American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Refinement and delicacy of performance, execution, or artisanship.
- n. Skillful, subtle handling of a situation; tactful, diplomatic maneuvering.
- n. A method of leading up to a tenace, as in bridge, in order to prevent an opponent from winning the trick with an intermediate card.
- n. A stratagem in which one appears to decline an advantage.
- v. To accomplish by the use of finesse.
- v. To handle with a deceptive or evasive strategy.
- v. To play (a card) as a finesse.
- v. To use finesse.
- v. To make a finesse in cards.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Artifice; delicate stratagem; subtlety of contrivance; also, that quality of mind or character which leads to subtle actions.
- n. In whist, the play (usually by the third hand, but occasionally by the second) of a card (say C) of the suit led, lower than another (A) in the hand, in the hope that an unplayed card (B) of intermediate value, whose position is still unknown, may be found to lie to the right, so that the trick may be taken by the card C while A is reserved to take B.
- n. Fineness of perception.
- n. Synonyms Artifice, Manæuver, etc. (see artifice); skill, artfulness, adroitness, craft, subterfuge.
- To use artifice or fine stratagem.
- In whist-playing, to attempt to take a trick by finesse.
- In whist-playing, to practise or perform a finesse with: as, to finesse a king, a knave, etc.
- n. In the fine arts, subtlety and delicacy in color or form.
- n. uncountable The property of having grace, elegance, skill, or balance.
- n. uncountable Skill in handling of a situation.
- n. countable An adroit maneuver.
- n. countable, bridge A technique which allows one to promote tricks based on a favorable position of one or more cards in the hands of the opponent.
- v. transitive, intransitive, card games To play (a card) as a finesse (see noun sense above).
- v. transitive To handle or manage carefully or skillfully.
- v. transitive To evade.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Subtilty of contrivance to gain a point; artifice; stratagem.
- n. (Whist Playing) The act of finessing. See Finesse, v. i., 2.
- v. To use artifice or stratagem.
- v. (Whist Playing) To attempt, when second or third player, to make a lower card answer the purpose of a higher, when an intermediate card is out, risking the chance of its being held by the opponent yet to play.
- n. subtly skillful handling of a situation
- Middle English, from Middle French finesse, from Old French fin ("fine"). (Wiktionary)
- French, fineness, subtlety, from fin, fine; see fine1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Besides the multiple formations he devised, his run-first philosophy helped toughen a program that used to be damned with the label "finesse.”
“One face is very elegant and fine, close to Roman é e-Conti in finesse; the other side is more abrupt, monastic even.”
“There's a certain finesse required for pulling off unforgettable sci-fi movies and I really hope Neil has it - I don't want a story with potential like this one becoming the next Jumper.”
“Gergiev, his players, and his stable of Kirov singers are often ragged but what they lack in finesse or sheer lyrical beauty they more than make up for with gusto.”
“One finesse is that the sample can be in a solution, in the case of proteins their natural environment in the cell.”
“Yet when I went around the locker room asking Saints players why hearing the word finesse next to their team name upset them, it only seemed to ignite them.”
“Why does the mention of the word finesse incite so much anger inside an NFL locker room?”
“There were many times it seemed like Brees could spell the word finesse twice before anybody came close to him.”
“And left another light on other cheek bright li’en: I fain finesse my chiders when they mention him,”
“Karl’s never had legal pressure like this before and his architectural finesse is required for the mid terms.”
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