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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



... 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 peg, he unrolled it till it reached the peg, and thence further unrolled it, in the direction ...
— The Short-story • William Patterson Atkinson

... the Polish presents to the foreigner the most difficulties; partly on account of the great variety and nicety of shades in the pronunciation of the vowels, and from the combination of consonants in such a way that only a Slavic tongue can conquer them, and cause the apparent harshness in some measure to disappear;[9] ...
— Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations • Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson

... letters, were read again and again, and commented upon, at our meals; and we often exercised ourselves with conjecturing the changes that might take place in the world before we could hear from it again. The probability of our receiving letters, and the period of their arrival, were calculated to a nicety. We occasionally paid the woodmen a visit, or took a walk for a mile or two on ...
— Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 2 • John Franklin

... so beautifully achieved, and the great accomplishment of merging the huge, brilliant panels into the decorative plan, were not the only difficulties. He had also to calculate the scale of proportion to a mathematical nicety, to make the figures large enough to appear the proper size when viewed so high overhead. The panels are in two sequences, four of them devoted to each subject. The sequence of which an example is illustrated is the Four Golds of California: "The Golden Poppy," the "cup of gold" that makes ...
— The Sculpture and Mural Decorations of the Exposition • Stella G. S. Perry

... importance 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 ...
— The Stamps of Canada • Bertram Poole

... Representation of it be just, is compleat and perfect in its Kind, and entirely fair and unstrain'd.—Whereas in the Allusions of WIT, the Affinity is generally imperfect and defective in one Part or other; and even in those Points where the Affinity may be allow'd to subsist, some Nicety and Strain is usually requir'd ...
— An Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humour, Railery, Satire, and Ridicule (1744) • Corbyn Morris

... covered with some of these invisible and "incredibly minute entomostraceous animals," which the learned lecturer says constitute their food, we should still find a difficulty in transferring the fish; as every attempt to do so, though conducted with the greatest possible care and nicety, ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 77, April 19, 1851 • Various

... the brilliant, removed spectacle. The final fact that had taken him from the setting of so many of his years had been the increasing expense of a discriminating existence in New York. Again his distaste for anything short of absolute nicety had dictated the form and conditions of his living. When the situation of his rooms had definitely declined, and the cost of possible locations—he could not endure a club—became prohibitive; when his once adequate, unaugmented income assumed the limitations ...
— The Three Black Pennys - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... to the amiable Chatterissa, at the nicety of the navigator's distinctions; and the philosopher's lecture, in its more didactic form, being now virtually at an end, a long and desultory conversation took place, in which a multitude of ingenious questions were put by Captain Poke and myself, and which were as ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... Raby she peremptorily forbade to dream of the ice; and as for Percy, she conjured him by the love he bore her to skate on nothing deeper than the Rodnet Marsh, whereat that young gentleman gibed. The Overstone ironmonger had skates which fitted the boy to a nicety, and by way of business sent up "on inspection" a pair which Mr Rimbolt might find ...
— A Dog with a Bad Name • Talbot Baines Reed

... most simple of culinary processes is not often performed in perfection; it does not require quite so much nicety and attendance as roasting; to skim your pot well, and keep it really boiling, or rather, simmering, all the while—to know how long is required for doing the joint, &c., and to take it up at the critical moment when it is done enough—comprehends almost the whole ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... 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 could ...
— Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands, Volume 1 (of 2) • Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe

... its highest development, is an exact science. Given the data he desired, Louis Mitchell felt sure he could read the figures sealed up in those other bids to a nicety, but to get that data required much concentrated effort and much time. Time was what he needed above all things; time to refigure these myriad drawings, time to determine when the other bids had gone in, time to learn trade conditions at the competitive plants, time to sleep. There were not ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... too much nicety. I tell you I would break my oath to-morrow—nay, to-night; for your duplicity cancels it—but for that orphan you hate so cordially. She would never return if you and Pauline suffered for the past. For her sake, ...
— Beulah • Augusta J. Evans

... ten times, was the designer of his own house, which seems to have been a miracle of discomfort. He was an eccentric of the most determined character, so much so that he gradually lost all friends. According to Horsfield, "The spirit of nicety and refinement prevailed in it [his house] so much during his lifetime, that when a friend (a baronet) called upon him on a tour, he was desired to leave his cane in the vestibule, lest he should either dirt the floor with ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... be by no means surprising if such nicety of execution as that to which we have alluded tended to draw his attention from rhetorical themes. Yet, spite of this apparently necessary result, some of his grandest and most startling flights of oratory have had their inspiration from incidents connected ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... courts which bore upon the previous code. These discussions were all carried on by conversations round a table in a private room. 'The wonderfully minute and exact acquaintance with every detail of the system' possessed by the civilians 'made an ineffaceable impression' upon his mind. They knew, 'to a nicety, the history, the origin and object of every provision in the code.' The discussions were consequently an 'education not only in the history of British India but in the history of laws and institutions in general. I do not believe,' he says, 'that one act of Parliament ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... of the shanty was afterwards finished off in the same way, although more planking was employed as greater nicety of detail was necessary in order to arrange for the doorway and windows, for which latter the remains of the cabin sky-light Frank thought of bringing ashore supplied the material; but it took a couple of days to complete the building to the satisfaction ...
— The Wreck of the Nancy Bell - Cast Away on Kerguelen Land • J. C. Hutcheson

... and his voice shed with astounding completeness all its syllabled nicety. "You try to make yourself useful as well as pestilential. Get him a bit of adhesive for that cut. It looks as bad as though a horse had ...
— Once to Every Man • Larry Evans

... Lady Macbeth of the occasion all over;—whereas he was so scrupulous, so burdened with conscience! As for me, I would have taken it by any means. Then it was that the old Duke played the part of the three witches to a nicety. Well, there hasn't been any absolute murder, and ...
— The Prime Minister • Anthony Trollope

... the vassals under the banners of the 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 were sanctioned by the ...
— The Manual of Heraldry; Fifth Edition • Anonymous

... on them both. He had forgotten his delicate habits, his nicety of dress. A cheap suit once in six months was all that he could afford. His mind had become stolidly fixed, so that he did not notice the gradual change. It was a grim fight! The elements were relentless; day by day the pounding ...
— Literary Love-Letters and Other Stories • Robert Herrick

... their bicycles out of the cats' home quietly, mounted, rode quickly down the road till they were out of hearing of the house, and then slackened their pace in order to reach their destination cool and tidy. They timed their arrival with such nicety that as they dismounted before the door of Deeping Hall, Sir James Morgan, in the content inspired by an excellent dinner, was settling himself comfortably in an easy ...
— The Terrible Twins • Edgar Jepson

... 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

... kept her senses better.—Come, Sir Squire, spur on, and keep the van, while I fall back to discourse with the Lady Isabelle. I think I have learned now so much from you, that I can talk to her of these sad passages without hurting her nicety, though I have fretted yours a little.—Yet stay, young gallant—one word ere you go. You have had, I imagine, a happy journey through Fairyland—all full of heroic adventure, and high hope, and wild minstrel-like delusion, like the gardens of Morgaine ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... edition, "Critical Observations on Shakespeare" had been published by Mr. Upton, 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, when ...
— Preface to Shakespeare • Samuel Johnson

... let's hang all spinsters who are brightly reproving," Claire was silently raging. "And particularly and earnestly confound all nicety and ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... settled by the original Bumpus, back in the Plymouth Colony days, and if he were rich he'd have a library stuffed with gritty, yellow-backed books and be a leading light in the Historical Society. He speaks with that nicety of pronunciation of the old New Englander, never slurring his syllables, and he has a really fine face, the kind of face one doesn't often see nowadays. I kept looking at it, wondering what was the matter with it, and at last I realized what it lacked—will, ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... intimate connection subsisting between each Pleasure and the Working which it perfects: I mean, that the Pleasure proper to any Working increases that Working; for they who work with Pleasure sift all things more closely and carry them out to a greater degree of nicety; for instance, those men become geometricians who take Pleasure in geometry, and they apprehend particular points more completely: in like manner men who are fond of music, or architecture, or anything else, improve each on his own pursuit, because they feel Pleasure in them. Thus ...
— Ethics • Aristotle

... 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 point. She put five arrows ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... ready, '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

... not the peril in which he stood, however—though, with the cold clear eye of the man who had often faced peril, he appreciated it to a nicety—that Count Hannibal found least bearable, but his enforced inactivity. He had thought to ride the whirlwind and direct the storm, and out of the danger of others to compact his own success. Instead he lay here, not only powerless to guide his destiny, ...
— Count Hannibal - A Romance of the Court of France • Stanley J. Weyman

... almost every fault which Dryden's later nicety would have condemned. But perhaps there is no schooling so good for an author as his own youthful indiscretions. After this effort Dryden seems to have lain fallow for ten years, and then he at length reappears in thirty-seven "heroic stanzas" on the death of Cromwell. The versification ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... of Mr. Coleridge something respecting a nicety in hexameters, he asked for a sheet of paper, and wrote the following. These hexameters appear in the last edition of Mr. C.'s Poems, though in a less correct form, and without the condensed and well-expressed preliminary remarks. Two new lines are ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... scores, sliding shells in and out of them as a test. Invariably we found that the shells went in and out smoothly and without effort, and yet always fitted snugly. There was never either the slightest friction or the least loose-play. This nicety meant that the variation in an interior diameter of three inches was certainly less than one thirty-second of an inch. Wicker-work constructed with such unvarying ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... forma the beauty of wives,—the uxorial beauty. Ennius says that women of a stata forma are almost always safe and modest. Now, Jemima, you observe, is described as possessing this stata forma; and it is the nicety of your observation in this respect, which I like the most in the whole of your description of a philosopher's matrimonial courtship, Pisistratus (excepting only the stroke of the spectacles), for it shows that you had properly considered the opinion of Bias, and mastered all the counter logic ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... naval 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 vessels, ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... old lady 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 ...
— Thackeray • Anthony Trollope

... and said: 'Node, by golly, you got it,' then they went right down street and told everybody that I was a dam fool and that's what disheartened me and I quit working on it. If I hadn't invited anybody to look at my work I'd had perpetual motion down to a nicety today. Why, I invented a magnet with which you could find gold or silver, no matter if it was buried ten feet deep." (It was the belief of many that there was gold buried in the hills around the ...
— Watch Yourself Go By • Al. G. Field

... croquet. He had spent many hundreds of dollars on his grounds. His wickets 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 ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... 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 ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... of his time. He feels the silent yearnings and strivings of the dumb multitudes about him; he anticipates in his thought what the rest are incipiently thinking—he is the clear voice and oracle of the spirit of his age. He knows to a nicety how far his contemporaries will allow themselves to be carried. {15} He will not over-hurry, he will not outrun their possible speed, and he will sacrifice everything to carry his epoch with him toward the goal which he sees. He is contented to keep his roots deep in the past, ...
— Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries • Rufus M. Jones

... to the kitchen to drink coffee. There was no time to wait for any nicety of service. They stood outside the window and the cook passed them their coffee and a roll, which they drank and ate from the window-sill. Edna said it ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... England) were not surpassed by those of any writer of his day, the reader may like to see a few "specimens" of some notes which Lamb took the pains to make on two of the tales that were shown to him. I give these the rather that there is occasionally blended with their critical nicety of tact, a drollery that is very characteristic of the writer. I shall leave these notes and verbal criticisms to speak for themselves, after merely explaining that they are written on separate bits of paper, each note having a numerical ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... knowing the Law 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 ...
— 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

... me feel that "the New Jerusalem," "even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal," "where shall in no wise enter anything that defileth, neither what worketh abomination nor maketh a lie," would alone satisfy him, or rather alone not give him actual pain. It may give an idea of this exquisite nicety of feeling to mention, that one day he took in his fingers a half-bloomed rose, without blemish, and, smiling with an infinite joy, remarked, "This is perfect. On earth a flower only can ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... anxious deliberation, are ultimately determined by the most minute and trifling circumstance, totally unconnected with the thing itself. The truth is, under such circumstances we are like a man weighing fine gold dust, who does it to such a nicety that a hair falling into the scale turns it one ...
— The King's Highway • G. P. R. James

... concluded again, in this quick scrutiny, like that in the eyes of inventors and visionaries. He wore clothes so threadbare that it seemed as if he must have been cold. But they were patched with a scrupulous nicety that made some revulsion in Raven rise up and dramatically spur him to a new resentment. She had patched them. Her faithful needle had spent its art on this murderer of her peace. He had reached the woodpile now and Tenney came ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... not 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. She had a firm, ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... 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 of ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... giving tithes, and their apparel hallowed by cleanliness, their reputations unblemished, and minds content. The intelligent are aware that the zeal of devotion is warmed by good fare, and the sincerity of piety rendered more serene in a nicety of vesture; for it is evident what ardor there can be in a hungry stomach; what generosity in squalid penury; what ability of travelling with a bare foot; and what alacrity at bestowing from an ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 2, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... the docile oar had become a raging termagant, and, when he would have been rid of it, the baubles had opposed his will. He had been dragged and battered unspeakably. Over all, the lash had been laid upon his bare shoulders; and that with a nicety of judgment which should have been foreign to so white a wrist and to eyes that could look so tender. Now that he had escaped out of hell, it was not surprising that he was loth to discover his refuge. Still, a ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... as Milton threw across space. This man can spend hours in pursuit of 'volitions' with all the excitement of the chamois-hunt. Now his eye brightens, for he has transfixed an idea, and holds it up in all the nicety of artistic touch, while he dissects it to its ramifications. It is all con amore with him, though his readers will need a clue to the maze ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... look of pain upon Miss Warren's face checked me, and I said nothing. Lack of delicacy was one of Mr. Hearn's gravest faults. While courtly, polished, and refined in externals, he lacked in tact and nicety of discrimination. He often said things which a finer-fibred but much worse man would never have said. He had an abundance of intellect, great shrewdness, vast will force, and organizing power, but not much ideality or imagination. This lack rendered him incapable of putting ...
— A Day Of Fate • E. P. Roe

... in Egypt, General Menou, was constrained to agree to the evacuation of Egypt by his troops, which were to be sent back to France on English vessels. This event had been expected by Bonaparte, and the secret instruction which he forwarded to Otto at London shows the nicety of his calculation as to the advantages to be reaped by France owing to her receiving the news while it was still unknown in England. He ordered Otto to fix October the 2nd for the ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... departure, that she had the honour of carrying upon her some companions who must have been inhabitants of the palace. The court of Elizabeth was celebrated occasionally for its magnificence, and always for its nicety. James was singularly effeminate; he could not behold a drawn sword without shuddering; was much too partial to handsome men; and appears to merit the bitter satire of Churchill. If wanting other proofs, we should only read the ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... 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

... 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 society by welding ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... 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 at one and the same instant; ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... fever runs high and the respiration is much affected, in the first period of measles, and before there is the slightest appearance of eruption, we conceive it often so be our duty to bleed freely, without reference to the subsequent disease of the skin, or any nicety of calculation about this latter going through its regular stages. Indeed, we have usually reason to congratulate ourselves for having, by this means, rendered the subsequent disease milder and more tractable. ...
— North American Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1826 • Various

... you not to delay that outset. Make a beginning at once, at least in investigating the matters to which I have striven to draw your attention. It is no curious work of art that you have to take up; it requires no nicety of apprehension; you can hardly begin wrongly, I do not say in action, but in the preparation for action. However little of each day you may be able to call your own for this purpose, it is better to begin with that little than to wait for some signal time of leisure. ...
— The Claims of Labour - an essay on the duties of the employers to the employed • Arthur Helps

... 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 peg, he ...
— Short Stories Old and New • Selected and Edited by C. Alphonso Smith

... 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. Labillardiere describes it well: the warrior grasped it in the middle; raised it as ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... to be present with His sacrament, inasmuch as He is alway with His people to the end of time. But as I am not skilful in matters of such nicety, I would ask of this reverend casuist, who is more able to answer in questions of such weight than I; who am, as I said before, unlearned in disputed points; and truly I am in nothing more wishful than to come at a right knowledge ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... 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 allowing this ...
— Woodwork Joints - How they are Set Out, How Made and Where Used. • William Fairham

... offensive or defensive! Misty and 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 ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 363, January, 1846 • Various

... gravely, in a tone which implied that, had he not given this nicety the benefit of his liberal consideration, the intruder would never have penetrated so far. "Since that is agreed, may I ask you to explain your ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... was not often lonely, for her papa managed to be with her a great deal, and she never cared for any other companion when he was by. Then, Mr. Travilla came in frequently to see her, and always brought a beautiful bouquet, or some fine fruit from his hot-house, or some other little nicety to tempt an invalid's appetite, or what she liked, even better still, a new book. Her aunts Adelaide and Lora, too, felt very kindly toward her, coming in occasionally to ask how she was, and to tell her what was going on in the house; and sometimes Walter brought his book to ask ...
— Holidays at Roselands • Martha Finley

... scattered drop. Wonderful are the laws of Heaven! So the principle of benevolence, which is but one, illumines all the particles that make up mankind. Well, then, the perfection of the human heart can be calculated to a nicety, So, if we follow the impulses of our perfect heart in whatever we undertake, we shall perform our special duties, and filial piety and fidelity will come to us spontaneously. You see the doctrines of ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... smallest circumstance of 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

... for a short temporary track, and when he gave Darby the stop signal, the hoisting cables were singing like piano strings, and the big engine was swinging bodily in the air in the grip of the crane tackle, poised to a nicety above the steel placed to ...
— The Taming of Red Butte Western • Francis Lynde

... seeing him close at hand, she noted the change in him. Although, with his slouching gait and loose-hung limbs and hanging head, he had never been a smart-looking man, he had yet been one possessed of great personal nicety; in that matter—in the shipwreck of his life—being careful not to let himself go. But now there was about him a look of neglect, making to ache with pity the heart of ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... by dispersion. Great thoughts are always general, and consist in positions not limited by exceptions, and in descriptions not descending to minuteness. It is with great propriety that subtilty, which, in its original import, means exility of particles, is taken, in its metaphorical meaning, for nicety of distinction. Those writers who lay on the watch for novelty could have little hope of greatness; for great things cannot have escaped former observation. Their attempts were always analytick; they broke every image into fragments; and could no more ...
— Lives of the Poets, Vol. 1 • Samuel Johnson

... the painter, was often his visitor, and was fortunate enough to secure that inimitable plaster cast of his head and features, which at his request, I deposited with the New-York Historical Society. While at that work, Jarvis exclaimed, "I shall secure him to a nicety, if I am so fortunate as to get plaster enough for his carbuncled nose." Jarvis thought this bust of Paine his most ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... 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 Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... perhaps, no great writer who has made a more extensive use of music to illustrate character and create incident than Charles Dickens. From an historical point of view these references are of the utmost importance, for they reflect to a nicety the general condition of ordinary musical life in England during the middle of the last century. We do not, of course, look to Dickens for a history of classical music during the period—those who want this will find ...
— Charles Dickens and Music • James T. Lightwood

... it from the hand to the heart, to improve a ceremonial nicety into a substantial duty, and the modes of civility into ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... sorry contretemps. Turan the panthan scratched his head. "Fortune frowns upon me," he murmured; but beyond the door, Fate, in the form of a painted warrior, stood smiling. Neatly had he tricked the unwary stranger. The lighted doorway, the marching patrol—these had been planned and timed to a nicety by the third warrior who had sped ahead of Turan along another avenue, and the stranger had done precisely what the fellow had thought he would do—no wonder, then, ...
— The Chessmen of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... that very narrowness. Such is orthodoxy certainly; but here it is obvious to ask whether this very characteristic of it may not possibly be rather an argument for, than against, its divine origin. Certain it is, that such nicety, as it is called, is not unknown to other religious dispensations, creeds, and covenants, besides that which the primitive Church identified with Christianity. Nor is it a paradox to maintain that the whole system of religion, natural as well ...
— Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) • John Henry Newman

... of the vast square was the farm house belonging to Mr. Wright. It was quite a respectable building, two stories high, with flat roof, and constructed entirely of rough logs, yet fitted together with considerable pretensions to skill and nicety. ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... 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 ...
— Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 1 • George Boutwell

... side, much as I felt it when it was in your pocket. In she slipped her little bit of a white hand and drew it out. I never saw any one so delighted over a toy of the sort in all my life. It fitted her little finger just to a nicety. ...
— Girls of the Forest • L. T. Meade

... 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

... 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 ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... amorous delights than he: of which one testimony is the peculiar care he had of his person, to such a degree, as to make use of the most lascivious means to that end then in use, as to have all the hairs of his body twitched off, and to wipe all over with perfumes with the extremest nicety. And he was a beautiful person in himself, of a fair complexion, tall, and sprightly, full faced, with quick hazel eyes, if we may believe Suetonius; for the statues of him that we see at Rome do not in all points answer this description. Besides his wives, whom he four times ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... has a more delicate beauty and charm than anything seen in October. Different trees have their distinct coloring now as then, but it is evanescent, and the shades usually are less clearly marked. This very fact, however, teaches the eye to have a nicety of ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... very little in the shape of anything to eat that we could forage. On the first day of our return march our commissary sergeant, Bonfoy, did manage to capture and kill a gaunt, lean old Arkansas steer, and it was divided up among the men with almost as much nicety and exactness as if it was a wedding cake with a prize diamond ring in it; and we hadn't any salt to go with it, but in lieu of that used gun-powder, which was a sort of substitute. With that exception, (and a piece of hardtack, ...
— The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 • Leander Stillwell

... painless one, judging from the extreme comfort of Mrs. Webster's surroundings: her easy-chair drawn close to the fire but sheltered from it by a screen, the lamp on the table adjusted to a nicety behind, the illustrated papers ready cut for use, and the last new novel lying open on her lap. May seated herself leisurely and stretched out her hands to the ...
— The Village by the River • H. Louisa Bedford

... instinct adds strength to business persuasion—Secret of the ability to use tactful and vivid words in business—Essential training necessary to the nice use of words—Business success depends upon nicety and tact more than on ...
— Conversation - What to Say and How to Say it • Mary Greer Conklin

... face had 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 his ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... 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 ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... 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 a secret drawer, something ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... bore upon the other, to estimate the effect which various features of the view had in producing its leading and general effect. I have never, indeed, been capable of doing this with precision or {p.043} nicety, though my latter studies have led me to amend and arrange my original ideas upon the subject. Even the humble ambition, which I long cherished, of making sketches of those places which interested me, from a defect of eye or of hand was totally ineffectual. ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... With this machine 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, ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... art is no longer in the state of perfection to which it was brought in the days of Cortes. We are told that several persons were employed in each painting, and that it was a work requiring extraordinary patience and nicety, in the blending of the colours, and in the arrangement of the feathers. The sketch of the figure was first made, and the proportions being measured, each artist took charge of one particular part ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon de la Barca

... choicest gifts in their power. The Sky gave her the perfection of its light; Venus, matchless beauty of form; Love, the first dart of his power; Nature, the flower of manners. She never set about any work that it did not go off to a nicety; she never took anything in hand that it did not succeed to a hair; she never stood up to dance, that she did not sit down with applause. On which account she was envied by her jealous sisters and yet not so ...
— Stories from Pentamerone • Giambattista Basile

... to reason which is sometimes almost startling. She mimics all that she sees us do, with the dexterity of a monkey, and far more of gravity and apparent purpose; cracks nuts and eats them; gathers currants and severs them from the stalk with the most delicate nicety; filches and munches apples and pears; is as dangerous in an orchard as a schoolboy; smells to flowers; smiles at meeting; answers in a pretty lively voice when spoken to (sad pity that the language should be unknown!) and has greatly the advantage of us in a ...
— Our Village • Mary Russell Mitford

... and coachmen, painters and carpenters; the women fitted themselves trimly with the cast-off silks and muslins of their mistresses, walked with mincing tread, and spoke in quiet tones with impressive nicety of grammar. This element was a conscious aristocracy of its kind, but its members were more or less irked by the knowledge that no matter how great their merits they could not cross the boundary into white society. The bulk of the real negroes on the other hand, with an occasional ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... 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 ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... columns had been carefully considered, as well as the routes they were to take. I was thoroughly well acquainted with the ground comprised in the theatre of the proposed operations, having frequently ridden over it during the preceding two months; I was thus able to calculate to a nicety the difficulties each column would have to encounter and the distances they would have to cover, and arrange with the utmost precision the hour at which each Commander should move off to insure a timely junction. So that when I left Sherpur at ten o'clock on the 11th December to take command of Macpherson's ...
— Forty-one years in India - From Subaltern To Commander-In-Chief • Frederick Sleigh Roberts

... is a particular nicety in the credit of a tradesman, which does not reach in other cases: a man is slandered in his character, or reputation, and it is injurious; and if it comes in the way of a marriage, or of a preferment, or post, it may disappoint and ruin him; but if this happens to a tradesman, ...
— The Complete English Tradesman (1839 ed.) • Daniel Defoe

... to a spot where it could safely be of service to the battalions. Moreover, when the men arrived they found tea waiting for them already brewed. Apparently the hour of the men's arrival had been timed to such a nicety that the meal was just ready for them. Assuming the truth of Napoleon's maxim about an army marching on its belly, one can easily see from these pages that if Staff work had in any way failed, or if ...
— "Contemptible" • "Casualty"

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

... 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 ...
— Barbarians • Robert W. Chambers

... doubt. Likewise in the matter of a new harrow he had once brought up—there were many curiously twisted parts in that to be considered. Not to speak of the great circular saw that had to be set in its course to the nicety of a pencil line, never swaying east nor west, lest it should fly asunder. But this—this mowing-machine of his—'twas a crawling nest of steel springs and hooks and apparatus, and hundreds of screws—Inger's sewing-machine was ...
— Growth of the Soil • Knut Hamsun

... 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 tutissimus ibis." ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... closely, he succeeds in throwing the same cloudy vagueness over times as well as places 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 ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... that among our new dialecticians, the local habitat of every dialect is given to the square mile. I could not emulate this nicety if I desired; for I simply wrote my Scots as well as I was able, not caring if it hailed from Lauderdale or Angus, from the Mearns or Galloway; if I had ever heard a good word, I used it without shame; and when Scots was lacking, or the rhyme jibbed, I was ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 14 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Sarka realized the nicety of the revenge of Dalis upon Jaska and himself. Dalis had not given the secret to the prisoners, but by his use of the cubes, he had plunged them into the very heart of the horror, where they could see the suffering of the people of the Gens. Then, when they had ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1930 • Various

... have handled the "strange surprising adventures" of Jacques Tournebroche to a nicety, if only Dumas had ever thought to have his collaborators write this brisk tale, wherein d'Astarac and Tournebroche and Mosaide display, even now, a noticeable something in common with the Balsamo and Gilbert and Althotas of the Memoires d'un Medecin. One foresees, ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... was busy calculating to a scrupulous nicety the very vexed question as to exactly how far four pounds per week might be made to go to the best possible ...
— The Money Moon - A Romance • Jeffery Farnol

... one of the daintily prepared dinners which were the envy and despair of his bachelor friends. It was really an admirable little dinner; the claret was a famous one from the Anglemere cellars, and warmed to a nicety; the coffee was perfection; Sparling's ministrations left nothing to be desired; and yet Drake sank into his easy-chair after the meal with a sigh that ...
— Nell, of Shorne Mills - or, One Heart's Burden • Charles Garvice

... sister people. The amusements of the southern fairies were light and sportive; their resentments were satisfied with pinching or scratching the objects of their displeasure; their peculiar sense of cleanliness rewarded the housewives with the silver token in the shoe; their nicety was extreme concerning any coarseness or negligence which could offend their delicacy; and I cannot discern, except, perhaps, from the insinuations of some scrupulous divines, that they were vassals to or in close alliance with the infernals, as there is too much reason to believe was ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... 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 by Grizzie, sat ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... bewildered and overcome by these cruel attacks, which had been calculated with the greatest nicety and precision, hardly knew what answer to return; she even seemed to have lost all power of thought. Her perfidious friend's voice had assumed the most affectionate tone; she spoke as a woman, but concealed the ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... snowy high road. "He had so heated himself with rapid 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 a word ...
— Charles Dickens as a Reader • Charles Kent

... and behaved as the last in the house, being persuaded that she was so before God. She feared nothing more than what ever could bring to her mind the remembrance of her former dignity. She prayed and read much, worked with her hands, abhorred the least appearance of worldly nicety, and took a singular pleasure in visiting and comforting the sick. Thus she passed the fifteen last years of her life, never suffering the least preference to be given her above anyone in the community. Her mortifications ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... and one of the things she did not like to do was to roughen or soil her hands. To put her little hands into the pan of water, and handle and pare the coarse roots with the soil hanging to them, was very distasteful to her nicety. She looked a little dismayed. But there were the roots all to be pared and washed, and Maria would have her hands full; and was not this also work given to Matilda to do? At any rate, she felt that she could not refuse ...
— What She Could • Susan Warner

... has merely substituted his "wormwood wine" for Malone's vinegar; and before he can make it as palatable to common sense, and Shakspeare's "logical correctness and nicety of expression," as it was to Creed and Shepley, he must get over the "stalking-horse," the drink UP, which stands in his way precisely as it did in that of Malone's more legitimate proposition. MR. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 72, March 15, 1851 • Various

... translation of some of his illustrative quotations, and even translates the same passage in two or three different ways under different headings. The orthography of his glossary differs considerably from the orthography of his text. He fails to discriminate with due nicety the meanings of many of the words in his vocabulary, while criticism more recent than his latest edition (1879) has illustrated or overthrown several of his renderings. The references were found to be incorrect in innumerable instances, and had to be verified in every individual ...
— Beowulf • James A. Harrison and Robert Sharp, eds.

... against him, the least Word, Look, or Motion, if he can find but any far-fetch'd reason to suspect a Design in it to under-value him; and of this No body is allow'd to be a Judge but himself. The Enjoyments that arise from being virtuous are of that Nicety, that every ordinary Capacity cannot relish them: As, without Doubt, there is a noble Pleasure in forgiving of Injuries, to Speculative Men that have refin'd Notions of Virtue; but it is more Natural to resent them; and in revenging one's self, ...
— An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War • Bernard Mandeville

... unhappy Guerrier in the familiar fashion while crossing its bows, then swept through the narrow water-lane betwixt the Goliath and Zealous and their French antagonists, poured a smashing broadside into each French ship as it passed, then shot outside the Orion, and anchored with mathematical nicety off the quarter of the Spartiate. The water-lane was not a pistol-shot wide, and this ...
— Deeds that Won the Empire - Historic Battle Scenes • W. H. Fitchett

... right eye!" said Otto; and stepping forward in the English manner (which his godfather having learnt in Palestine, had taught him), he brought his bowstring to his ear, took a good aim, allowing for the wind and calculating the parabola to a nicety. Whiz! ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... longer in time and the greater in degree the quiescence or inertion of an organ has been, so that it still retains life or excitability, the less stimulus should at first be applied to it. The quantity of stimulation is a matter of great nicety to determine, where the torpor or quiescence of the fibres has been experienced in a great degree, or for a considerable time, as in cold fits of the ague, in continued fevers with great debility, or in people famished at sea, ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... 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 which have not two sides, and nearly always in equal measure, ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... question is, suppose at the Cape of Good Hope, to steer for India: trust the rudder to him, as a seaman, who knows the passage whether within or without Madagascar. The question is to avoid a sunk rock: trust the rudder to him, as a navigator, who understands the art of steering to a nicety. ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey



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



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