fine

1 of 6

adjective

finer; finest
1
a
: all right
that's fine with me
b
: well or healthy : not sick or injured
feel fine
2
: superior in kind, quality, or appearance : excellent
a fine job
a fine day
fine wines
3
a(1)
: very thin in gauge or texture
fine thread
(2)
: not coarse
fine sand
(3)
: very small
fine print
(4)
: keen
a knife with a fine edge
(5)
: very precise or accurate
a fine adjustment
trying to be too fine with his pitches
b
: physically trained or hardened close to the limit of efficiency
used of an athlete or animal
4
: delicate, subtle, or sensitive in quality, perception, or discrimination
a fine distinction
5
a
: ornate sense 1
fine writing
b
: marked by or affecting elegance or refinement
fine manners
6
used as an intensive
the leader, in a fine frenzy, beheaded one of his wivesBrian Crozier
7
a
: free from impurity
b
of a metal : having a stated proportion of pure metal in the composition expressed in parts per thousand
a gold coin .9166 fine
fineness noun

fine

2 of 6

adverb

1
: finely: such as
a
: very well
b
2
: with a very narrow margin of time or space
she had not intended to cut her escape so fineMelinda Beck et al.

fine

3 of 6

noun (1)

1
a
: a sum imposed as punishment for an offense
The motorist had to pay a fine for speeding.
b
: a forfeiture or penalty paid to an injured party in a civil action
2
: a compromise of a fictitious suit used as a form of conveyance of lands
3
obsolete : end, conclusion

fine

4 of 6

verb (1)

fined; fining

transitive verb

: to impose a fine on : punish by a fine

fine

5 of 6

verb (2)

fined; fining

transitive verb

1
: purify, clarify
fine and filter wine
2
: to make finer in quality or size

intransitive verb

1
: to become pure or clear
the ale will fine
2
: to become smaller in lines or proportions

fine

6 of 6

noun (2)

fi·​ne ˈfē-(ˌ)nā How to pronounce fine (audio)
: end
used as a direction in music to mark the closing point after a repeat
Phrases
in fine
: in short

Examples of fine in a Sentence

Adjective “Is there anything wrong?” “No, everything's fine.” The house looks fine to me. I think that's a fine idea. You did a fine job. The house is in fine shape. This is a fine example of what can go wrong when one person is given too much power. He's a fine young man. “Did you hurt yourself?” “No, I'm fine.” Adverb She did fine on the test. My mother is doing fine, thank you. This'll do fine for now. She talks and walks so fine, just like a great lady. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The Heat’s new starting lineup (its 27th different opening quintet this season) was fine for a second consecutive night. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 8 Feb. 2024 Here, some of the best places to eat Sonoran food in Tucson, according to a local. 01 Charro Steak For Sonoran fine dining, this is Otero’s top pick. Devorah Lev-Tov, Travel + Leisure, 8 Feb. 2024 At a Chanel dinner to celebrate its Fifth Avenue watches and fine jewelry flagship, Holmes wore, well, head-to-toe Chanel. Alex Kessler, Vogue, 8 Feb. 2024 Doing so, the organization said, could reduce deaths associated with fine particle pollution by as much as 80%. Ella Nilsen, CNN, 7 Feb. 2024 At Ring Concierge, Wegman has so far been reluctant to expand lab diamonds outside of the engagement-ring business, although the company offers a full line of other fine jewelry with mined diamonds. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 7 Feb. 2024 Each has a farm-to-table approach and menus that offer the finest local and seasonal produce. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 7 Feb. 2024 If her husband is fine with that arrangement, resist the urge to interfere. Jeanne Phillips, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 If a young filmmaker had a great approach to it … that would be fine. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Jan. 2024
Adverb
Sauté some plantain, tomatoes, or spinach and fill them into a flaky empanada—no need to spend time making the dough yourself, since the kind from the freezer section works just fine. Ashia Aubourg, SELF, 26 Jan. 2024 While those who bought and held individual investment-grade bonds in 2022 have done just fine, the performance of bond funds wasn’t nearly good enough to make up for the declines of the previous year. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2024 The procedure seemed to go fine, but for months afterward, the woman suffered chronic abdominal pain. Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 19 Jan. 2024 Things are going fine until Larry stretches out his long legs and accidentally trips, and injures, star player Shaquille O’Neal. Whitney Friedlander, Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2024 Federal administrative law under the modern Administrative Procedure Act was around for 40 years before Chevron, and many states have abolished the doctrine and done just fine without it. The Editors, National Review, 18 Jan. 2024 Gene Keady did fine, by the way, but this isn’t a story about Gene Keady. Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Jan. 2024 And Windows already has a full touch interface that works fine in a tablet form factor. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 10 Jan. 2024 DeBoer had moved on to Fresno State, but Penix did just fine, completing 30 of 50 passes for 342 yards and three TDs. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 2 Jan. 2024
Verb
In 2020, the company was fined $9,446 after an employee was hospitalized for heat stress. Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 13 Feb. 2024 He was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and fined $400. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Feb. 2024 The new rule goes into effect immediately, allowing the commission to fine companies and block providers for making these types of calls. Makena Kelly, WIRED, 8 Feb. 2024 Trails Carolina was fined $12,000 but was allowed to continue operating. Stepheny Price, Fox News, 8 Feb. 2024 In September, Manson (real name Brian Warner) was fined over $1,400, with $200 suspended as part of the deal, and sentenced to 20 hours of community service. Rachel Desantis, Peoplemag, 5 Feb. 2024 Another of their bail conditions is a court prohibition against caring for any children besides their own; their daycare license was suspended by the state Department of Social Services after the deaths, and they were fined $11,000. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, 1 Feb. 2024 Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink was fined for violating US Department of Transportation (DOT) rules regarding the movement of hazardous materials. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 1 Feb. 2024 Last week, Reuters reported that the company was fined for violating US Department of Transportation (DoT) rules regarding the movement of hazardous materials, including xylene, a toxic and flammable solvent sometimes used in tissue processing. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
The most prominent examples are criminal justice fees and traffic violation fines. Courtney E. Martin, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Feb. 2024 Coral Gables gave Capote a break on Thursday when officials decided to waive the fines and the lien warning. Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, 12 Feb. 2024 Violators would face a misdemeanor subject to a maximum fine of $25. John Raby, Quartz, 12 Feb. 2024 In 2023, upward of 1,300 people accused of a Class misdemeanor lingered in Tarrant County Jail, a crime punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. Noah Alcala Bach, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 The fines went against previous procedures, which called for the agency to take into account financial status, remorse and other factors. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2024 In addition to potentially receiving regulatory fines of more than $23,000 per call, vocal cloners are now also open to legal action from victims. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 8 Feb. 2024 The trial has lasted for several months and has included several high tension moments, including two fines from the judge for Trump making unfounded claims about Engoron’s clerk and loud exclamations by Trump, including a lengthy speech during closing arguments. Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2024 Maynard faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, and is scheduled to be sentenced May 9. Sam Stanton, Sacramento Bee, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fine.' 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 fin, fyne "of choice quality, superior, admirable, free from impurity, delicate," borrowed from Anglo-French fin, going back to Gallo-Romance *fīnus "extreme, ultimate," adjective derivative of Latin fīnis "boundary, limit, ending" — more at final entry 1

Adverb

Middle English fyne, derivative of fin, fyne fine entry 1

Noun (1)

Middle English fin, fyne "end, conclusion, final legal settlement relating to alienation of property, fee paid to complete a legal conveyance, money paid in lieu of judicial punishment," borrowed from Anglo-French fin, going back to Latin fīnis "boundary, limit, terminal point, ending" (Medieval Latin also, "legal settlement, agreement involving payment, payment in lieu of punishment") — more at final entry 1

Verb (1)

in part derivative of fine entry 3, in part continuing Middle English finen "to pay a fine," borrowed from Anglo-French finer "to pay as a fine, make a payment," verbal derivative of fin fine entry 3

Verb (2)

Middle English finen, derivative of fin, fyne fine entry 1

Noun (2)

borrowed from Italian, going back to Latin fīnis "boundary, limit, ending" — more at final entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7a

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Verb (1)

circa 1513, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1740, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fine was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near fine

Cite this Entry

“Fine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fine. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

fine

1 of 5 noun
: a sum of money to be paid as a punishment

fine

2 of 5 verb
fined; fining
: to punish by a fine

fine

3 of 5 adjective
finer; finest
1
: free from impurity
2
a
: not thick, coarse, or dull
fine thread
fine sand
b
: small entry 1 sense 1
fine print
c
: done with extreme care and accuracy
fine measurement
3
: subtle sense 1b
a fine distinction
4
: excellent in quality or appearance
a fine spring day
5
: to one's liking : agreeable
that's fine with me
6
: very well
feel fine
finely adverb
fineness noun

fine

4 of 5 adverb
1
: in a fine manner
2
: very well
did fine on the test
I liked it fine

fine

5 of 5 noun
fi·​ne
ˈfē-(ˌ)nā
: end entry 1 sense 1b
used as a direction in music to mark the closing point after a repeat
Etymology

Noun

from earlier fine "a final agreement to settle a lawsuit," from Middle English fine "end, conclusion," from early French fin (same meaning), from Latin finis "end, limit" — related to final

Adjective

Middle English fin "pure, brought to perfection," from early French fin (same meaning), from Latin finis (noun) "end, limit" as in finis honorum "the height of honor, the highest honor"

Noun

Italian, from Latin finis "end, limit"

Medical Definition

fine

adjective
finer; finest
of bodily tremors
: of slight excursion

Legal Definition

fine

1 of 2 noun
1
: a sum imposed as punishment for an offense compare restitution
2
: a forfeiture or penalty paid to an injured party in a civil action

fine

2 of 2 transitive verb
fined; fining
: to impose a fine on : punish by fine
Etymology

Noun

Anglo-French fin, fine & Medieval Latin finis end, boundary, agreement, payment for release or privilege, monetary penalty, from Latin finis end, boundary

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