nice

1 of 2

adjective

nicer; nicest
1
: polite, kind
a very nice person
That's nice of you to say.
2
a
: pleasing, agreeable
a nice time
a nice person
b
: appropriate, fitting
not a nice word for a formal occasion
She always wears nice clothes.
c
: well-executed
nice shot
3
a
: socially acceptable : well-bred
from a nice family
b
: virtuous, respectable
… I met nice girls whose skirts reached the ground.Jack London
4
: possessing, marked by, or demanding great or excessive precision (see precision entry 1 sense 2a) and delicacy
nice measurements
a nice distinction between these two words
5
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
6
obsolete : trivial
7
obsolete
b
nicely adverb
niceness noun

nice

2 of 2

adverb

informal
: 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.
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of nice in a Sentence

Adjective I hope you all had a nice time. It's so nice to see you again. It's nice to be back home. It's nice to know that you're all right. It would be nice to try something different. We had a very nice dinner. “Hello, my name is Sara.” “It's nice to meet you, Sara.” It's nice to see you, Luis. How have you been? She wears the nicest clothes. He looks nice in his new suit.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Libra September 23 – October 22 People have nice things to say about you, Libra! Tarot.com, Hartford Courant, 18 July 2024 The smooth petal shape is reminiscent of IKEA’s ever-popular Tobias chairs, and there’s a nice cushion on the seat to keep you comfortable. Erika Owen, Architectural Digest, 17 July 2024
Adverb
The Terran 1 rocket sure cleans up nice. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 24 Mar. 2023 The concept is simple: Each episode is an in-depth journey on a notable train somewhere around the world, with likable and very-earnestly-excited-about-trains-but-in-a-nice-calming-way host Teddy Wilson acting as a tour guide and pal throughout each trip. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 11 Nov. 2022 See all Example Sentences for nice 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nice.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7a

Adverb

circa 1544, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nice was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near nice

Cite this Entry

“Nice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nice. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

nice

adjective
1
: kind, polite
a nice person
wasn't a nice thing to do
2
: pleasing, agreeable
a nice time
3
: done very well
nice job!
4
: not obvious : subtle
a nice distinction
5
: finicky in tastes or habits
nicely adverb
niceness noun
Etymology

Adjective

Middle English nice "foolish, stupid," from early French nice (same meaning), from Latin nescius "ignorant," from nescire "not to know," from ne- "not" and scire "to know" — related to science

Word Origin
Five hundred years ago, when nice was first used in English, it meant "foolish or stupid." This is not as surprising as it may seem, since it came through early French from the Latin nescius, meaning "ignorant." By the 16th century, the sense of being "very particular" or "finicky" had developed. In the 19th century, nice came to mean "pleasant or agreeable" and then "respectable," a sense quite unlike its original meaning.

Geographical Definition

Nice

geographical name

variants or ancient Nicaea
city and port on the Mediterranean Sea in southeastern France population 343,304

More from Merriam-Webster on nice

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