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

  • adj. Developed to extreme fineness or subtlety; elaborate.
  • adj. Developed to excessive fineness; overwrought.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • When he'd met her in the fall of his junior year at Gansevoort High she was that good and also that bad girl from the older, more crowded part of town and she had hair the color of sunset, a fine-spun crown of copper and gold that she let fall about her shoulders and that reminded Ray of autumn finery and the twittering passage of a bright bird in the forest.

    Gansevoort Ridge

  • And the green grass that gave way under his feet was made of fine-spun sugar.

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  • The floor of the wood is carpeted with the drifting down of willow seeds and their fine-spun woolen nests.

    A Year on the Wing

  • They can be obscure, built up as they are by fine-spun suggestion and the same embroidered, often archaic expressions he used in poetry, indifferent to modern fashion.

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  • He ceased his sad lament, and would have raised his aged frame, but found himself held fast by the fine-spun robe as ivy that clings to the branches of the bay, and then ensued a fearful struggle.


  • Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his bright locks streaming from the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face: a rich, fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind: and stallions carry him.

    Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

  • Begone, thou fine-spun veil! float from my head away!


  • The materialist, secure in the certainty of sensation, mocks at fine-spun theories, at star-gazers and dreamers, and believes that his life is solid, that he at least takes nothing for granted, but knows where he stands, and what he does.

    The Transcendentalist

  • A Japanese gardener and a Salvadoran landscaper who work in my neighborhood are closer to my farmer expectations than Stewart, who, when he is casual, wears wide-wale corduroys, butter-soft loafers, and—on occasion—elegant, fine-spun “workshirts.”

    I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen

  • His hair and mustache were like fine-spun gold and his light gray eyes flashed scintillant lights.

    People of the Dark


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