Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Soft; tender; yielding.
  • adj. Delicate; weak; poor-spirited; susceptible to cold weather, harsh conditions etc.
  • adj. Soft; friable; crumbly.
  • v. To make soft, tender, or weak.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Soft; tender; delicate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Soft; tender.
  • Delicate; weak; poor-spirited.
  • Soft; friable; crumbly.
  • To make soft, tender, or weak.

Etymologies

From Middle English nesh, nesch, nesche, from Old English hnesce, hnysce, hnæsce ("soft, tender, mild; weak, delicate; slack, negligent; effeminate, wanton"), from Proto-Germanic *hnaskijaz, *hnaskuz, *hnaskwuz (“soft, tender”), from Proto-Indo-European *knēs-, *kenes- (“to scratch, scrape, rub”). Cognate with Scots nesch, nesh ("soft, tender, yielding easily to pressure, sensitive"), Dutch nesch, nes ("wet, moist"), Gothic 𐌷𐌽𐌰𐍃𐌵𐌿𐍃 (hnaskwus, "soft, tender, delicate"). Compare also nask, nasky, nasty. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English neschen, from Old English hnescan, hnescian ("to make soft, soften; become soft, give way, waver"), from Proto-Germanic *hnaskōnan, *hnaskēnan (“to make soft”), from Proto-Indo-European *knēs-, *kenes- (“to scratch, scrape, rub”). Cognate with Old High German nascōn ("to nibble at, parasitise, squander"; > German naschen ("to nibble, pinch")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • No, it's not a verb.

    December 19, 2010

  • To act timidly, according to NPR's Says You

    December 19, 2010

  • Fresh, delicate, soft (Applied to fruit, vegetables, and foliage—though there's no need to count people out)

    July 11, 2008