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Nicety   Listen
noun
Nicety  n.  (pl. niceties)  
1.
The quality or state of being nice (in any of the senses of that word.). "The miller smiled of her nicety."
2.
Delicacy or exactness of perception; minuteness of observation or of discrimination; precision.
3.
A delicate expression, act, mode of treatment, distinction, or the like; a minute distinction. "The fineness and niceties of words."
To a nicety, with great exactness or accuracy.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Nicety" Quotes from Famous Books



... the fire trimmed to a nicety, the table covered deep with orderly documents, the backs of law-books made a frame upon all sides that was only broken by the window and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XIX (of 25) - The Ebb-Tide; Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and persons. A famous passage—perhaps the best known, and not far from the best he ever wrote—about Byron's funeral, fixes, of course, the date of the wondrous facts or fictions recorded in Lavengro to a nicety. Yet who, as he reads it and its sequel (for the separation of Lavengro and The Romany Rye is merely arbitrary, though the second book is, as a whole, less interesting than the former), ever thinks of what was actually going on in ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... first gasp of astonishment, was a different man. He fumbled about on the desk, and produced a pair of gold spectacles, which he adjusted with great nicety on the edge ...
— The Malefactor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... confidence and self-reliance were unmistakable, however. Every one noticed with pleasure, moreover, that he, after so short a stay, not more than three days, perhaps, among us, had so wonderfully succeeded in mastering the case and "had studied it to a nicety." People described with relish, afterwards, how cleverly he had "taken down" all the witnesses for the prosecution, and as far as possible perplexed them and, what's more, had aspersed their reputation and so depreciated the value of their evidence. But it was supposed that he did this rather ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... excuse for it. On the other hand, he recognized Tom as almost indispensable; he could put a lick and polish on the maharajah's troops that no amount of cursing and coaxing by their own officers accomplished. Tom understood to a nicety that drift of the Rajput's martial mind that caused each sepoy to believe himself the equal of any other Rajput man, but permitted him to tolerate ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... brigadier, "there is an excellent inn up the street, messieurs." And he saluted their uniform, the same being constructed of cotton khaki, with a horseshoe on the arm and an oxidized metal mule on the collar. The brigadier wondered at and admired the minute nicety of administrative detail characterizing a government which clothed even its muleteers so becomingly, yet with ...
— Barbarians • Robert W. Chambers

... position, we may read our own near destiny. Grasping, ambitious and powerful the British race certainly is; illiberal, cowardly or mean it certainly is not. Highly refined it never was, possibly never will be. Neither the ocean nor the mountain produces the highest refinement of manners or nicety of scientific investigation; but the shores of the ocean and the mountain valleys are the birthplaces of ...
— Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 1 • George Boutwell

... to a nicety was obviously a great point with Horace. "What plate he had was made to look its best." "Ridet argento domus"—"My plate, newly-burnished, enlivens my rooms"—is one of the attractions held out in his invitation ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... in the way of self-consciousness was an uneasy doubt of his own inherent nicety, for he soon discovered that whatever was thus particularly forbidden seemed to himself ...
— The Soul of a Child • Edwin Bjorkman

... colour, and details of form, with the greatest exactness; so, the intellect as a whole and in each faculty, beginning with the rudest discriminations among objects and actions, advances towards discriminations of increasing nicety and distinctness. To this general law our educational course and methods must conform. It is not practicable, nor would it be desirable if practicable, to put precise ideas into the undeveloped mind. We may indeed at an early ...
— Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects - Everyman's Library • Herbert Spencer

... who must always be lashing out upon some new byroad, snatching at every bush they pass. They are too excitable, too ungoverned for the joys of patient intercourse. Talk is so solemn a rite it should be approached with prayer and must be conducted with nicety and forbearance. What steadiness and sympathy are needed if the thread of thought is to be unwound without tangles or snapping! What forbearance, while each of the pair, after tentative gropings here and yonder, feels his way toward truth as he sees it. So often two in talk are ...
— Mince Pie • Christopher Darlington Morley

... comparison of which he is not unworthy, in his love for the progress of the human race, and the piquant and ingenious turn he knew how to give to good sense. From this first employment as printer Beranger acquired and retained great nicety in language and grammar. He insisted on it, in his counsels to the young, more than seems natural in a poet of the people. He even exaggerated its importance somewhat, and might ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... From head to heels he was adjusted with mathematical nicety. Every organ in his shapely body did its work silently, easily, accurately. Silver-gray hair covered his head, falling gracefully away from a parting in the middle of it. It never seemed to grow long, and yet it never looked as if it had been cut. Mr. Maddledock's eyes were ...
— Tin-Types Taken in the Streets of New York • Lemuel Ely Quigg

... and have annexed an honorable character to the practice of those duties. He is the honest man who observes them with the most exactness, and the instances of them multiply in proportion to the degree of nicety of a person's honor." ...
— Our Deportment - Or the Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society • John H. Young

... indeed, note it as a nicety, that the membrane must be moist through which this transudation is to take place; and I admit that there are men whose enveloping sheath of individualism and egotism is so hard and dry, so little interpenetrated by candor and the love of truth, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... next placed so as to touch the ends of the ribs all round, and these ends were adjusted to it with great nicety, and firmly joined. Strong cross-pieces were fixed, which were designed, not only to keep the gunwale from spreading or contracting, but ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... fitted him to a nicety; it had, in fact, no chance to do otherwise, for his great back and shoulders stretched it tight, and would have done so had it been made like a sack. Of all the big men who had gone by that day Jack Duck was the biggest; his back was immense, and straight, ...
— Amaryllis at the Fair • Richard Jefferies

... as he descended from the coach that his feet were small, and were fitted to a nicety with polished boots of the finest leather. No amount of gaping, gazing and inquisitive side remark embarrassed the newcomer. Perhaps his dark eyes emitted a sparkle of gratified vanity as he glanced about him, distributing a gracious bow among ...
— A Dream of Empire - Or, The House of Blennerhassett • William Henry Venable

... occasion. He may remember that it was a mightily sweet, balmy evening, the sun not having set above half an hour before, and the sky still suffused with a good deal of brightness, the air being extremely soft and mild. He may remember with the utmost nicety how they were leaning over the rail of the vessel looking out towards the westward, she fallen mightily quiet as though occupied ...
— Stolen Treasure • Howard Pyle

... felt the necessity of waiving those points of nicety, but knowing too well that any interference would entail a more definite investigation, listened with utmost composure in the ...
— Lady Rosamond's Secret - A Romance of Fredericton • Rebecca Agatha Armour

... toward the press is comprehended to a nicety by every man who has served as a newspaper correspondent ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891 • Various

... it, never fear," said the captain. "I know to a nicety what you require. How say you now: if I was to carry him overseas to the plantations where they lack toilers of just such thews as his?" He lowered his voice and spoke with some slight hesitation, fearing that he proposed perhaps more than ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... or his toilet,—which Of these is not exactly ascertain'd (I state this, for I am cautious to a pitch Of nicety, where a fact is to be gain'd),— A lamp burn'd high, while he leant from a niche, Where many a Gothic ornament remain'd, In chisell'd stone and painted glass, and all That time has left ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... foreign one, of course; it consisted in two small but tasty dishes of meat prepared with skill and served with nicety; a salad and "fromage francais," completed it. The business of eating interposed a brief truce between the belligerents, but no sooner was supper disposed of than they were at it again. The fresh subject of dispute ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... they cannot shake them off. Nothing to them appears natural, appropriate, or beautiful, which is alien to their own language, manners, and social relations. With this exclusive mode of seeing and feeling, it is no doubt possible to attain, by means of cultivation, to great nicety of discrimination within the narrow circle to which it limits and circumscribes them. But no man can be a true critic or connoisseur without universality of mind, without that flexibility which enables him, by renouncing all personal predilections ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... searching for you for centuries at least," he shouted, with a pleasantly foreign accent, which was rather a nicety than a fault of enunciation, "but the quest ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... be continued to the fall of Brutus and Cassius. Caesar is not the hero of the piece, but Brutus. The amiable beauty of this character, his feeling and patriotic heroism, are portrayed with peculiar care. Yet the poet has pointed out with great nicety the superiority of Cassius over Brutus in independent volition and discernment in judging of human affairs; that the latter from the purity of his mind and his conscientious love of justice, is unfit to be the head of a party in a state ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... they call Timorodee, singing most indecent songs and using most indecent actions, in the practice of which they are brought up from their earliest childhood; in doing this they keep time to a great nicety. This exercise is generally left off as soon as they arrive at Years of Maturity, for as soon as they have form'd a connection with man they are expected to leave off ...
— Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World • James Cook

... thirty yards from the hedge now—twenty—ten. Timing his stroke to a nicety her horse rose. An instant later he had cleared the fence, with a foot or more to spare. I followed, and almost as my mare landed I saw Dulcie lower her head ...
— The Four Faces - A Mystery • William le Queux

... dubious circumstances surrounding a recent convention, in which it is needless to say the United had no part. Mr. Macauley's literary attainments are very considerable, but as yet unperfected. Possessed of rare charm in descriptive prose, he needs to exercise a greater nicety of construction in order to develop fully the riches which are his. Gifted with a large, facile, and ingenious vocabulary, he is not sufficiently precise and discriminating in his employment of words according to their finer shades of meaning. This carelessness makes faults ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... "am I crazy? This is no foot mark. How could it be? Look at the mathematical nicety with which these edges are stamped ...
— The Metal Monster • A. Merritt

... sleep that night all preparations had been concluded looking to getting out of the trap in the morning. Frank had made his estimations and knew to a nicety just what his engine could do. Once free from the valley he believed they could head direct for the distant Magdalena, carrying two passengers and making short flights. It was true that as yet he had never taken up any second passenger and it entailed an additional tax upon the motor, ...
— The Aeroplane Boys on the Wing - Aeroplane Chums in the Tropics • John Luther Langworthy

... little village of Broughty Ferry. We found the great astronomer in his parlour waiting for us. From the parlour we went to the new study, and here I felt more at ease, for I went to see the Philosopher in his study, and not in his drawing-room. But even this room had too much the look of nicety to be an author's sanctum; and I inquired and was soon informed by Mrs. Dick, that I should have a ...
— Three Years in Europe - Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met • William Wells Brown

... fat venison I have seen in the country. Canvass-back still in abundance, and not to be wearied of. This, I find, is the true place to eat these rare birds: their case is well understood here, and they are treated to a nicety. ...
— Impressions of America - During the years 1833, 1834 and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Tyrone Power

... pretty, but with a lovable, gentle face, and she had such simple kindly manners, so different from the girls of the present day, who hide their good womanly hearts under such abrupt loud ways. Emily, or, as we always called her, Emmie, was not clever, but she suited Allan to a nicety. She was wonderfully amiable, and bore his little irritabilities with the most placid good humor; nothing put her out, and she believed in him with a credulity that amused Allan largely; but he was very proud of her, and they made the ...
— Esther - A Book for Girls • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... is, in our humble opinion, not a matter of very great consequence. At that period, hand-made paper was still being used to a very large extent and even machine-made paper was not manufactured with the nicety of standardisation that is possible with the improved machinery of today. Consequently, the sheets of paper, even in such a small commercial quantity as a ream, would generally show considerable variation in texture. Thin and thick sheets were frequently mixed to obtain the necessary weight ...
— The Stamps of Canada • Bertram Poole

... is calculated to a nicety. We could, if we wished, stop just short of the exact time and would see the re-occurrence of their capture. But only as unseen observers—you can not enter the plane as a material being during your own actual past, for your entity would then be duplicated. Of course, ...
— Wanderer of Infinity • Harl Vincent

... intricate claims to dormant peerages, before committees of privileges, in the House of Lords; appeals to the High Court of Parliament, from all the superior courts, both of law and equity, in the United Kingdom, involving questions of the greatest possible nicety and complexity—and that, too, in the law of Scotland, both mercantile and conveyancing, so dissimilar to that prevailing in other parts of the kingdom; appeals before the Privy Council, from the judicial decisions of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 363, January, 1846 • Various

... always be kept apart from the laboratory in some place where the vapours of acids, or other corrosive liquors, cannot have access, otherwise the steel will rust, and the accuracy of the balance be destroyed. I have three sets, of different sizes, made by Mr Fontin with the utmost nicety, and, excepting those made by Mr Ramsden of London, I do not think any can compare with them for precision and sensibility. The largest of these is about three feet long in the beam for large weights, up to fifteen or twenty pounds; the second, for weights of eighteen or twenty ounces, ...
— Elements of Chemistry, - In a New Systematic Order, Containing all the Modern Discoveries • Antoine Lavoisier

... a nicety that he could propel himself against a bed of nails and broken glass at just the right velocity to be able to stop himself without so much as scratching his glove. And he could see that there was no ragged stuff on the spot he had selected. The ...
— Anchorite • Randall Garrett

... impartial examination. He who doubts because he does not know the grounds of credibility, is no better than an ignoramus. The true sceptic has counted and weighed the reasons. But it is no light matter to weigh arguments. Who of us knows their value with any nicety? Every mind has its own telescope. An objection that disappears in your eyes, is a colossus in mine: you find an argument trivial that to me is overwhelming.... If then it is so difficult to weigh reasons, and if there are no questions ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... doesn't come to," Rawdon said to his little wife as they sat together in the snug little Brompton lodgings. She had been trying the new piano all the morning. The new gloves fitted her to a nicety. The new shawl became her wonderfully. The new rings glittered on her little hands, and the new watch ...
— Thackeray • Anthony Trollope

... his sister, and as he hurried her home, told her what had passed: "The superintendent asked to see the letter; I told him he had taken it with him: that was a pity, he said. Then he made me describe Alfred to a nicety: and the description will go up to London this morning, and all over Barkington, and the ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... ourselves she showed that exquisite nicety of discrimination in studying our characters, habits and tastes which comes by instinct with women, and which even the longest practice rarely teaches in similar perfection to men. She saw at a glance all the underlying tenderness and generosity ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... c to d with the other part. Many like the eye, which must be cut out with the point of a knife, and divided in two. If the jaw-bone be taken off, there will be found some fine lean. Under the head is the palate, which is reckoned a nicety; the lady of the house should be acquainted with all things that are thought so, that she may distribute them among her guests.——SHOULDER OF MUTTON. This is a very good joint, and by many preferred to the leg; it being very full of gravy, if properly roasted, and produces many ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... incased in glass, calling to mind Tom Paine's happy expression, "That the principles of the American Revolution opened the Bastile is not to be doubted, therefore the key comes to the right place;" the black velvet coat worn when the farewell address to the Army was made; the rooms all in nicety of preparation as if expectant of the coming host—we move among these memorials of days and men long vanished—we stand under the great trees and watch the solemn river, in its never-ceasing flow, we gaze upon the simple tomb whose silence is unbroken ...
— America First - Patriotic Readings • Various

... this unorganized ordnance-board, composed of hundreds of gun-makers, stimulated by the most powerful incentives to exertion. The experiments by which they arrived at their conclusion not only anticipated by years the trials of the European experimenters, but far surpass, in laboriousness and nicety, all the experiments of Hythe, Vincennes, and Jacobabad. The resulting curve, which the longitudinal section of the perfect "slug" shows, is as subtile and incapable of modification, without loss, as that of the boomerang; no hair's thickness could be taken away or added ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... easier task when all was over to set the little Amazons on their horses than to keep them there, for by the time we had perched one on her saddle, or pad rather, and adjusted her with the greatest nicety, another whom we had just left would lose her balance and fall with a scream to the ground. It was almost as difficult as packing mules on the prairie. For my part it must be confessed that I left the completion of the job ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... life of intelligent selfishness. He had usually got what he wanted because he was strong enough to take it. No scrupulous nicety of means had ever deterred him. Nor ever would. He played his own hand with a cynical disregard of the rights of others. It was this that had made him what he was, a man who bulked large in the sight of the city and state. Long ago he had ...
— Tangled Trails - A Western Detective Story • William MacLeod Raine

... plied my brains in vain for that becoming fault. It was the same whether I considered her beauty, her heart, or her mind. A charming old Italian writer has laid down the canons of perfect feminine beauty with much nicety in a delicious discourse, which, as he delivered it in a sixteenth-century Florentine garden to an audience of beautiful and noble ladies, an audience not too large to be intimate and not too small ...
— The Quest of the Golden Girl • Richard le Gallienne

... it all. Mind you, this is no speculation which I have in my mind. It may seem like it, but I have calculated everything to a nicety. I've made inquiries at the bank, and I know to a penny how we stand, and what the bank will back us for. And I've been making inquiries about ...
— The Day of Judgment • Joseph Hocking

... knot, or something which connects. These pleasantries called Lazzi are certain actions by which the performer breaks into the scene, to paint to the eye his emotions of panic or jocularity; but as such gestures are foreign to the business going on, the nicety of the art consists in not interrupting the scene, and connecting the Lazzi with it; thus to tie the whole together." Lazzi, then, seems a kind of mimicry and gesture, corresponding with the passing scene; and we may translate the term by one in our green-room dialect, side-play. ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... Cobbler remained year after year to make the inward passage exciting. When the tide was running in hard, a boat attempting the south passage was certain to be taken in a nasty swirling eddy, and dashed heavily against the big stone. When any sea was on, the run in required much nicety of handling. ...
— The Romance of the Coast • James Runciman

... and uncomfortable. The smiling and superficial politeness of the visitors irritated her nerves. These people were too well bred to be rude toward Panine's mother-in-law, but she felt that their politeness was forced. Under their affected nicety she detected irony. She began to ...
— Serge Panine, Complete • Georges Ohnet

... Perugino's feeling. In S. Francesco, Pinturicchio, with the same meticulous refinement, painted a letter addressed to him by Gentile Baglioni. It lies on a stool before Madonna and her court of saints. Nicety of execution, technical mastery of fresco as a medium for Dutch detail-painting, prettiness of composition, and cheerfulness of colouring, are noticeable throughout his work here rather than either thought or sentiment. S. Maria Maggiore can boast a fresco of Madonna between ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... must add yet another test, to pass which a man must not only express his spirit with sincerity, but must also have a strong and original spirit. It will be our business now to search out, delimit and define, not only Mr. Belloc's nicety and felicity of expression, but also the value of the thing which ...
— Hilaire Belloc - The Man and His Work • C. Creighton Mandell

... abundantly by seeds, which should be sown in the spring; the double sort may also be increased by dividing its roots, but more plentifully by cuttings of the stalk, put in in June, before the flowers make their appearance; in striking of these, however, there requires some nicety. ...
— The Botanical Magazine Vol. 8 - Or, Flower-Garden Displayed • William Curtis

... to a nicety," answered the voice of Harcourt, as he threw himself from the saddle. "Sound the stable call, bugler. Dismount your prisoner, sergeant, and bring him in," he ordered; and then continued to the host: "We had the tavern surrounded, Mr. Meredith, ere they ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... public affairs, they beguiled their time chiefly with such amusements as the Peacock afforded, which were limited to a bagatelle-board in the first floor, and a sequestered skittle-ground in the back yard. In the science and nicety of both these recreations, which are far more abstruse than ordinary men suppose, they were gradually initiated by Mr. Weller, who possessed a perfect knowledge of such pastimes. Thus, notwithstanding that they were in a great ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... had wiped the blood out of his eyes which had flowed into them from a small wound on his forehead caused by a flying splinter, was astounded to observe the amount of damage and the number of casualties that had resulted from that one discharge. The pirates had somehow managed to get the range to a nicety, and every shot had come aboard. There were no less than nine men killed and wounded, and the crew of the four-inch gun were all down. Unconquerable or not, the pirates were certainly marvellously clever gunners, and their weapons must be both heavy ...
— A Chinese Command - A Story of Adventure in Eastern Seas • Harry Collingwood

... the old woman's death. For during her life-time her stern son paid her such deference that it was a moot point, perhaps, which of them really ruled. Between them, however, the young wife was moulded to a nicety, and her voice gained no more weight in the counsels of the windmill when the harsh tones of the ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... the disabled body of a living person, is considered the third in the scale of honours. These things are regulated, among the Indians, with the nicety which attends the distribution of academical prizes at ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 1 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... boxes of various thicknesses, made for the purpose and supplemented by several sheets of cardboard and even of writing-paper. These have been found to answer well and enable the experimenter to graduate with a nicety the pressure to which the gas is exposed during measurement. By employing a cylinder filled with mercury instead of the usual caoutchouc tubing small bubbles of air are prevented from entering the gauge along with the mercury. An adjustable brace ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 303 - October 22, 1881 • Various

... a similar principle had before been admitted in the Civil Law, as to mercantile causes, in which the books of the party were received to give full effect to an insufficient degree of proof, called, in the nicety of their distinctions, a ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XI. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... edition, Critical Observations on Shakespeare had been published by Mr. Upton[21], a man skilled in languages, and acquainted with books, but who seems to have had no great vigour of genius or nicety of taste. Many of his explanations are curious and useful, but he, likewise, though he professed to oppose the licentious confidence of editors, and adhere to the old copies, is unable to restrain the rage of emendation, though his ardour is ill seconded by his skill. Every cold empirick, ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... reach, and in the Old Testament we find several passages more elevated and sublime than any in Homer. At the same time that we allow a greater and more daring genius to the ancients, we must own that the greatest of them very much failed in, or, if you will, that they were much above the nicety and correctness of the moderns. In their similitudes and allusions, provided there was a likeness, they did not much trouble themselves about the decency of the comparison: thus Solomon resembles the nose of his beloved to the tower of Lebanon which looketh towards ...
— Essays and Tales • Joseph Addison

... new friend "nice," as she certainly would have done in the present day. To her ear that word had no meaning except that of particular and precise—the meaning which we still attach to its relative "nicety." ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... arrayed in such finery, as is so often the case with heroines of romance, but the result of much premeditation and studied effect. Ever since her meeting with Blanch she had dressed herself daily with terrible deliberation and nicety of precision, the same as every woman of flesh and blood would have done under the circumstances, on the chance of Captain Forest finding her at home when he came to pay his respects to the Padre as he had intimated he ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... shot for my old rifle, which was only sighted up to one hundred yards; but I had used the piece for six years and knew to a nicety what it would do. Moreover—I am now an old man and may therefore perhaps venture to speak the simple truth without being suspected of boasting—I seem to have been endowed, from my earliest years, with ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... lost some of its shrewdness. It was as if the white frontier had seized and shaken him into a new conception of life. He moved restlessly along the bench, then stepped softly to the side of the bed and straightened the coverlet into greater nicety while ...
— O Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919 • Various

... is impossible for them to upset. A stage is formed on the canoe where the outriggers cross, on which is carried the fishing gear, and, invariably, also fire. The canoes are propelled by short paddles, or a sail of palm-leaf matting when the wind is fair. Considerable nicety is also shown in the making of fishing lines and hooks. The former are made from the fibres of a species of climber very neatly twisted. The fish-hooks are made of tortoise-shell, or nails procured from wreck timber. ...
— The Overland Expedition of The Messrs. Jardine • Frank Jardine and Alexander Jardine

... in his huge cloak, extended his substantial form on the stone bench, and gave the most decided tokens of profound repose, long ere the monk had done speaking.—"Forms and fashions of respect," she continued, "are for times of ease and nicety;—when in danger, the soldier's bedchamber is wherever he can find leisure for an hour's sleep—his eating-hall, wherever he can obtain food. Sit thou down by Rose and me, good father, and tell us of some holy lesson which may pass away these hours ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... a commander's back, it is easy to organise an expedition on an elaborate scale, and to carry it out with the nicety of perfection, but for the realisation of these ponderous plans there is one thing more necessary, and that is time. I have no doubt if Gordon's letter had said "granaries full, can hold out till ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume II • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... rendering of it for my information was to be trusted, it was simply perfect. No, it was not that. He was not ashamed. He was shocked at being the selected victim, not of robbery so much as of contempt. His tranquillity had been wantonly desecrated. His lifelong, kindly nicety of outlook ...
— A Set of Six • Joseph Conrad

... eccentric devices to keep themselves from freezing. "Our guards at the grand parade," writes Knox, "make a most grotesque appearance in their different dresses; and our inventions to guard us against the extreme rigours of this climate are various beyond imagination. The uniformity, as well as the nicety, of the clean, methodical soldiers is buried in the rough, fur-wrought garb of the frozen Laplander; and we rather resemble a masquerade than a body of regular troops, insomuch that I have frequently been accosted by my acquaintances, whom, though their voices were familiar to me, I could ...
— Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France • Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan

... ground, will puzzle for a length of time on one spot, sooner than he will leave the scent. The foxhound, on the contrary, full of life, spirit, and high courage, is always dashing and trying forward. The beagle, however, has extraordinary perseverance, as well as nicety of scent, and also a liveliness of manner in hunting, which, joined to its musical and melodious note, will always afford pleasure to the lovers of the chase, or at least to those who are unable to undertake the more exciting sport of fox-hunting. In rabbit-shooting, in gorse and thick ...
— Anecdotes of Dogs • Edward Jesse

... when suddenly there was a jerk and a stop. Something was wrong, and Farrow, who was fortunately turning with great caution, gave a cry such as a man might utter who was suddenly struck a heavy blow. He recovered himself instantly, and luckily at the very first glance saw what was the matter. The nicety of his own handicraft was the cause of the disaster. A shaving not much thicker than a piece of writing-paper had dropped between two cogs. A gentle touch of a quarter of an inch ...
— Miriam's Schooling and Other Papers - Gideon; Samuel; Saul; Miriam's Schooling; and Michael Trevanion • Mark Rutherford

... a deep breath and nodded slowly. The added details were fitting the new theory to a nicety. In conversation with the president he had previously marked the fact that the robber had ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... me?" said Peter Hovenden. "I say again, it is a good and a wholesome thing to depend upon main strength and reality, and to earn one's bread with the bare and brawny arm of a blacksmith. A watchmaker gets his brain puzzled by his wheels within a wheel, or loses his health or the nicety of his eyesight, as was my case, and finds himself at middle age, or a little after, past labor at his own trade and fit for nothing else, yet too poor to live at his ease. So I say once again, give me main strength for my money. And then, how it takes the nonsense out of a man! ...
— Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... as our trench seemed to give no more protection from the dropping bullets than a saucer would from a storm of rain—but it was too late. We could not sink into the earth fast enough. The Boers had got the range of the trench to a nicety, and the shells burst over us now with a horrible methodic precision. Several men were hit, and there was no reason why the enemy should cease to rain shrapnel over us until we were all killed. As we were absolutely ...
— The Defence of Duffer's Drift • Ernest Dunlop Swinton

... fair indication of the character of the roads. Our machine was supposed to make twenty miles to the gallon, and so it would on level roads, with the spark well advanced and the intake valve operating to a nicety; but under adverse conditions more gasoline is used, and with the hill-climbing gear four times the gasoline ...
— Two Thousand Miles On An Automobile • Arthur Jerome Eddy

... pleasant companions we have had to pass by; to strike from our list many excellent letters. Those that remain are intended to present as complete a portrait of the writer as space permits. Occasionally it was some feature of the age, some nicety of manners, some contrast in point of view, ...
— Selected English Letters (XV - XIX Centuries) • Various

... powerful than any elephant, more delicately-fitted than any watch for executing the metalwork of steam-engines, of philosophical instruments, and everything requiring either great power or mathematical nicety. Some of these tools for planing, boring, rivetting, welding, cutting iron and other metals, are to be found in great iron manufactories. Indeed, Mr. Roberts and Mr. Whitworth are of a class of men who have ...
— Rides on Railways • Samuel Sidney

... in a very short time, by his mother's countenance and direction, accomplished himself with all those qualifications which constitute puerile politeness. He became in a few days a perfect master of his hat, which with a careless nicety he could put off or on, without any need to adjust it by a second motion. This was not attained but by frequent consultations with his dancing-master, and constant practice before the glass, for he had some rustick habits to overcome; ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... ruddy, impudent face, which instantly assumed an appearance of the most defiant unconcern, while its owner began to devote his energies to shying stones at an invisible rook upon the old church tower with great nicety of aim. ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... who could speak of my morals and position, to have a previous audience with "the responsible relation" of "the young person who had attracted my notice;" nor, did I don a pair of "light fresh-butter-coloured kid gloves." Still, I undoubtedly betrayed a considerable nicety of ...
— She and I, Volume 2 - A Love Story. A Life History. • John Conroy Hutcheson

... air at once refreshed and solemn. Workmen, perhaps, pay more attention; but though they may be eager listeners, they have rarely seemed to me either willing or careful thinkers. Culture is not measured by the greatness of the field which is covered by our knowledge, but by the nicety with which we can perceive relations in that field, whether great or small. Workmen, certainly those who were on board with me, I found wanting in this quality or habit of the mind. They did not perceive relations, but leaped to a so-called cause, and thought the problem settled. Thus ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and stepping towards the coat of mail, which hung with the shield and helmet of the chivalrous monarch upon the pillar of the tent, he handled it with such nicety of address as sufficiently to show that he fully understood the business of ...
— The Talisman • Sir Walter Scott

... have taken occasion to be very free with its precedents, and to treat them as things written in barbarous Latin, in which an unreasonable, if not ridiculous nicety is sometimes required. But when this comes to be thoroughly examined, we shall find that their proceedings are exactly conformable to reason, for if care and circumspection be necessary in deeds and writings relating to civil affairs, ought it not a fortiori to be more so where the life, ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... can be obtained in fairly long lengths out of narrow boards, whilst on the other hand cross tongues are limited by the width of the board. After cutting off the tongues, they require planing with nicety to fit the grooves, and the advantage of a grooved board (Fig. 105) will be appreciated. A glue spoon similar to a plumber's ladle is generally used to pour the glue into the grooves, and it is customary to glue the tongue into one board first; after ...
— Woodwork Joints - How they are Set Out, How Made and Where Used. • William Fairham

... was likely that the gentleman would call, in order that being presently responsible for the beef, greens, and sundries, he might take to be in the way at the time. Mr Swiveller, after mentally calculating his engagements to a nicety, replied that he should look in at from two minutes before six and seven minutes past; and the man disappearing with this feeble consolation, Richards Swiveller took a greasy memorandum-book from his pocket ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... put my whole mind on his performance. There is a little the same sort of pleasure in watching the skillful handling of a rod that there is in watching the bow-action of a violinist. Both things demand the utmost nicety of adjustment: body, arm, wrist, fingers uniting in an interplay of efficiency exactly adapted to the intricately ...
— More Jonathan Papers • Elisabeth Woodbridge

... of the day in which he carried his present of fruit and flowers to Rosamund, his sister had observed him more than usually busy in the garden, culling fruit with a nicety of choice not common ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... 'A' party? Then come on." Worming over the bank Samuel followed his subaltern into the darkness, and the raid had begun. Without a sound they approached the wire through which they had to cut, crawling as they had practised. Timed to a nicety they reached it and lay still, just as a couple of flashes from the rear proclaimed the gunners were beginning. Five—six—seven seconds, and with a shrill scream two shells whistled over their heads and burst fifty yards in ...
— No Man's Land • H. C. McNeile

... town. But how to get up? They sent for a kite, to be sure; and the men, women, and children of Alexandria, wondering what they were going to do with it, followed the toy in crowds. The kite was flown over the Pillar, and with such nicety, that when it fell on the other side the string lodged upon the beautiful Corinthian capital. By this means they were able to draw over the Pillar a two-inch rope, by which one of the youngsters 'swarmed' to the top. The rope was now in a very little ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal Vol. XVII. No. 418. New Series. - January 3, 1852. • William and Robert Chambers

... every minute as the wind and clouds change. I can keep mine constant with mathematical accuracy, or vary the light to a nicety ...
— The Healthy Life, Vol. V, Nos. 24-28 - The Independent Health Magazine • Various

... table was covered with a clean cloth of the finest of homespun, and everything set out with the same nicety as if the meal had been spread in the dining-room. The old lady, who had sought to please her son by putting on her best cap for the occasion, but who had in truth forgot what day it was until reminded ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... characters,—that it makes them cheerful, joyful, useful, happy. Yet all the time they fancy, because they have been erroneously taught, that the blessed volume owes its comforting, transforming, and glorious power to some metaphysical nicety, or to some unreal ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... out once—only once, but he had calculated the delivery and effect of the blow to a nicety. There was a thud as his fist landed under the jaw of the bully, so quickly and so unexpectedly that the latter did not have time to put up so much as a ...
— Ralph on the Overland Express - The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer • Allen Chapman

... verse in considerable quantities, the continued, though only slight, over-elaboration of the work produces a feeling of strain. Throughout there runs a vein of artificiality which ultimately gives the impression of insincerity. He can turn out phrases of the utmost nicety. Nothing can be more neatly turned than the description of the feelings of Antigone and Ismene on the outbreak of the war ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... Kirkham cor. "After what has been said, will it be thought an excess of refinement, to suggest that the different orders are qualified for different purposes?"—Kames cor. "Who has nothing to think of, but the killing of time."—West cor. "It requires no nicety of ear, as in the distinguishing of tones, or the measuring of time."—Sheridan cor. "The possessive case [is that form or state of a noun or pronoun, which] denotes possession, or the relation of property."—S. R. ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... the scene that followed. It was out of the ordinary and most improper. Miss Kitty fitted her arrows with immense deliberation, so that every one might see what she was doing. She was a perfect shot; and her 46-pound bow suited her to a nicety. She pinned the wooden legs of the target with great care four successive times. She pinned the wooden top of the target once, and all the ladies looked at each other. Then she began some fancy shooting ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... were out again in a moment, bearing a great chair, which they set with nicety at the door of the carriage. This done, the gapers saw what they had come to see. For an instant, the face that all England knew and all Europe feared—but blanched, strained, and drawn with pain—showed ...
— The Castle Inn • Stanley John Weyman

... society in particular, you don't notice her, and are struck with virtuous indignation when Grundy nods to her in the street. Surely Miss F. dresses beautifully and is handsome as a picture, and is much sought after by gentlemen of doubtful nicety in the choice of female friends. She leads a jolly life, certainly; for she rides in an elegant barouche, has nothing to do, no household cares to vex her, no pork to boil, no potatoes to peel, and has genuine wax candles in the private boudoir where she receives those not over-nice gentlemen. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 93, July, 1865 • Various

... forte is character-painting. This portraiture is accomplished with remarkable skill, the traits both individual and national being marked with great nicety without ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... whole, then;—observe me,' urges Twemlow with great nicety, as if; in the case of its having been off the whole, he would have done it directly—'ON the whole, I must beg you to excuse me from addressing any communication to ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... was scarcely less eccentric. "Our guards on the grand parade make a most grotesque appearance in their different dresses; and our inventions to guard us against the extreme rigor of this climate are various beyond imagination. The uniformity as well as nicety of the clean, methodical soldier is buried in the rough, fur-wrought garb of the frozen Laplander; and we rather resemble a masquerade than a body of regular troops, insomuch that I have frequently been accosted by my acquaintances, ...
— Montcalm and Wolfe • Francis Parkman

... have been none the worse as regarded his official duties. Mr. Blow did not want the services of a wife in discovering and reporting all the secrets of the Belgium iron trade. There was no intricacy in that, no nicety. There was much of what, in his lighter moments, Mr. Anderson called "sweat." He did not pretend to much capacity for such duties; but in his own peculiar walk he thought that he was great. But it was very fatiguing, and ...
— Mr. Scarborough's Family • Anthony Trollope

... hurry the horse, there being many things to say and hear, for which the present situation was admirably suited. The sun shone occasionally into Matilda's face as they drove on, its rays picking out all her features to a great nicety. Her eyes would have been called brown, but they were really eel-colour, like many other nice brown eyes; they were well-shaped and rather bright, though they had more of a broad shine than a sparkle. ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... overcoat, he took from an inside pocket, the torn half of a large envelope, and unlocking the drawer of his desk, hunted for a similar fragment. Spreading them out before him, he fitted the zigzag edges with great nicety, and there lay the well-known superscription: "Last Will and Testament of Robert Luke Darrington." One corner of the last found bit was brown and mud-stained, but the handwriting was in perfect preservation. As he stooped to put it all back in ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... my hands with helpless disapproval of his inveterate materialism and went about making the bed. He continued copying lines and figures upon the transparent scale. It was a task requiring the utmost nicety and precision, and I could not but admire the way he tempered his strength to the fineness ...
— The Sea-Wolf • Jack London

... with great nicety, into the ground, at the precise spot where the beetle fell, my friend now produced from his pocket a tape-measure. Fastening one end of this at that point of the trunk of the tree which was nearest ...
— The Short-story • William Patterson Atkinson

... establishment, and earning golden opinions from all sorts and conditions of men, finally settled down to a quiet country life in a pretty cottage in our village, where he is the life and soul of every convivial gathering and beanfeast, carving a York ham or a sirloin with great nicety and judgment. He has seen much of men and manners in his day, and has a fund of information on all kinds of subjects. Having plenty of leisure, he is a capital hand at finding the whereabouts of outlying foxes; ...
— A Cotswold Village • J. Arthur Gibbs

... tall you grow! Those trousers would fit my darling Frederick to a nicety. Thank you, Charles. I know the way to the nursery. ...
— The Wolves and the Lamb • William Makepeace Thackeray

... keen delight in waiting upon her, in judging to a nicety the true amount of sugar and cream, in drawing the little ...
— The Unclassed • George Gissing

... the action of the mind. When a thought strikes us, the eyes fix, and remain gazing at a distance; in enumerating the names of persons or of countries, as France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, the eyes wink at each new name. There is no nicety of learning sought by the mind, which the eyes do not vie in acquiring. "An artist," said Michael Angelo, "must have his measuring tools not in the hand, but in the eye;" and there is no end to the catalogue of its performances, whether in indolent vision (that of health ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... as it was bound to do on so momentous an occasion. The Capitalist was dressed with almost suspicious nicety. We pedestrians could not help waiting to see them off, and I thought he handed the ladies into the carriage with the air ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... reddish mustache lay sleek with it. There was the merest suggestion of embonpoint to the waistcoat, but not so that, when he dropped his eyes, the blunt toes of his russet shoes were not in evidence. His pin-checked suit was pressed to a knife-edge, and his brocaded cravat folded to a nicety; there was an air of complete well-being about him. Men can acquire that sort of eupeptic well-being in a Turkish bath. Young mothers ...
— Gaslight Sonatas • Fannie Hurst

... secretions involved, but something sends the messages and it is something that has a remarkable likeness to mind as we usually think of mind,—something which takes advantage of the past and gages means to an end with a nicety that excites ...
— Outwitting Our Nerves - A Primer of Psychotherapy • Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury

... love of ornament I found manifest in the same medico-barbaric fancy for wearing eye-glasses. The nicety of certain operations in the mill, performed not always in the brightest of lights, is a fatal strain upon the eyes. There are no oculists in Perry, but a Buffalo member of the profession makes a monthly visit to treat a new harvest of patients. Their daily ...
— The Woman Who Toils - Being the Experiences of Two Gentlewomen as Factory Girls • Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst

... the precise moment at which the travellers would have landed had not that unlucky bolide drawn them off the track. The Moon was therefore strictly up to time, arriving at the instant rigidly determined by the Cambridge Observatory. She occupied the exact point, to a mathematical nicety, where our 28th parallel crossed the perigee. An observer posted in the bottom of the Columbiad at Stony Hill, would have found himself at this moment precisely under the Moon. The axis of the enormous gun, continued upwards vertically, would have struck the orb of night exactly ...
— All Around the Moon • Jules Verne

... know, I gave her the most delicate instructions, so to speak, for inviting that lady and her daughter, you understand of whom I am speaking? It needed the utmost delicacy, the greatest nicety, but she has managed things so that that fool, that conceited baggage, that provincial nonentity, simply because she is the widow of a major, and has come to try and get a pension and to fray out her skirts in the government offices, because at fifty she paints her face (everybody ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... been a uniform alacrity in going under; the offices in the gift of the President might very well be reckoned on to supply the beef which should lead by their noses the weary expectants whose hunger might be too strong for their nicety of stomach; and the pinch of salt,—why could not that be found in the handful of Republicans who might be drawn over by love of notoriety, private disgusts, or that mixture of motives which has none of the substance of opinion, much less of the tenacity of principle, but which is largely ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... me we have now more than five hundred detenus in this single house. How so many have been wedged in I can scarcely conceive, but it seems our keeper has the art of calculating with great nicety the space requisite for a given number of bodies, and their being able to respire freely is not his affair. Those who can afford it have their dinners, with all the appurtenances, brought from the inns or traiteurs; and the poor ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... in school-books, who vouched in dryest tones for the fidelity to fact of the following narrative, used to add a ring of truth to it by opening with a nicety of criticism on the heroine's personality. People were wrong, he declared, when they surmised that Baptista Trewthen was a young woman with scarcely emotions or character. There was nothing in her to love, and nothing to hate—so ran the general opinion. That she showed ...
— Victorian Short Stories, - Stories Of Successful Marriages • Elizabeth Gaskell, et al.

... think what evils must ensue; Miss Moll, the jade, will burn it blue; And, when she once has got the art, She cannot help it for her heart; But out it flies, even when she meets Her bridegroom in the wedding-sheets. Carminative and diuretic[9] Will damp all passion sympathetic; And Love such nicety requires, One blast will put out all his fires. Since husbands get behind the scene, The wife should study to be clean; Nor give the smallest room to guess The time when wants of nature press; But after marriage practise more Decorum than she did before; To keep ...
— The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume I (of 2) • Jonathan Swift

... ultimate effort, and final endeavour of its most delicate sap,) than in solid and close substance to encrease the timber. And this shall suffice, though some haply might here recommend to us a more accurate microscopical examen, to interpret their most secret schematismes, which were an over-nicety ...
— Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) - Or A Discourse of Forest Trees • John Evelyn

... plenty of room on the cellar door for them and the tomatoes. Calvin curled up his long legs under him, and gave his attention for several minutes to the Crimson Cushions and Ponderosas, turning them with careful nicety. ...
— The Wooing of Calvin Parks • Laura E. Richards

... a clearing in the very middle of the forest, and the storks calculated their descent with such nicety that they brought the car up in front ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... absolutely necessary thing to be accomplished was a vast and comprehensive execution that should correspond to the vast and comprehensive execution of Tacitus. Here was something to be done seemingly insuperable; for how can any one hope to imitate the execution of another, with such marvellous nicety that no distinction can be discerned between the two on the minutest test of microscopic investigation? more especially if the execution to be imitated be that of a man of real genius, consequently unparalleled in its way, of a mighty nature, and, in ...
— Tacitus and Bracciolini - The Annals Forged in the XVth Century • John Wilson Ross

... walking in the fog and frost, this Nephew of Scrooge's, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again." The Novelist himself was depicted there to a nicety. No need, therefore, was there for even one syllable of this in the Reading. Scrooge's Nephew was visibly before us, without ...
— Charles Dickens as a Reader • Charles Kent

... but preferably so. One's sense of nicety might demand that they be just alike, but you will find it doesn't make any difference. It takes a little longer to put in a big scion of his sort but it is very sure to grow. Your tree is already made by the time you ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 13th Annual Meeting - Rochester, N.Y. September, 7, 8 and 9, 1922 • Various

... every name that is in it. You will hear what plays were acted that week, which is the finest song in the opera, who was intolerable at the last assembly, and what games are most in fashion. Flavia thinks they are atheists who play at cards on the Sunday, but she will tell you the nicety of all the games, what cards she held, how she played them, and the history of all that happened at play, as soon as she comes from church. If you would know who is rude and ill-natured, who is vain and foppish, who lives ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis



Words linked to "Nicety" :   significance, conformity, subtlety, signification, shade, meaning, rightness



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