nice·​ty | \ ˈnī-sə-tē How to pronounce nicety (audio) , -stē \
plural niceties

Definition of nicety

1 : the quality or state of being nice
2 : an elegant, delicate, or civilized feature enjoy the niceties of life
3 : a fine point or distinction : subtlety the niceties of table manners
4 : careful attention to details : delicate exactness : precision
5 : delicacy of taste or feeling : fastidiousness
to a nicety
: exactly, accurately … liked doing a quiet business in which they were sure of their customers, and could calculate their returns to a nicety.— George Eliot

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Examples of nicety in a Sentence

knows all the niceties of diplomatic protocol a woman too fond of the niceties of urban living to even consider becoming a farmer's wife
Recent Examples on the Web In short, Joe Spenard was the type of guy who never let anything so mundane as social niceties or laws interfere with making a buck. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "History of Spenard: How a squatter, bootlegger and showman gave Anchorage’s most renowned road its name," 18 May 2020 Action movie fans needn't worry that Netflix's Chris Hemsworth-starring vehicle Extraction wastes much time on such niceties as character development. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Extraction': Film Review," 23 Apr. 2020 As a growing number of strongmen have been elected, voters seem to be losing patience with democratic niceties—and indeed with politicians. The Economist, "2019 in review: Protest and global warming," 28 Dec. 2019 Keeping our living spaces clean and monitoring our own hygiene are no longer niceties, but a matter of public health. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, "I’m trying to avoid the pandemic and get work done from home. The problem? Roommates.," 29 Mar. 2020 There are more tech niceties, such as Bluetooth that allows two phones to connect simultaneously, and up to 12 USB Type A and Type C ports. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "The Chrysler Pacifica minivan has much to admire (review)," 28 Mar. 2020 Even in coach, Swiss delights with multi-course meals, fine Swiss wines and cheeses, and niceties like amenity kits and adjustable headrests. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best International Airlines: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards," 7 Oct. 2019 Unlike most magicians, Brown wasn’t obsessed with the craft and its niceties as a child. Adam Green, The New Yorker, "How Derren Brown Remade Mind Reading for Skeptics," 30 Sep. 2019 By relying on Microsoft’s own designer services for background, themes, and other niceties, a marketer on the go can create a fairly rich slide deck just from the back of a cab. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on: Microsoft's Office app for Android is tuned for the smartphone generation," 19 Feb. 2020

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

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First Known Use of nicety

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nicety

Middle English nicete, from Anglo-French niceté foolishness, from nice, adjective

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Time Traveler for nicety

Time Traveler

The first known use of nicety was in the 14th century

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Statistics for nicety

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nicety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for nicety


How to pronounce nicety (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nicety

: a small detail and especially one that is a part of polite or proper behavior


ni·​ce·​ty | \ ˈnī-sə-tē How to pronounce nicety (audio) \
plural niceties

Kids Definition of nicety

1 : something dainty, delicate, or of especially good quality
2 : a fine detail that is considered part of polite or proper behavior Grandma taught me the niceties of setting a table.

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More from Merriam-Webster on nicety

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nicety

Spanish Central: Translation of nicety

Nglish: Translation of nicety for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nicety for Arabic Speakers

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