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Nicety   /nˈaɪsɪti/   Listen
Nicety

noun
(pl. niceties)
1.
Conformity with some esthetic standard of correctness or propriety.  Synonyms: justness, rightness.
2.
A subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude.  Synonyms: nuance, refinement, shade, subtlety.  "Don't argue about shades of meaning"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Nicety" Quotes from Famous Books



... have been expected to befoul her room, yet never could anyone, whether man or beast, have shown more nicety in such matters. But at luncheon Mr. Tebrick helped her to a wing of chicken, and leaving the room for a minute to fetch some water which he had forgot, found her at his return on the table crunching the very bones. ...
— Lady Into Fox • David Garnett

... parted with something of anticipation, something more of doubt; and her several thoughts and fractions of thoughts, as signalled by the changes on her face, were exhibited by the light to the utmost nicety. An ingenuous, transparent life was disclosed, as if the flow of her existence could be seen passing within her. She understood ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... course, where the editor of such a paper is concerned, there is always the element of natural delicacy and nicety of feeling to be considered. Mr. Grace felt that because he was not present at the St. Cecilia ball, he was free to print things about it. An earthquake would not be like the St. Cecilia Society—it would not draw the line at Mr. ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... the preceding twenty-four hours, had breakfasted upon biscuits and coffee, and had spent the night and early morning in ceaseless toil. Nevertheless he had found time to visit a hairdressing saloon, for he prided himself upon the nicety ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... it a rule to examine positions in which each side has a passed pawn, by counting the moves in the way first shown. It is just because end-games can be calculated to a nicety, there being no moves of which the consequences cannot be foreseen, that we note in contemporary master play a tendency to simplify the middle-game by exchanging pieces, as soon as there is an infinitesimal advantage in the pawn position (compare ...
— Chess Strategy • Edward Lasker

... in Josephus, that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in the eighteenth year of his reign, is a mistake in the nicety of chronology; for it was in the nineteenth. The true number here for the year of Darius, in which the second temple was finished, whether the second with our present copies, or the sixth with that of Syncellus, or the tenth with that of Eusebius, is very uncertain; so we had best follow Josephus's ...
— Against Apion • Flavius Josephus

... perception in some, a nicety in the discernment of character, a natural penetration, in short, which no experience in others can equal, and Lady Russell had been less gifted in this part of understanding than her young friend. But she was a very good woman, and if her second object was to ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... any larger number—success depended entirely upon a nicety of timing never before approached and supposedly impossible. Not only to thousandths of a microsecond, but to a small fraction of one such thousandth: roughly, the time it takes light to travel three-sixteenths ...
— Masters of Space • Edward Elmer Smith

... with black hair and eyes and a swarthy complexion. From the jack-knife beside him, and the shavings scattered around, it was clear that he had been whittling out the piece of pine that he was adjusting, with some nicety, to a wooden model of some mechanical contrivance which stood upon the floor beside him. They were a strikingly handsome couple, of ideally ...
— The Colonel's Dream • Charles W. Chesnutt

... innate talent for mimicry,—for making a mask out of his physiognomy, so that he can always look as if he really were what he pretends to be; and since he makes his calculations always within the lines of his individual nature, the appearance he puts on suits him to a nicety, and its effect is extremely deceptive. He dons his mask whenever his object is to flatter himself into some one's good opinion; and you may pay just as much attention to it as if it were made of wax or cardboard, never forgetting that ...
— Counsels and Maxims - From The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... spoke I saw the flash and glitter of his whirling hook as he turned, pinning me with it through the breast of my doublet (but with so just a nicety that the keen point never so much as touched my skin) and holding me at arm's length upon this hateful thing, he viewed me over, his pale eyes bright beneath their jut of shaggy brow. But knowing the man and feeling Joanna's gaze upon me, I folded my arms ...
— Martin Conisby's Vengeance • Jeffery Farnol

... belonging to a barber at Rome, could imitate to a nicety almost every word it heard. Some trumpets happened one day to be sounded before the shop, and for a day or two afterwards the magpie was quite mute, and seemed pensive and melancholy. All who knew it were greatly surprised at its silence; and it was supposed that the sound ...
— A Hundred Anecdotes of Animals • Percy J. Billinghurst

... that while yet trapping they carry forward the plot or theme without a break. These traps of scene, of situation, of climax, of acts and tableaux or of whatever they are, require to be set and adjusted with the utmost nicety and skill so that they will spring at the precise instant and in the precise manner to seize and hold the admiration—sympathy—interest—or whatever they may be intended to capture, of an audience. Their construction ...
— How to Write a Play - Letters from Augier, Banville, Dennery, Dumas, Gondinet, - Labiche, Legouve, Pailleron, Sardou, Zola • Various

... which I was to know nothing of; but she came quickly and discovered them to me and asked me whither she should keep them, which I advised her to do for the present. For I reflected that my shewing an over-nicety might do hurt, before I had made a full discovery what goods and treasure were in the Sloop. All this whole matter, even to my writing my Letter to Kid, was transacted with the privity and advice ...
— Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period - Illustrative Documents • Various

... powerful fighting vessels, and as there was a section of the public which regarded battle-ships as possessing a name immorally suggestive of violence, we compromised by calling the new ships armored cruisers, and making them combine with exquisite nicety all the defects and none of the virtues of both types. Then we got to the point of building battle-ships. But there still remained a public opinion, as old as the time of Jefferson, which thought that in the event of war all our problem ought to be one of coast defense, that we should ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... about us, like hungry wolves watching a drove of buffaloes. But when memory is at work in my old brain, on times long past, it is apt to overlook the matters of the day. You say right, my children; it is time to be moving, and now comes the real nicety of our case. It is easy to outwit a furnace, for it is nothing but a raging element; and it is not always difficult to throw a grizzly bear from his scent, for the creatur' is both enlightened and blinded by his instinct; but to shut ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... under his valet's hands this morning to be made presentable and is as well got up as the circumstances will allow. He is propped with pillows, his grey hair is brushed in its usual manner, his linen is arranged to a nicety, and he is wrapped in a responsible dressing-gown. His eye-glass and his watch are ready to his hand. It is necessary—less to his own dignity now perhaps than for her sake—that he should be seen as little disturbed and as much himself ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... 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 ...
— Amaryllis at the Fair • Richard Jefferies

... man, waiting, with every nerve and muscle at concert pitch. The man moved forward, with hand outstretched invitingly. The Wolfhound moved backward, with hackles slightly raised. Thus they followed each other round the little yard perhaps six times, the distance between them being maintained with nicety and precision by Finn. Then Matey's mental inferiority appeared. He was expecting very shortly now the man from whom he hoped to receive his reward—the price of Finn. His intelligence, such as it was, told ...
— Finn The Wolfhound • A. J. Dawson

... 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 ...
— All Around the Moon • Jules Verne

... Honesty [*Cf. Q. 145] pertains to virtue. Now a certain honesty is observed in the outward apparel; for Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 19): "The body should be bedecked naturally and without affectation, with simplicity, with negligence rather than nicety, not with costly and dazzling apparel, but with ordinary clothes, so that nothing be lacking to honesty and necessity, yet nothing be added to increase its beauty." Therefore there can be virtue and ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... that 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 with very ...
— Stolen Treasure • Howard Pyle

... seen for a greater distance than a furlong. At every instant the vessel seemed imprisoned within an enchanted circle, having insuperable and impenetrable walls of foliage, a roof of ultramarine satin, and no floor—the keel balancing itself with admirable nicety on that of a phantom bark which, by some accident having been turned upside down, floated in constant company with the substantial one, for the purpose of sustaining it. The channel now became a gorge—although ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... by Furneaux, were not afterwards improved, but they answered the end. The waddy was a short piece of wood, reduced and notched towards the grasp, and slightly rounded at the point. The spear, nine or ten feet long, was pointed at the larger end, straightened by the teeth, and balanced with great nicety. The spearman, while poising the weapon, held others in his left hand, prepared for instant use: the spear, thus poised, seemed for a few seconds to spin, and it would strike at sixty yards, with an unerring aim. ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... recognized the slender figure, the indolent attitude of Tom Appleton, the blase young man whom he was so accustomed to meeting at billiard-tables, in clubs, or hotels. A tolerant, amiable expression saved the youth's smooth, handsome face from vacuity. He was dressed with careful nicety. ...
— Tales From Bohemia • Robert Neilson Stephens

... toward humanitarianism. It is difficult to analyze a living thing; the analysis is at best imperfect. Many more motives may blend with the three trends; possibly the desire for a new form of social success due to the nicety of imagination, which refuses worldly pleasures unmixed with the joys of self-sacrifice; possibly a love of approbation, so vast that it is not content with the treble clapping of delicate hands, ...
— Twenty Years At Hull House • Jane Addams

... Alva might have looked, had he been reduced to a command in the civil guard. He said little, but what he did say was short and to the point. One of the friars was a young Dominican, handsome and dressed with extreme nicety. He wore gold mounted spectacles and preserved the extreme gravity of youth. The other friar, however, who was a Franciscan, talked a great deal and gesticulated even more. Although his hair was getting ...
— Friars and Filipinos - An Abridged Translation of Dr. Jose Rizal's Tagalog Novel, - 'Noli Me Tangere.' • Jose Rizal

... position as much as to say that he would keep exactly amid channel, and then made a sign to cut the bush-rope that held the canoe to the fallen tree. The canoe drove down the torrent with inconceivable rapidity. It did not touch the rocks once all the way. The Indian proved to a nicety: "medio ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... never smiled at all, there had been but one will in the household. At any rate, after 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 mother-in-law were ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... failure of the staff to observe the mistake and my own to disclose it. The wood I went to was some half-mile distant from the proper one, but the same shape, as near the railway, and answering the General's map-description to a nicety. I like to think of my wood, where I was so rarely found, whither perplexed runners brought orders so late, where I never was relieved, but where my old shelters of tin and brushwood escaped ...
— The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry • G. K. Rose

... impenetrable depositary. The true Japanese manner of understanding luxury consists in a scrupulous and indeed almost excessive cleanliness, white mats and white woodwork; an appearance of extreme simplicity, and an incredible nicety ...
— Madame Chrysantheme • Pierre Loti

... were fastened to hard pine planks, and these were then carefully buried two feet deep. The surface of the ground, he was wont to descant, must be of a particular sort of gravel, sifted just so, and rolled to a nicety. The balls must be of hard rubber, and have just one-eighth inch clearance in passing through the wickets, with the exception of the two wires forming the "cage," where it was imperative that this clearance should be reduced to one-sixteenth of an inch—but I need not state ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... you set him down either for the gentleman by birth fallen a victim to some degrading habit, or for the man of small independent means whose expenses are calculated to such a nicety that the breakage of a windowpane, a rent in a coat, or a visit from the philanthropic pest who asks you for subscriptions to a charity, absorbs the whole of a month's little surplus of pocket-money. If you had seen ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... 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 age communicate the verbal forms in which such ideas ...
— Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects - Everyman's Library • Herbert Spencer

... went to spend his time idly lying amidst the tall grass and ferns which grew thickly around the well. This sort of job suited him to a nicety, for the sun was warm and pleasant, and he did no work, for, said he, if he was to work he wouldn't be able to hear any sounds that might come from below. And for once he ...
— Cornwall's Wonderland • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... quite the hat I want," he said as he returned to us, "but the day is young. I'll have other chances," and with the help of the public-house window as a mirror he adjusted the unmentionable thing with affectations of great nicety. ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... the day of their childish disaster died on her lips when she caught sight of him for she knew that something was wrong. Accustomed all her life to live in the region of storms, she had learned to a nicety the ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... the lovers do? If everything is adjusted to such a nicety, what will they be able to sacrifice ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... get the protection of any artillery. All that we had to keep Fritz at bay on this ridge was about forty machine guns, which were no match for the heavy shells that the Huns were pouring on us, having our range to a nicety. We were in what is known as "graves," or shallow trenches, not having had time to dig deep trenches or to strengthen our positions as we were constantly under fire. But these Marines laid down a machine gun barrage, the first that I had ever seen. They kept up ...
— In the Flash Ranging Service - Observations of an American Soldier During His Service - With the A.E.F. in France • Edward Alva Trueblood

... door the next morning is "more germain to the matter." How that knock often goes to the heart! We distinguish to a nicety the arrival of the Two-penny or the General Post. The summons of the latter is louder and heavier, as bringing news from a greater distance, and as, the longer it has been delayed, fraught with a deeper interest. We catch the sound of what is to be paid—eightpence, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, No. - 480, Saturday, March 12, 1831 • Various

... is of paramount importance, that being the garment which decorates the gentleman at a time when he is naturally ambitious of going the entire D'Orsay. There is great nicety required in cutting this article of dress, so that it may at one and the same moment display the figure and waistcoat of the wearer to the utmost advantage. None but a John o'Groat's goth would allow it to be ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, September 12, 1841 • Various

... room, and noting the delicate nicety and precision of its condition and arrangement, one would have supposed that Sophie's own hands must have been very lately at work upon it. But it was many weeks since she had even sat in the easy-chair that stood in the rosy-curtained window; and, although now far advanced ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... be used more for ascertaining relatively large differences in altitudes than for purposes where any great nicety is required. For hills under 2000 ft., the following rule will give a very close approximation, and is easily remembered, because 55 degrees, the assumed temperature, agrees with 55 degrees, the significant figures in the 55,000 factor, while the fractional ...
— Getting Gold • J. C. F. Johnson

... 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 afterwards to ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... 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 ...
— A History of Pantomime • R. J. Broadbent

... 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 to the fair Phyllis to grace his table on Maecenas's birthday ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... 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 shifting ...
— More Jonathan Papers • Elisabeth Woodbridge

... any means the only form of Christianity, but maintained—what every sensible person must grant, I think—that it has had an important mission in society, even in its peculiarities. I inferred from her conversation that the system of plain dress, maintained with the nicety which they always use, is by no means a saving in a pecuniary point of view. She stated that one young friend, who had been brought up in this persuasion, gave it as her reason for not adopting its peculiar dress, that she ...
— Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands, Volume 1 (of 2) • Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe

... hardly do more than produce an impression of confused splendour on an audience. It is the old difficulty of getting a quart into a pint bottle. But Berenice is a pint—neither more nor less, and fits its bottle to a nicety. To witness a performance of it is a rare and exquisite pleasure; the impression is one of flawless beauty; one comes away profoundly moved, and with a new vision of the capacities ...
— Landmarks in French Literature • G. Lytton Strachey

... distinction is given these British volumes by the presentation card, tipped in after the front cover. A really exquisite little thing is this one: it bears, placed with great nicety, its coat of arms above, delicately reduced in size; across the middle, in beautiful sensitive type, it reads: "With the City Accountant's Compliments"; in the lower left corner, in two lines, ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... 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 ...
— Miriam's Schooling and Other Papers - Gideon; Samuel; Saul; Miriam's Schooling; and Michael Trevanion • Mark Rutherford

... and breaking bad habits in other points of vice and virtue, have given up the struggle, and concluded that "a speckled ax was best"; for something, that pretended to be reason, was every now and then suggesting to me that such extream nicety as I exacted of myself might be a kind of foppery in morals, which, if it were known, would make me ridiculous; that a perfect character might be attended with the inconvenience of being envied and hated; and that a benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, ...
— Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... earthen jars full of wine, and emptied them so fast that they were soon fast asleep on the deck, with the exception of the man at the helm, who, instead of thirty-two, could clearly make out sixty-four points in the compass, and of course was able to steer to a much greater nicety. Fortunately, the weather was fine, for when the man at the helm had steered till he could see no more, and requested to be released, he found that his shipmates were so overpowered with fatigue, that it was impossible to wake them. He kicked them one ...
— Mr. Midshipman Easy • Captain Frederick Marryat

... with great neatness; and not having an opportunity of playing marbles in his new suit, it still maintained its spotless appearance. The fine grey broadcloth coat and pants fitted him to a nicety, the jaunty cap was set slightly on one side of his head giving him, a somewhat saucy look, and the fresh colour now returning to his cheeks imparted to his face a much healthier appearance than it had worn ...
— The Garies and Their Friends • Frank J. Webb

... at anything like the proper time, in spite of all his ringing, and as much anger as he liked to show, for fear of making Lord Hollingford uncomfortable. At last dinner was ready, but the poor host saw the want of nicety—almost the want of cleanliness, in all its accompaniments—dingy plate, dull-looking glass, a tablecloth that, if not absolutely dirty, was anything but fresh in its splashed and rumpled condition, and compared it in ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... half deep, the flavour equal to anything I ever ate: it is the first 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

... to its mere legitimate advantages. About the same time they carried on a dispute with the Thasians relative to certain mines and places of trade on the opposite coasts of Thrace. The dispute was one of considerable nicety. The Athenians, having conquered Eion and the adjacent territory, claimed the possession by right of conquest. The Thasians, on the other hand, had anciently possessed some of the mines and the monopoly of the commerce; they had joined in the confederacy; and, asserting that the conquest had been ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... taught her himself after too large potations of his own spirituous manufactories. I was ushered into a small parlour—where sat, sipping brandy and water, a short, stout, monosyllabic sort of figure, corresponding in outward shape to the name of Briggs—even unto a very nicety. ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... thought I wouldn't. I knew you'd be sitting round, incompetent with distress, calculating to a nicety the force of ...
— Waste - A Tragedy, In Four Acts • Granville Barker

... perfectly distinct; and these applied to 36-inch globes, instead of the engraved meridians, make a difference of ten guineas in their price. For furniture they are not so beautiful; for use they are quite as valuable. There is only one other process which requires great nicety. The axis of the globe revolves on the meridian ring, and of course it is absolutely necessary that the poles should be exactly parallel. This is effected by a little machine which drills each extremity ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... mating season the female may be seen perching — a posture one rarely catches her gay lover in — preening her dainty but sombre feathers with ladylike nicety. The young birds do a great deal of perching before they gain the marvellously rapid wing-motions of maturity, but they are ready to fly within three weeks after they are hatched. By the time the trumpet-vine is in bloom they dart and sip and utter a shrill little squeak ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... proper place where it should be left when not in use. Nails, pins, hammers, and other articles which come in constant use, should be kept in a large box near the stage. By working systematically, every thing will move on with clockwork nicety, and all confusion be avoided. Colored fires should be burnt in the ante-rooms at the sides of the stage; smoke and clouds should be produced at the back, or in the centre of the stage. The preparation can be ignited by fastening ...
— Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants • James H. Head

... once established the proportion of punishment to the offence it has supposed an appeal, in civil causes and misdemeanors, to be unnecessary. The sentence in such causes being thus left in the breast of a single judge, how great soever may be the nicety by which the penalty is adapted to the offence, the exclusion from appeal is in itself a bar to the just and impartial administration of the laws. The subject being refused the benefit of carrying his cause into a higher, and on that account more likely to be a more impartial, ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... to begin, can foretell its issue without losing a stroke of the razor, and can explain the points of inferiority of all the players, as compared with better men that he has personally seen elsewhere, with the nicety of a professional. He can do all this, and then stuff the customer's mouth with a soap-brush, and leave him while he goes to the other end of the shop to make a side bet with one of the other barbers on the outcome of the Autumn Handicap. ...
— Literary Lapses • Stephen Leacock

... propounded by the Talmud, or arise out of a consideration of the Talmud, Rashi cites previous explanations or parallel texts. But this is exceptional. As a rule he finds with marvellous [marvelous sic] nicety and without circumlocution the exact word, the fitting expression, the necessary turn. One or two words suffice for him to sum up an observation, to anticipate a question, to forestall an unexpressed objection, to refute a false interpretation, or to ...
— Rashi • Maurice Liber

... never antagonized them. That he considered would not be wise policy. He good-naturedly humored them with much superficial gossip that really meant nothing. His good nature never forsook him, and he always had his temper well under control. He knew to a nicety the side his bread was buttered on. That happy-go-lucky disposition of his stood him in good stead many a time, and his free-and-easy manner of drawing people out frequently served as an aid to determine his future course of action. The limited exchange of conversation ...
— A Pirate of Parts • Richard Neville

... shirts, their hats having a band on which the name of the yacht was inscribed in gold letters, the decks without a spot, the ropes neatly flemished down, the bulwarks of a pale salmon colour, the stanchions, belaying-pins, and other brass work burnished to a nicety, all betokened a thoroughly well-ordered yacht, Murray himself setting the example in his own person. The yacht soon glided by the wooded heights of Binsted. The royal domain of Osborne, surrounded by trees, with its green lawn, was passed, Cowes Point rounded, and its harbour ...
— The Three Admirals • W.H.G. Kingston

... constantly wounded in its affections and its legitimate pride: Psyche, Les Fourberies de Scapin, La Comtesse d'Escarbagnas, betrayed nothing of their author's increasing sadness or suffering. Les Femmes Savantes had at first but little success; the piece was considered heavy; the marvellous nicety of the portraits, the correctness of the judgments, the delicacy and elegance of the dialogue, were not appreciated until later on. Moliere had just composed Le Malade Imaginaire, the last of that succession of blows which he had so often dealt ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... little Teacup came fluttering tremulously down from above. "Let me do it!" she cried; and while they all looked on in admiration (though with only one eye apiece, since the other was busy aiming at the enemy) she proceeded to load one pair of bellows after another, with the utmost nicety and plenty of poetry-powder. A little was spilled, to be sure, because she trembled so terribly; still, it was an enormous improvement, and they all praised and congratulated ...
— The Garden of the Plynck • Karle Wilson Baker

... learning fencing with the foils should precede all the above-named exercises, for in this way a delicacy of touch and nicety in the matter of guarding are acquired, which may lay a ...
— Broad-Sword and Single-Stick • R. G. Allanson-Winn

... throughout. I congratulate you, sir, on being without reproach in your business relations. You will suit me to a nicety. I lost two years ago the old man who sat at this desk for the last forty years. He was the only friend I had in the wide earth. He was my prop and support, and now that he is gone, I feel tottering ...
— May Brooke • Anna H. Dorsey

... curiosity moved me to examine Cleveland more closely. He was what we should call, in common speech, a very elegant young man. He was probably thirty or thirty-five years of age, tall, graceful, rather slenderish, and of particular nicety in his dress. All his clothes were disposed with the happiest precision. White kid-gloves covered his taper fingers. Withdrawn, a rich diamond blazed upon one hand, while a seal-ring, of official dimensions, with characters cut in lava, decorated the other. His movements betrayed ...
— Confession • W. Gilmore Simms

... verse was invented by the nicety of the ear, and the careful observation of clever men; so it has been noticed in oratory, much later, indeed, but still in deference to the promptings of the same nature, that there are some certain rules and bounds, within which words and ...
— The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 • Cicero

... have been appeased. He had seated himself on one of the trunks of Borroughcliffe, utterly disdaining the use of a chair; and, with the trencher in his lap, was using his own jack-knife on the dilapidated fragment of the ox, with something of that nicety with which the female ghoul of the Arabian Tales might be supposed to pick her rice with the point of her bodkin. The captain drew a seat nigh the cockswain; and, with a familiarity and kindness infinitely condescending, when the difference in ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... with silver lacery and the initials 'C.W.', the Colonel's without a doubt. At the saddle-bow there hung a sizeable leathern pouch, and this I found to contain a good supply of charges. I was a sure shot, and I tried my skill on a gate as Sultan flew by, splintering the latch at which I aimed to a nicety, the well-trained horse taking no more notice of the shot than of a wink at a passing market-wench. So far so good. Then there was the sergeant's tuck, and I shouted with a schoolboy's glee at having for the first time in my life ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... reascends from the bottom of the water to {230} the top, in what proportion of time and swiftness it rises. He seems not to have considered, that in this Experiment, the times of the descent and assent are both taken and computed together; so that for this purpose, there needs not that nicety, he discourses of. ...
— Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Vol 1 - 1666 • Various

... his wife was a very commonplace person, who was fast losing even her good looks and her good temper. So, on the whole, they were not happy. Elsley was an affectionate man, and honourable to a fantastic nicety; but he was vain, capricious, over-sensitive, craving for admiration and distinction; and it was not enough for him that his wife loved him, and bore him children, kept his accounts, mended and moiled all day long for him and his; he wanted her to act the public for him exactly when he was hungry ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume I • Charles Kingsley

... done in this manner, Friedrich had ordered certain of his own Forces to get in motion a little; ordered Leopold, who has had endless nicety of management, since the French and Saxons came into those Bohemian Circles of his, to go upon Glatz; to lay fast hold of Glatz, for one thing. And farther eastward, Schwerin, by order, has lately gone across ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... empower him to insist on obedience when matters of the greatest consequence should be in question or disputed. Thus our regicide, Cambaceres, owes his princely title to the shallow intrigues of the agents of legitimate Sovereigns. Their nicety in talking of innovations with regard to him, after they had without difficulty hailed a sans-culotte an Emperor, and other sans-culottes Imperial Highnesses, was as absurd as improper. Report, however, states, what is very probable, that they were merely ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... persons we must "improve a ceremonial nicety into a substantial duty," else we shall see a cultivated scholar confused before a set of giggling girls, and a man who is all Wisdom, valor and learning, playing the donkey at an evening party. If he lack the inferior arts of polite behavior, who will take the trouble to discover a Sir ...
— Manners and Social Usages • Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood

... that Natura had not been altogether mistaken in his conjectures.—Laetitia became the bride of a young wealthy grazier in a neighbouring town, with whom she removed soon after her marriage; and this event, so much desired by Natura, destroyed all the remains of disquiet, his nicety of honour, and love of ...
— Life's Progress Through The Passions - Or, The Adventures of Natura • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... Finish Like Jewelers!'—so the old Egyptians wrote over the portals of their palaces and temples. I like to think that the most gigantic task ever attempted on this planet—the work of the world's redemption—was finished with a precision and a nicety ...
— A Handful of Stars - Texts That Have Moved Great Minds • Frank W. Boreham

... and contract a Latin Quarter loan, which would keep me in tobacco and my morning coffee for a fortnight. It might be thought the latter would appear the more important. It might be supposed that a life, led so near the confines of actual famine, should have dulled the nicety of my palate. On the contrary, the poorer a man's diet, the more sharply is he set on dainties. The last of my ready cash, about thirty francs, was deliberately squandered on a single dinner; and a great part of my time when I was ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Britain;" and Mr. Watson found in a few of the books Porson's handwriting, consisting of critical remarks and notes. In a copy of the Aldine "Herodotus," he has marked the chapters in the margin in Arabic numerals "with such nicety and regularity," says his biographer, "that the eye of the reader, unless upon the closest examination, takes ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... France, and throwing herself into a convent, to enjoy there that tranquillity which was denied her in his court. The king, sometimes furious with anger, sometimes relenting at her tears, and sometimes terrified at her menaces, was so greatly agitated, that he knew not how to answer, either the nicety of a creature who wanted to act the part of Lucretia under his own eye, or the assurance with which she had the effrontery to reproach him. In this suspense, love had almost entirely vanquished all his resentments, and had nearly induced him to throw himself ...
— The Memoirs of Count Grammont, Complete • Anthony Hamilton

... seemed quite proud of being left to take care of itself, and, with its huge white sails bulged out, strutted off like a vain turkey. I had been standing by my father near the wheel-house all this while, observing things with that nicety of perception which belongs only to children; but now the dew began falling, and we ...
— The Story of a Bad Boy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... reached the rock the most difficult part was still to perform, as it required the greatest nicety of management to guide her in a rolling sea, so as to prevent her from being carried forcibly against the man whom ...
— The Lighthouse • R.M. Ballantyne

... thought his earthly salvation and sustenance not worth buying at such a cost. The remainder of his history was not tangible enough to afford a narrative. There seemed, from what he said, to have always been a certain kind of refinement in his race, a nicety of conscience, a nicety of habit, which either was in itself a want of force, or was necessarily connected with it, and which, the Doctor silently thought, had culminated in ...
— Doctor Grimshawe's Secret - A Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... '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 front ...
— No Man's Land • H. C. McNeile

... features, the first qualification for a base-runner is the ability to start quickly. The distances on a ball field have been laid out with such marvelous nicety that every fraction of a second is valuable. Almost every play is close, and the loss of an instant of time is often the ...
— Base-Ball - How to Become a Player • John M. Ward

... of response had vanished from his face. He had taken a knife from his pocket and was clipping a dead branch from the prairie queen at the window. When the deed had been done with great nicety, he closed the knife, returned it to his pocket, and took his way silently out of the yard. Mrs. Marshall, glancing up from her sewing, saw him again trudging toward ...
— Country Neighbors • Alice Brown

... is said, will it be thought refining too much to suggest, that the different orders are qualified for different purposes?"—Kames, El. of Crit., ii, 114. "Who has nothing to think of but killing time."—West's Letters, p. 58. "It requires no nicety of ear, as in the distinguishing of tones, or measuring time."—Sheridan's Elocution, p. 65. "The Possessive Case denotes possession, or belonging to."—Hall's Gram., ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... talk of him very safely, without having read him.* Despite of my surprise, I could not help smiling when my eye turned from the book to the student. It is impossible to conceive an appearance less like a philosopher's than that of Jean Desmarais. His wig was of a nicety that would not have brooked the irregularity of a single hair; his dress was not preposterous, for I do not remember, among gentles or valets, a more really exquisite taste than that of Desmarais; but it evinced, in every particular, ...
— Devereux, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... tea, prepared with the tempting nicety peculiar to the Hotel de L——, appeared. Alphonse set the tray down with his usual artistic nourish, and produced a small ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... looked and the words that they would say, that they were, to him, rather like the stone images of the Twelve Apostles in the niches round the West Door. Today they jumped in a moment into new life. Yesterday he could have calculated to a nicety the attitude that they would have; now they seemed to have been blown askew with a new wind. Because he noticed these things it does not mean that he was generally perceptive. He had always been very sharp to perceive anything ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... wonder-widening eyes, amazed at Mr. Emerson's recklessness in the matter of telegrams, and if at last he fell into gentle slumber, perhaps it was only that he had been less hardened than others present to the rigors of social nicety. No one else fell asleep, but it was noticed that the guests, when the paper was done, praised it to one another in swift generalities and with averted face, as if they sought to evade specific or pointed inquiry as to its import. ...
— The Boss of Little Arcady • Harry Leon Wilson

... story, his companion throwing a word into a pause now and then. Both patient men articulated with such careful nicety that the syllables fell from their mouths like clear-cut crystals. But Mr. Barrymore shook his head again; then, suddenly, with a joyous smile he seized a pocket-book from inside his coat. From this he tore out an important-looking ...
— My Friend the Chauffeur • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... concentration and economy of effort. In order to fight a rival, it is necessary to leave off fighting one's self, and be healthy and single-minded. An industrial corporation, in order to overreach its competitors, is compelled to adjust its intricate functions with incredible nicety, to utilize by-products, and even to introduce old-age pensions for the promotion {26} of morale among its employees. And so a nation, to be strong in war, must enjoy peace and justice at home. War has served ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... cigar, and hastened to lie down in the cabin, observing, "Il faut que je me repose un peu, pour faire ma digestion;" and Monsieur C., instead of leaving him quietly in his state of torpidity, like a boa refreshed with raw buffalo, began to argue with us on the superior nicety of the French in eating. "Nous aimons les mets plus delicats que vous autres," quoth he; at which we laughed, and pointed to the cabin. We found, upon explanation, however, that Mr. C., though well-informed in general upon the subject of English customs, entertained ...
— Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone - Made During the Year 1819 • John Hughes

... plain purpose of inviting a fight, and showing me her skill at arms, and perhaps, too, of seeing in person how I also carried myself in a moment of stress. Well, if we were to live on together as husband and wife, it was good that each should know to a nicety the other's powers; and also, I am too much of an old battler and too much enamoured with the glorious handling of arms to quarrel very deeply with any one who offers me a tough upstanding fight. Still for the life of me, I could not help comparing Phorenice with another woman. With a similar ...
— The Lost Continent • C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

... overgrown and rank for walking in with ease, and after we had made the round of it twice or thrice, we came out again into the brewery yard. I showed her to a nicety where I had seen her walking on the casks, that first old day, and she said, with a cold and careless look in that direction, "Did I?" I reminded her where she had come out of the house and given me my meat and drink, and she said, "I don't remember." "Not ...
— Great Expectations • Charles Dickens

... well-dressed, and pretty close to the conventional in his ways,—noted specially for the nicety of his gloves. This was a kind of safeguard to him. Insidious persons suggested that he perfumed his beard, but I do not believe it. He does not appear to have been fond of walking, for we never met him in any part of Cambridge except on the direct road from Elmwood to the college gate. He ...
— Cambridge Sketches • Frank Preston Stearns

... these are called Melibar and Gesurach in the Trevigi edition, and he is disposed to consider the last as indicating Geriach, because of the pirates. But there seems no necessity for that nicety, as all the north-western coast of India has always been addicted to maritime ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 1 • Robert Kerr

... years, and little as the conventionalities of delicate taste were known there, it was not without a comeliness of its own in its air of wholesome abundance and the extreme purity of all its arrangements. If but a piece of cold pork were on aunt Miriam's table, it was served with a nicety that would not have offended the most fastidious; and amid irregularities that the fastidious would scorn, there was a sound excellence of material and preparation that they very often fail to know. Fleda made up her mind she ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... stranger jovially, "you have his picture to a nicety. That is Etienne Cordel. Are ...
— For The Admiral • W.J. Marx

... by one topic, 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 like men standing ...
— Mince Pie • Christopher Darlington Morley

... him such a memento. The style, perhaps, is as familiar as it was ever his habit to indulge in; and it shows how impossible it was for him, even on the most temporary summons, to dispense with his usual regularity of expression or with any logical nicety of method. The ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... a festive humor. Mr. Hahn had begun life in a small way with a swallow-tail coat, a white choker, and a napkin on his arm; his stock in trade, which he utilized to good purpose, was a peculiarly elastic smile and bow, both of which he accommodated with extreme nicety to the social rank of the person to whom they were addressed. He could listen to a conversation in which he was vitally interested, never losing even the shadow of an intonation, with a blank neutrality of countenance which could only be the result of a long transmission of ancestral ...
— Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... range ran a line of white stone posts, placed by international commissions of surveyors to the nicety of an inch's variation. In the very direction of the speck's flight a spur of foot-hills extended into the plain that stretched away to the Gray range, distinct at the distance of thirty miles in the bright afternoon light. Faithful to their ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... with which she appeared to glide along the surface of, rather than through, the water, her progress being marked by singularly little disturbance of the element, considering her very high rate of speed. Her sails were magnificently cut, setting to a nicety, and drawing to perfection, and they were white enough to have graced the spars of a yacht. I noticed, too, that the inside of the bulwarks, her deck-fittings, brass-work, and guns, were all scrupulously clean and bright, while every rope was carefully coiled ...
— The Pirate Slaver - A Story of the West African Coast • Harry Collingwood

... further. The last words enraged him, like a blow between the eyes, and set the blood hammering in his temples. It would seem, at times, that Fate selects with fiendish nicety the psychological moment when her arrows will strike deepest, and stick fastest. Thus, when his thirst was at its height, Lenox found the cup dashed from his lips; and that by the hand of his best ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... motion can be applied to any organ or part of the system, and intensity of the application regulated to a nicety. The rapidity of motion necessary to produce active exhilaration of any part of the body is easily secured by the use of the manipulator, but is far beyond the power of the hands. The degree of circulation given to the fluids, both inside and outside of the vessels, and ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... about, and Marrin kept patting him on the back: "Delightful! Fine! You're my style, Mr. Blaine—everything done to a nicety, no frills and feathers. Isn't New York a great town? There are things happening in ...
— The Nine-Tenths • James Oppenheim

... occupied with East Anglian rusticities and local colouring, sometimes with pungent literary criticisms; it is never exuberant, but nowhere dull or commonplace; the language is concise, with a sedulous nicety of expression. A man of delicate irony, living apart from the rough, tumbling struggle for existence, he was in most things the very opposite to Carlyle, whose French Revolution he admired not much, and who, he thinks, 'ought ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... been under some terrific bombardments, but up to that time I had never experienced anything so terrible. Evidently our big guns were turned on, and they had located the German trenches to a nicety. Moreover, I judged that something serious was on hand, for it continued hour after hour. Before long all lights went out, and I knew by the hoarse cries which the Germans were making that they were in a state ...
— "The Pomp of Yesterday" • Joseph Hocking

... commanders. These German rules are now in the possession of the State Department. While no mention is made in them of submarine warfare, the extent and method of the exercise of the right of search and the stoppage of ships is prescribed with great nicety, and provision is made for the safety of passengers and crew. After outlining the purpose of visiting and searching ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... flesh into slices and strips would be easily effected, though it would require more time, and should be done with great nicety. If not sliced very thin, the meat would be liable to ...
— The Plant Hunters - Adventures Among the Himalaya Mountains • Mayne Reid

... to be seduced by any impostor. She desired before all the world to be instructed in his reasons for assuming the name which he bore; seemed to examine every circumstance with the most scrupulous nicety; put many particular questions to him; affected astonishment at his answers; and at last, after long and severe scrutiny, burst out into joy and admiration at his wonderful deliverance, embraced him as her nephew, the true image of Edward, the sole heir of the Plantagenets, and the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... there can scarcely be any mistake about them. The difficulty is to know [from v. 86 to 89] how far each may partake of the spirit of the other, without destroying that natural and necessary difference, which ought to subsist betwixt them all. To explain this, which is a point of great nicety, he considers [from v. 89 to 99] the case of Dramatick Poetry; the two species of which are as distinct from each other, as any two can be, and yet there are times, when the features of the one will be allowed to resemble ...
— The Art Of Poetry An Epistle To The Pisos - Q. Horatii Flacci Epistola Ad Pisones, De Arte Poetica. • Horace

... added, that not only the common Audience had no notion of the rules of writing, but few even of the better sort piqu'd themselves upon any great degree of knowledge or nicety that way, till Ben Johnson getting possession of the Stage brought critical learning into vogue: And that this was not done without difficulty, may appear from those frequent lessons (and indeed almost Declamations) which he was forced to prefix to his first ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... not an easy thing for an expert housewife, using the same formula, always to achieve the same happy results in the white loaf. He who plants a strawberry seed will find that the tiny seed will construct a plant, lay in the red tints according to rule and mix the flavor of the berry to a nicety that is the despair of the chef. In the tropic forests there is a flower with a deep cup and the pollen at the bottom. This pollen lies upon a little platter, and underneath the platter is that form of trap known as a figure four, much loved by boys. When the bee, creeping down ...
— The Investment of Influence - A Study of Social Sympathy and Service • Newell Dwight Hillis

... various leaders. The regulation of the symbols whereby the Sovereigns and Lords of Europe should be distinguished, all of whom were ardent in maintaining the honour of the several nations to which they belonged, was a matter of great nicety, and it was properly entrusted to the Heralds who invented signs of honour which could not be construed into offence, and made general regulations for their display on the banners and shields of the chiefs of the different nations. The ornaments and regulations ...
— The Manual of Heraldry; Fifth Edition • Anonymous

... the thing done; and have a beauty of their own. It is so with that old euphuism of the Elizabethan age—that pride of dainty language and curious expression, which it is very easy to ridicule, which often made itself ridiculous, but which had below it a real sense of fitness and nicety; and which, as we see in this very play, and still more clearly in the Sonnets, had some fascination for the young Shakespeare himself. It is this foppery of delicate language, this fashionable plaything of his time, with ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... outspread awnings betokened the usual routine of hospitality. Other tributary currents crossed the mainstream, bearing their freight to the theatres, restaurants or opera; and Mrs. Peniston, from the secluded watch-tower of her upper window, could tell to a nicety just when the chronic volume of sound was increased by the sudden influx setting toward a Van Osburgh ball, or when the multiplication of wheels meant merely that the opera was over, or that there was a ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... the same. He lavished upon the little house the solicitude and cherishing care that Enid seemed not to need. He stood over the carpenters urging the greatest nicety in the finish of closets and cupboards, the convenient placing of shelves, the exact joining of sills and casings. Often he stayed late in the evening, after the workmen with their noisy boots had gone home to supper. He ...
— One of Ours • Willa Cather

... 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 ...
— Outwitting Our Nerves - A Primer of Psychotherapy • Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury

... mass of "raw material"—facts, figures and specifications on which to base his arguments—and then he selects the particular talking points that will appeal to his prospect. By systematic tests, the relative values of various arguments may be determined almost to a scientific nicety. How to gather and classify this material and how to determine what points are most effective is the ...
— Business Correspondence • Anonymous

... at worst occasional; the embarrassment of the man's talk incessant. He was plainly a practised conversationalist; the nicety of his inflections, the elegance of his gestures, and the fine play of his expression, told us that. We, meanwhile, sat like aliens in a playhouse; we could see the actors were upon some material business and performing well, but the plot of the drama remained undiscoverable. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and a half before she determined to collect some specimens herself; and having found a blank copy-book she hastened into the garden, where, gathering a few common flowers, she proceeded to dissect them, not, it is to be feared, with much scientific nicety. Perhaps as many as three pages of this copy-book were bespread with her specimens before she discovered that botany ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... of Apuleius "rude and curious;"[3] but adds, that it contains "expressions full of liveliness and propriety." By "rude" is probably meant obsolete, and comparatively unlearned. Correctness of interpretation and classical nicety of style (as Mr. Panizzi observes) were the growths of a ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Vol. 2 • Leigh Hunt

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

... say it that should not say it—to lay by a wheen bawbees for a sore head, or the frailties of old age. Somehow or other, the clothes made on my shopboard came into great vogue through all Dalkeith, both for neatness of shape and nicety of workmanship; and the young journeymen of other masters did not think themselves perfected, or worthy a decent wage, till they had crooked their houghs for three months in my service. With regard to myself, ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir

... The fulfilled vision of the learned scholar he had come so far to see capped with nicety the climax of this absurd adventure. What an utter fool, what an unbelievable idiot he had made of himself! For the moment he saw clear and all normal reactions proved inadequate. There ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... painted cartoons are posted. Those who are supposed to be able to feel the pulse of the University move about with the weight of much knowledge upon their brows, throwing out hints as to the probable majority one way or the other. Some profess to know it to a nicety. Others shake their heads and remark vaguely that there is not much to choose either way. So week after week goes by, until the excitement reaches a climax when the date of the ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... extremely narrow, that the least deviation from the course brought us close to the rocks. We were regulated in steering by two marks on the land, which lie in the same straight line with the centre of the passage; these it is necessary to keep always together: but not conceiving that such nicety was required while sailing out, the marks were allowed to separate, by which we found ourselves in a minute or two within a few yards of a coral reef, the ragged tops of which were distinctly seen two or three feet below the surface, whilst, at the same time, the leadsman on ...
— Account of a Voyage of Discovery - to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-Choo Island • Captain Basil Hall

... considerable nicety to estimate the value of these and similar indications. They are not decisive. They tell with varying force upon varying minds; but they distinctly tend, in the writer's opinion, to increase the probability of ...
— The Three Additions to Daniel, A Study • William Heaford Daubney

... have called for. In its absence, I am persuaded that the true natural oinometer is the hat. Were the hat always worn during potation; were ladies when they retire to place it on our heads, or, better still, chaplets of flowers; then, like the wise ancients, we should be able to tell to a nicety how far we had advanced in our dithyramb to the theme of fuddle and muddle. Unhappily the hat does not forewarn: it is simply indicative. I believe, nevertheless, that science might set to work upon it forthwith, and found a system. When you mark men drinking who wear their hats, and those ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... dog team at St. Anthony, Newfoundland, is Gypsy, a big black and white fellow, friendly as ever a good dog can be, and trained to a nicety, always obedient and prompt in responding to the driver's commands. Running next behind Gypsy, and pulling side by side, are Tiger and Spider. Tiger is a large, good-natured red and white fellow, and ...
— The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador - A Boy's Life of Wilfred T. Grenfell • Dillon Wallace

... as it were with winged birds, spreading its wide wings, and like to a flying thing strikes the clouds, stayed upon the solid columns. And a sticky liquid glues together the white stones, all which the workman's hand cuts out to a nicety. And the wall, built out of a hoard of these, as it were disdaining this thing, counterfeits to unify the adjacent parts; it seems not to exist by art but rather by nature; not a thing united, but one. Another costly material of black stones props the work, not like this content with ...
— Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln - A Short Story of One of the Makers of Mediaeval England • Charles L. Marson

... straw-colour kid gloves—such was the gala uniform, to the assumption whereof that houseful of teachers and pupils devoted three mortal hours. But though simple, it must be allowed the array was perfect—perfect in fashion, fit, and freshness; every head being also dressed with exquisite nicety, and a certain compact taste—suiting the full, firm comeliness of Labassecourien contours, though too stiff for any more flowing and flexible style of beauty—the general effect ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... of Russia, by land and by water, and has calculated her resources to a nicety. German spies are legion in Russia as they are in France. She may hope to make easy-going people like us believe that she is on the best of terms with our ally, but she will find it far more difficult to make Russia herself believe it. One has only to ...
— The Schemes of the Kaiser • Juliette Adam

... last. "These two are in love, Dantor. It is as you explained. It is good, and fits in with my plans to a nicety. I shall spare the life of the Earth man on account of his knowledge of the inner planets; I can use him later. The girl I shall spare for a different reason, and that fits in ...
— The Copper-Clad World • Harl Vincent

... lazy cathedral town and the lurid opium-eater's den.[288] Something like the old lightness and buoyancy of animal spirits gave a new freshness to the humour; the scenes of the child-heroine and her luckless betrothed had both novelty and nicety of character in them; and Mr. Grewgious in chambers with his clerk and the two waiters, the conceited fool Sapsea, and the blustering philanthropist Honeythunder, were first-rate comedy. Miss Twinkleton was of the family of Miss La Creevy; ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... propositions fully before his mind would scan the terms of the Gladstonian Constitution, or in other words of the Irish Government Act. He would certainly come to the conclusion that the point for his decision was one of great nicety. Against the validity of any Act passed by the British Parliament in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution could be adduced the precise and formal enactment, passed, be it noted, by the undoubtedly ...
— England's Case Against Home Rule • Albert Venn Dicey

... 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 at the white, which, if you hit it, counts exactly one ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... genius are undoubtedly here. Mr. Bumble is in the parish sketches, and Mr. Dawkins the dodger in the Old Bailey scenes. There is laughter and fun to excess, never misapplied; there are the minute points and shades of character, with all the discrimination and nicety of detail, afterwards so famous; there is everywhere the most perfect ease and skill of handling. The observation shown throughout is nothing short of wonderful. Things are painted literally as they are, and, whatever the picture, whether of every-day vulgar, shabby-genteel, ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... pottage, and whose leading characteristic for the last five years has 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, ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell



Words linked to "Nicety" :   meaning, nuance, conformance, conformity, justness, refinement, significance, signification, import



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