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nuance

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noun nu·ance \ˈnü-ˌän(t)s, ˈnyü-, -ˌäⁿs; nü-ˈ, nyü-ˈ\

Simple Definition of nuance

  • : a very small difference in color, tone, meaning, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of nuance

  1. 1 :  a subtle distinction or variation

  2. 2 :  a subtle quality :  nicety

  3. 3 :  sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value)

nuanced

play \-ˌän(t)st, -ˈän(t)st\ adjective

Examples of nuance in a sentence

  1. Between the lines of lexicographical nuance and quotation, Johnson was paying old debts and seeking out wisdom about himself and his adopted city, as well as compiling perhaps the greatest commonplace book in the history of mankind. —Andrew O'Hagan, New York Review, 27 Apr. 2006

  2. In every silky statement from General Musharraf about the need for a short—in other words: limited—war, and in every nuance of the Pakistani official posture, I was sure I detected the local version of Schadenfreude. —Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, January 2002

  3. To La Farge, eccentricity meant convention; a mind really eccentric never betrayed it. True eccentricity was a tone—a shade—a nuance—and the finer the tone, the truer the eccentricity. —Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907

  4. He listened to the subtle nuances in the song.

  5. a poem of little depth and nuance



Did You Know?

The history of "nuance" starts in Latin with the noun nubes, meaning "cloud." "Nubes" floated into Middle French as nue, also meaning "cloud," and "nue" gave rise to nuer, meaning "to make shades of color." "Nuer" in turn produced "nuance," which in Middle French meant shade of color. English borrowed "nuance" from French, with the meaning "a subtle distinction or variation," in the late 18th century. That use persists today. Additionally, "nuance" is sometimes used in a specific musical sense, designating a subtle, expressive variation in a musical performance (such as in tempo, dynamic intensity, or timbre) that is not indicated in the score.

Origin and Etymology of nuance

French, from Middle French, shade of color, from nuer to make shades of color, from nue cloud, from Latin nubes; perhaps akin to Welsh nudd mist


First Known Use: 1781

Rhymes with nuance


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