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1

finesse

play
noun fi·nesse \fə-ˈnes\

Simple Definition of finesse

  • : skill and cleverness that is shown in the way someone deals with a situation, problem, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of finesse

  1. 1 :  refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture

  2. 2 :  skillful handling of a situation :  adroit maneuvering

  3. 3 :  the withholding of one's highest card or trump in the hope that a lower card will take the trick because the only opposing higher card is in the hand of an opponent who has already played

Examples of finesse in a sentence

  1. She handled the interview questions with finesse.

  2. <maneuvered his opponent into checkmate with his customary finesse>



Origin and Etymology of finesse

Middle English, from Middle French, from fin


First Known Use: 1528


2

finesse

verb fi·nesse

Simple Definition of finesse

  • : to handle, deal with, or do (something) in an indirect and skillful or clever way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of finesse

finessed

finessing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to make a finesse in playing cards

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to play (a card) in a finesse

  5. 2 a :  to bring about, direct, or manage by adroit maneuvering <finesse his way through tight places — Marquis James> b :  evade, skirt <finesse the hard issues>

Examples of finesse in a sentence

  1. He managed to finesse a deal through bargaining.

  2. She is just trying to finesse the issue.



Did You Know?

Finesse was a noun for more than 200 years before it became a verb. In the early 16th century the noun finesse was used to refer to refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture. Soon thereafter it developed the "skillful handling of a situation" meaning most common today. The first use of the verb finesse, however, was not as a corollary of one of these meanings. Instead, its meaning had to do with cards: if you finesse in a game like bridge or whist, you withhold your highest card or trump in the hope that a lower card will take the trick because the only opposing higher card is in the hand of an opponent who has already played. The other verb meanings of finesse developed within a few decades of this one.

1746

First Known Use of finesse

1746



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