Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Obs. or Prov. Eng. Soft; tender; delicate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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")).

Examples

Comments

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

    July 11, 2008

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

    December 19, 2010

  • No, it's not a verb.

    December 19, 2010

  • Still warm from the oven and fresh

    A new loaf heals spirit and flesh.

    Succumb to the spell

    Of crust like a shell

    And crumb that is fragrant and nesh.

    June 16, 2016