adjective \ ˈnīs \

Definition of nice

nicer; nicest
1 obsolete
b : coy, reticent
2 a : showing fastidious or finicky tastes : particular
  • too nice a palate to enjoy junk food
b : exacting in requirements or standards : punctilious
  • a nice code of honor
3 : possessing, marked by, or demanding great or excessive precision (see 1precision 2a) and delicacy
  • nice measurements
  • a nice distinction between these two words
4 obsolete : trivial
5 a : pleasing, agreeable
  • a nice time
  • a nice person
b : well-executed
  • nice shot
c : appropriate, fitting
  • not a nice word for a formal occasion
  • She always wears nice clothes.
6 a : socially acceptable : well-bred
  • from a nice family
b : virtuous, respectable
  • was taught that nice girls don't do that
7 : polite, kind
  • that's nice of you to say





Examples of nice in a Sentence

  1. I hope you all had a nice time.

  2. It's so nice to see you again.

  3. It's nice to be back home.

  4. It's nice to know that you're all right.

  5. It would be nice to try something different.

  6. We had a very nice dinner.

  7. “Hello, my name is Sara.” “It's nice to meet you, Sara.”

  8. It's nice to see you, Luis. How have you been?

  9. She wears the nicest clothes.

  10. He looks nice in his new suit.

Recent Examples of nice from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of nice

Middle English, foolish, wanton, from Anglo-French, silly, simple, from Latin nescius ignorant, from nescire not to know — more at nescience

nice Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of nice

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error.
    • correct answers
    • socially correct dress
accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care.
    • an accurate description
exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth.
    • exact measurements
precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation.
    • precise calibration
nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination.
    • makes nice distinctions
right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault.
    • the right thing to do




Definition of nice

: in a nice or pleasing way
  • They plan to fix up the place real nice.
  • He still had his bald spots, but the fur that he did have cleaned up nice.
  • —Kate DiCamillo
  • In fact, the action is part of what made the findings redundant. The action mattered because it has, for the past two years, forced Microsoft to play nice. [=to behave nicely; to be cooperative and unaggressive in dealing with others]
  • —Gary Rivlin
  • Bipartisanship may also be elusive if it means a hostile GOP majority has to play nice with a President it has tried to kick out of office.
  • —Amy Borrus et al.

First Known Use of nice

circa 1544

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler


geographical name \ ˈnēs \
variants: or ancient Nicaea play \nī-ˈsē-ə\

Definition of Nice

city and port on the Mediterranean Sea in southeastern France population 343,304

NICE Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈnīs \

Definition of nice for Students

nicer; nicest
1 : pleasing, pleasant
  • nice weather
  • I had a nice time.
2 : kind, polite, and friendly
  • a nice person
3 : of good quality
  • It's a nice place to live.
4 : done very well
  • Nice work!
5 : well behaved
  • nice children





History for nice

The English word nice came from an Old French word with the same spelling that meant “foolish.” This Old French word came in turn from a Latin word nescius that meant “ignorant.” At first, English nice meant “foolish” or “frivolous.” Later it came to mean “finicky” or “fussy.” Not until the 1700s did nice come to mean “pleasing” or “pleasant.”

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to grant as a privilege or special favor

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