from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sum of money required to be paid especially to the government as a penalty for an offense.
  • noun Obsolete An end; a termination.
  • transitive verb To require the payment of a fine from; impose a fine on.
  • idiom (in fine) In conclusion; finally.
  • idiom (in fine) In summation; in brief.
  • adjective Of superior quality, skill, or appearance.
  • adjective Excellent in character or ability.
  • adjective Very small in size, weight, or thickness.
  • adjective Free from impurities.
  • adjective Metallurgy Containing pure metal in a specified proportion or amount.
  • adjective Very sharp; keen.
  • adjective Thin; slender.
  • adjective Carefully or delicately made or done: synonym: exquisite.
  • adjective Consisting of very small particles; not coarse.
  • adjective Marginally different or subtle.
  • adjective Able to make or detect effects of great subtlety or precision; sensitive.
  • adjective Trained to the highest degree of physical efficiency.
  • adjective Characterized by refinement or elegance.
  • adjective Satisfactory; acceptable.
  • adjective Being in a state of satisfactory health; quite well.
  • adjective Used as an intensive.
  • adverb Finely.
  • adverb Informal Very well.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To make or become finer, purer, or cleaner.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bring to an end.
  • To subject to a pecuniary penalty; set a fine upon, as by judgment of a court or by any competent authority; punish by fine: as, jurors are fined for non-attendance; absent members are fined.
  • To pay by way of fine or fee.
  • To pledge; pawn.
  • To condemn; pronounce judgment against.
  • To come to an end; end; cease.
  • To pay a fine; procure acknowledgment of one's right or claim by pecuniary compensation.
  • noun End; termination; conclusion.
  • noun Specifically The end of life; death.
  • noun In old English law, a judicial proceeding, often fictitious, resorted to merely as a mode of conveyance of land. The persons concerned in the transfer were made parties to a fictitious action, in which the transferrer solemnly acknowledged the land to be the property of the transferee, thus by apparent compromise putting an end to the suit. It was used very commonly as a means of putting an end to an entail.
  • noun In feudal law: A final agreement between persons concerning lands or rents, or between the lord and his vassal prescribing the conditions on which the latter should hold his lands.
  • noun A sum of money paid by custom by a tenant to his lord, nominally as a gratuity, and distinct from rent. This custom belongs solely to feudal tenures and to those modified by the feudal law, as copyholds. Fines were paid usually at a transfer of the tenant's estate by alienation or succession, but sometimes on other occasions, as at the death of the lord.
  • noun The exaction of a money payment as a punishment for an offense or a dereliction of any kind; a mulct: as, a fine for assault; the fines prescribed in the constitution of a society.
  • noun The sum of money so exacted.
  • noun An agreement to do something, as in reparation or restitution; composition; atonement; penance.
  • noun In conclusion; to conclude; to sum up.
  • Finely; well: as, I wad like fine to do it.
  • Delicately; cautiously.
  • noun In musical notation, the word indicating the end of a repeated section, whether da capo or dal segno; also, the end of a composition in several sections.
  • To make fine or pure; purify; clarify; refine: as, to fine gold or silver; to fine wine.
  • To make fine or slender; make less coarse: as, to fine grass.
  • To change by imperceptible degrees; cause to pass by fine gradations to another or more perfect state.
  • To become fine or pure; become clear, as by depositing sediment: often followed by down.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fin, from Old French, settlement, compensation, from Medieval Latin fīnis, from Latin, end.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fin, from Old French, from Latin fīnis, end, supreme degree.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian fine ("end").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French finer, French finir. See finish (transitive verb).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fin, from Old French fin ("fine, minute, exact"), probably, from Latin finitus ("literally finished (used as an adjective by Cicero, of words, well rounded)"), past participle of finere ("to limit, bound, define, terminate, finish"), from finis ("a limit, end").


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  • "Fine as a cow turd stuck with primroses."

    - Francis Grose, 'The Vulgar Tongue'.

    September 6, 2008