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

  • n. A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation.
  • n. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone: a rich artistic performance, full of nuance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A minor distinction.
  • n. Subtlety or fine detail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A shade of difference; a delicate gradation.
  • n. A small difference in meaning, significance, or expression.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shade and give delicate tones of expression to, as a piece of music or a picture.
  • n. Any one of the different gradations by which a color passes from its lightest to its darkest shade; a shade of difference or variation in a color.
  • n. A delicate degree of difference in anything, as perceived by any of the senses or by the intellect: as, nuances of sound or of expression.
  • n. In music:
  • n. A shading or coloring of a phrase or passage by variations either of tempo or of force.
  • n. A florid vocal passage; fioritura.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude


French, from Old French, from nuer, to shade, cloud, from nue, cloud, from Vulgar Latin *nūba, from Latin nūbēs.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French nuance meaning "nuance", "shade" or "hue". (Wiktionary)



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