / On the nice hazard of one doubtfull houre?
      Is it good / To bet all of our wealth / On one throw of the dice? To place so high a stake / On the risky hazard of one doubtful hour?
    • 1822 July 28, T. Creevey, Reminiscences:
      It has been a damned nice thing - the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.
Usage notes edit

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

  • 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!
Synonyms edit
Antonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Terms derived from nice (adjective)
Related terms edit
Descendants edit
  • Dutch: nice
  • German: nice
  • Danish: nice
  • Japanese: ナイス
  • Swedish: najs, nice
  • Norwegian:
    • Norwegian Bokmål: nice
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb edit

nice (comparative nicer, superlative nicest)

  1. (colloquial) Nicely.
    Children, play nice.
    He dresses real nice.
    • 2002, Gina Riley, Jane Turner, That's Unusual: Scripts from Kath and Kim, Series 2, page 245:
      This riesling's going down nice.

Interjection edit

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 edit

Noun edit

nice (uncountable)

  1. niceness.
    • 2000, Dana Stabenow, Midnight Come Again, →ISBN, page 111:
      She had refused as kindly as she know how, using up as much nice as she had energy for because she was glad of his company when three o'clock rolled around and she started thinking about September.
    • 2013, Todd Whitaker, What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most, →ISBN:
      We could debate forever about whether we have enough of one or too much of another. But I know one thing for sure: We never have too much nice.
    • 2014, Jean Illsley Clarke, Connie Dawson, David Bredehoft, How Much Is Too Much?, →ISBN:
      It is the absence of rules and too much nice that are more likely to produce terror.

Etymology 2 edit

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 edit

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

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

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Czech edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

nice

  1. dative/locative singular of nika

Anagrams edit

Dutch edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English nice.

Adjective edit

nice (used only predicatively, not comparable)

  1. (slang) nice
    Haar nieuwe album is echt nice.
    Her new album is really nice.

French edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Old French nice, inherited from Latin nescius.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

nice (plural nices)

  1. (archaic) candid, naive
    • 1907, Colette, La retraite sentimentale, page 41:
      Oui, crédulement, vous ne comprenez pas? Entendez donc que j’ai cru, plus nice qu’une pensionnaire, au pouvoir exclusif de cet inconnu que je fuyais !
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)

Derived terms edit

Further reading edit

German edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English nice.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

nice (strong nominative masculine singular nicer, comparative (rare) nicer, superlative (extremely rare) am nicesten)

  1. (colloquial) good, nice
    • 2020 December 8, Sara Tomšić, “Die Zukunft, das ist die grüne Samtcouch”, in ZEITmagazin[4]:
      Na gut. Und auch, wenn ich nur das eine Regal hatte – in der Schule konnte ich durch dich mitreden. Ja, Pax, voll nice und geräumig, der Poäng-Sessel, mega gemütlich.
      Fine. And even if I only had that one shelf – thanks to you, I had a say in conversations at school. Oh, Pax, all nice and spacious, and the Poäng armchair, super comfortable.
    • 2021, “Feeling”, performed by Fatoni & Dexter:
      Ich steh' im Club / Seh' ziemlich nice aus / Ah, wobei, die Schuhe / Ne, scheiß drauf, ich seh' nice aus
      I'm at the club / Lookin' pretty good / Actually, these shoes / Nah, fuck it, I look good

Declension edit

Further reading edit

Middle English edit

Adjective edit

nice

  1. Alternative form of nyce

Swedish edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English nice.

Adjective edit

nice

  1. (slang) Alternative form of najs (nice)

Turkish edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Ottoman Turkishنیچه(nice, how much), from Proto-Turkic *nēče, equative form of *nē (what). See ne (what), cognate to Karakhanidناجا(nēčē, how much).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

nice

  1. many
Synonyms edit

Etymology 2 edit

Ultimately from Proto-Turkic *nē- (interrogative archetype).

Adverb edit

nice

  1. (dialectal or poetic) how
Synonyms edit