Nice (?), a. [Compar.
Nicer (?); superl. Nicest.] [OE.,
foolish, fr. OF. nice ignorant, fool, fr. L. nescius
ignorant; ne not + scius knowing, scire to know.
perhaps influenced by E. nesh delicate, soft. See No,
and Science.] 1. Foolish; silly; simple;
ignorant; also, weak; effeminate. [Obs.] Gower.
But say that we ben wise and nothing
2. Of trifling moment; unimportant;
The letter was not nice, but full of charge Shak.
Of dear import.
3. Overscrupulous or exacting; hard to please
or satisfy; fastidious in small matters.
Curious not knowing, not exact but
And to taste Milton.
Think not I shall be nice.
4. Delicate; refined; dainty; pure.
Dear love, continue nice and
A nice and subtile happiness.
5. Apprehending slight differences or
delicate distinctions; distinguishing accurately or minutely;
carefully discriminating; as, a nice taste or judgment.
"Our author happy in a judge so nice." Pope.
"Nice verbal criticism." Coleridge.
6. Done or made with careful labor; suited to
excite admiration on account of exactness; evidencing great skill;
exact; fine; finished; as, nice proportions, nice
workmanship, a nice application; exactly or fastidiously
discriminated; requiring close discrimination; as, a nice
point of law, a nice distinction in philosophy.
The difference is too nice
Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice.
7. Pleasing; agreeable; gratifying;
delightful; good; as, a nice party; a nice excursion; a
nice person; a nice day; a nice sauce,
etc. [Loosely & Colloquially]
To make nice of, to be scrupulous
about. [Obs.] Shak.
Syn. -- Dainty; delicate; exquisite; fine; accurate; exact;
correct; precise; particular; scrupulous; punctilious; fastidious;
squeamish; finical; effeminate; silly.