noun fi·nesse \fə-ˈnes\

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

Full Definition of FINESSE

:  refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture
:  skillful handling of a situation :  adroit maneuvering
:  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

  1. She handled the interview questions with finesse.
  2. <maneuvered his opponent into checkmate with his customary finesse>

Origin of FINESSE

Middle English, from Middle French, from fin
First Known Use: 1528



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


Full Definition of FINESSE

intransitive verb
:  to make a finesse in playing cards
transitive verb
:  to play (a card) in a finesse
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

  1. He managed to finesse a deal through bargaining.
  2. She is just trying to finesse the issue.

First Known Use of FINESSE



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