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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



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

... testiness was gone: the loss of the umbrella, the smell of paint at the Club, were forgotten under the superior excitement. "Confound the insolent villain!" thought the old gentleman. "He understood my wants to a nicety: he was the best servant in England." He thought about his servant as a man thinks of a horse that has carried him long and well, and that has come down with him, and is safe no longer. How the deuce to replace him? Where can he ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... honest at least in his desire for a permanent residence in an up-to-date penitentiary, for, even as the deed itself had been accomplished with a precision that was almost automatic, so did the work yet to be done go off with the nicety of a well-regulated schedule. Everything came about as Holmes had predicted, even to the action of the police in endeavoring to fasten the crime upon an inoffensive and somewhat impecunious social dangler, ...
— R. Holmes & Co. • John Kendrick Bangs

... of its civil list, and to regulate, reduce, and bring it into better order than it has hitherto been; because the money for that purpose must be raised apart, and accounted for to the public separately. But while the, monies of both were blended, the necessary nicety was not observed, and the poor soldier, who ought to have been the first, was the ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... it appears that those whose object was the transmutation of metals, very frequently joined to this pursuit the study of astrology, and even the practice of sorcery. So much delicacy and nicety were supposed to be required in the process for the transmutation of metals, that it could not hope to succeed but under a favourable conjunction of the planets; and the most flourishing pretenders ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... rising—or not. He was independent of Science. A trifle of wind in the night was his verdict, glass or no! The season was drawing nigh to a close now for a bathing-resort, as you might say. Come another se'nnight, you wouldn't see a machine down, as like as not. But you could never say, to a nicety. He'd known every lodging in the old town full, times and again, to the end of September month, before now. But this year was going to fall early, and your young lady would ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

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

... lent to Lenny. Meanwhile Jackeymo imparted to the boy many secrets in practical gardening and minute husbandry, for at that day farming in England (some favoured counties and estates excepted) was far below the nicety to which the art has been immemorially carried in the north of Italy,—where, indeed, you may travel for miles and miles as through a series of market-gardens; so that, all these things considered, Leonard Fairfield might be said to have ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... rules simply for the fun of the thing. Netta loved to show off before the others, and because she found Miss Gascoyne an easier victim than Miss Douglas, she kept most of her sallies for the junior teacher. She could estimate to a nicety the fine distinction between giving trouble and open defiance. She never actually overstepped the line, but she contrived to make matters very unpleasant for poor Winnie. It was her boast that she could always raise a spark out of Miss Gascoyne, and her admirers ...
— The Youngest Girl in the Fifth - A School Story • Angela Brazil

... person, Dermott McDermott. There's none can tell the truth more bravely or with greater nicety ...
— Katrine • Elinor Macartney Lane

... and women who could walk many miles a day, and who could climb peaks so inaccessible that the feats received honorable mention in Alpine journals,—a result which filled their families with joy and pride. These young people knew to a nicety the proper diet and clothing which would best contribute toward endurance. Everything was very fine about them save their motive power. The writer does not refer to the hard-worked men and women who were taking a vacation, but ...
— Democracy and Social Ethics • Jane Addams

... the blight and the worm like a wizard. If there was any one thing save his orchard he doted upon it was a daughter o' his'n, her name being Rose, and all that you can cram of lush and bright-red and rosy-posy nicety into that name. An' yet he hankered much on the latest addition to his garden—a New York State apple as he sent for and 'tended to at great outlay of time, anyway. 'This here daughter' and 'that there apple-tree' were his delights. You might say the Rose and the Baldwin, that were the brand ...
— The Lincoln Story Book • Henry L. Williams

... imitating an old lady's voice to a nicety: "Having heard that you publish a great many books, I thought you would like to know of a very clever—really remarkable—work which is being written by a well-known scholar who lives in this street, and that perhaps you would call on him and make him ...
— We Ten - Or, The Story of the Roses • Lyda Farrington Kraus

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

... 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, but which is largely operative ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... possible for him to frame in his mind a distinct abstract idea of visible extension or figure exclusive of all colour: and on the other hand, whether he can conceive colour without visible extension? For my own part, I must confess I am not able to attain so great a nicety of abstraction: in a strict sense, I see nothing but light and colours, with their several shades and variations. He who beside these doth also perceive by sight ideas far different and distinct from them hath that faculty in a degree more perfect and comprehensive than ...
— An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision • George Berkeley

... middle 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

... de boeuf" fit for Epicurius himself. In the center of the table was next placed the great round loaf of bread, neither wheat nor oats nor rye, but a happy combination of all and delightfully toothsome. Crowning all, the liquid amber of cafe-au-lait, which Madame, timing our needs to a nicety, poured ...
— The Greater Love • George T. McCarthy

... fine caravanserai at Kala-i-Fath, built of large baked bricks, each brick eleven inches square, and displaying a nicety of design foreign to Sistan. The caravanserai seems to have been domed over a large central courtyard, with wings for rooms and stabling; and an adjoining ice-house of mud bricks. In the graveyard fragments of alabaster and ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... were nice distinctions of rank in Middlemarch; and though old manufacturers could not any more than dukes be connected with none but equals, they were conscious of an inherent social superiority which was defined with great nicety in practice, though hardly expressible theoretically. Since then Mr. Garth had failed in the building business, which he had unfortunately added to his other avocations of surveyor, valuer, and agent, had conducted that business for a time entirely for the benefit of ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... but am not sure. The suggestion that cucumbers were dug out of the ground like potatoes, was only an error of judgment. Anyone might have made it. But although rusty in his science, he is well up in machine-gun drill. He will suit the expedition to a nicety. Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry in ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, August 13, 1892 • Various

... feudal outlaw; certainly he was liable to be arrested if he set foot upon his native province; yet I am cautioned that "he did not really break his allegiance," but only so far separated himself as that the prince could no longer be held accountable for his late vassal's conduct. There is some nicety of feudal custom here that escapes ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... suddenly, it flashes upon you that the master was right in his judgment, and you fly into a small fury of determination to show him that you can exist "without a gentleman." Down go your hands, you straighten your shoulders, adjust yourself to a nicety, think of yourself and of your horse with all the intensity of which you are capable, and make two or three ...
— In the Riding-School; Chats With Esmeralda • Theo. Stephenson Browne

... monks possesses any property of his own, even of a purely transitory kind, such as a bed or a suit of clothes. They have all in common, and they have not that nicety or necessity of privacy which would compel an Englishman to claim the right to wear the same coat and trousers two days running. But the monks are even less diffident of claiming their own separate mugs and plates at table, and are unoffended by miscellaneous eating ...
— A Tramp's Sketches • Stephen Graham

... never packed our trunks but twice—when we sailed from New York, and when we returned to it. Whenever we made a land journey, we estimated how many days we should be gone and what amount of clothing we should need, figured it down to a mathematical nicety, packed a valise or two accordingly, and left the trunks on board. We chose our comrades from among our old, tried friends, and started. We were never dependent upon strangers for companionship. We often had occasion to pity Americans whom we found ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... of a spy (for France has plenty of such people). This man I employed to be a constant and particular attendant upon his person and motions; and he was especially employed and ordered to haunt him as a ghost, that he should scarce let him be ever out of his sight. He performed this to a nicety, and failed not to give me a perfect journal of all his motions from day to day, and, whether for his pleasure or his business, was ...
— The Fortunate Mistress (Parts 1 and 2) • Daniel Defoe

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

... answer these false indications, in the same way that a carthorse is brought to turn right or left by the touch of the whip on the opposite side of the neck, or the word of the driver; and indeed such is the nicety to which it may be brought, that you constantly hear people boast that their horses will "turn by the weight of the reins on the neck." This, however, only proves the docility of the horse, and how badly he has been ridden. For a ...
— Hints on Horsemanship, to a Nephew and Niece - or, Common Sense and Common Errors in Common Riding • George Greenwood

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

... success of the design set forth in this letter, taught the harpsichord in families of distinction, but wanted self-respect enough to save him from declining into a player at obscure ale-houses, where he executed for the pleasure of dull ears solos of Corelli with the nicety of taste that never left him. He died old and ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... She had defined his own trade to a nicety. There might be detectives whose work was above this reproach, but he was a confirmed creeper, and he knew it. It wasn't his fault. The boss told him to creep, and he crept. If he declined to creep, he would be sacked instanter. It was hard, and yet he ...
— The Man with Two Left Feet - and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... entrance, the breeze failed us, when the order of sailing was reversed, the boats now taking the schooner in tow, preceded by your humble servant in the gig. We dashed safely through the small canal of blue water, which divided the surf at the harbour's mouth, having hit it to a nicety; but when about a pistolshot from the entrance, the channel narrowed to a muddy creek, not more than twenty yards wide, with high trees, and thick underwood close to the water's edge. All was silent, the sun shone clown upon us like the concentrated rays of a burning glass, and there ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... raged fast and furious, both sides loading and firing as rapidly as they could, although I continually exhorted our own gunners to give themselves plenty of time to take careful aim. The enemy quickly got our range to a nicety, and their shot came screaming about our ears and plumping into our earthen rampart in an almost continuous shower, blinding us with the dust and dirt that they threw up, and occasionally sending the splinters flying ...
— A Middy of the King - A Romance of the Old British Navy • Harry Collingwood

... 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

... persuading them to follow their example. Whilst, therefore, the powder was drying, I began with a large pair of scissors to execute my new office upon the eldest of four or five chins presented to me; and as great nicety was not required, the shearing of a dozen of them did not occupy me long. Some of the more timid were alarmed at a formidable instrument coming so near to their noses, and would scarcely be persuaded by their shaven friends, ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis • Matthew Flinders

... assembled together, during the course of two hundred years, by a family which had been always wealthy, and inclined, of course, as a mark of splendour, to furnish their shelves with the current literature of the day, without much scrutiny or nicety of discrimination. Throughout this ample realm Edward was permitted to roam at large. His tutor had his own studies; and church politics and controversial divinity, together with a love of learned ease, though they did not withdraw his attention at ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... the decadence of eye and hand followed that of the mind, and there next appeared a taste for brilliant colors, overladen compositions, and fine and meticulous lines, culminating in an unbearable nicety. The work of the Academy is ...
— Chinese Painters - A Critical Study • Raphael Petrucci

... 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 ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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

... [results of comparison. 1] Discrimination. — N. discrimination, distinction, differentiation, diagnosis, diorism[obs3]; nice perception; perception of difference, appreciation of difference; estimation &c. 466; nicety, refinement; taste &c. 850; critique, judgment; tact; discernment &c. (intelligence) 498; acuteness, penetration; nuances. dope*, past performances. V. discriminate, distinguish, severalize[obs3]; recognize, match, identify; separate; draw ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... service were 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 ...
— In the South Seas • Robert Louis Stevenson

... looking out now somewhat soberly upon the smiling scene; then she jumped up and threw off her gravity, and came to the supper-table. It was spread with exquisite neatness, and appetising nicety. Dolly found herself hungry. If but her errand to London had been of a less serious and critical character, she could have greatly enjoyed the adventure and its picturesque circumstances. With the elastic strength of seventeen, however, she ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... of life in general. Even the weather was fallen back upon in case some one happened to be within earshot, which was usually the case, as Bill's store was seldom empty. No one who heard them would suspect that the men were watching, weighing, and fathoming each other with all the nicety at individual command. Talpers was always wondering just how much the Indian agent knew, and ...
— Mystery Ranch • Arthur Chapman

... could we persuade him that she dotes on him, himself. Contrive a kind letter as from her, 'twould disgust his nicety, and take away ...
— The Comedies of William Congreve - Volume 1 [of 2] • William Congreve

... a short time, he was able to learn from notes, he grew so delighted with some of the music Mary got for him, entering into every nicety of severest law, and finding therein a better liberty than that of improvisation, that he ceased for long to play anything of his own, and Mary became mortally afraid lest, in developing the performer, ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... enhance in her mind every favour I shall afterwards vouchsafe to shew her: and never question old humdrum Virtue,' thought I, 'but the tempter without, and the tempter within, will be too many for the perversest nicety that ever the ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... he liked for his audience; and in doing so indulged in all the airs of a great artist—pulling out one crook from another—blowing through them softly, and shaking the moisture from them in a tasty style—arranging them with a fastidious nicety—then, after the final adjustment of the mouth-piece, lipping the instrument with an affectation exquisitely grotesque; but before he began he always asked ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... [*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

... happens, we have ham dressed; if the joint be above the weight of seven pounds, I have it cut in half, and prepared in the following manner: first, ensure that it has been properly soaked, scraped, and cleaned to a nicety; then put it into an earthen vessel, as near its own size as possible, with just as much water as will cover it; to which add four onions, a clove of garlic, half a dozen eschalots, a bay-leaf, a bunch of sweet herbs, half a dozen cloves, a few peppercorns and allspice: this should be well ...
— The Cook's Oracle; and Housekeeper's Manual • William Kitchiner

... we met, as his particular young friend Mr. Redmond, of Waterford county; he also presented me at his hatter's and tailor's as a gentleman of great expectations and large property; and although I told the latter that I should not pay him ready cash for more than one coat, which fitted me to a nicety, yet he insisted upon making me several, which I did not care to refuse. The Captain, also, who certainly wanted such a renewal of raiment, told the tailor to send him home a handsome military frock, which ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... 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 ...
— Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 2 • John Franklin

... him, and he winked, and gesticulated, and pointed to his head, crying, 'Fall not, O man of the nicety of measure, into the trap of error; for 'tis I that am a barber, and a rarity in this city, even Shibli Bagarag of Shiraz! Know me nephew of the renowned Baba Mustapha, chief barber to the Court of Persia. Languishest ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

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

... assistants, was very busily occupied in a process for removing the oil colours of a painting from wood, and transferring them to canvas. He received me with great politeness, and explained to me the mode of doing it, in which there appeared to be more toil, nicety, and ...
— The Stranger in France • John Carr

... inward swing of it, Dawson was showing his men how to place ties and rails 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

... became acquainted with this particular roadway I never fully comprehended the nicety and the force of the phrase "to drive in." I had heard people say that they had driven into such and such places, and I had wondered why they employed this figure of speech when, it seemed to me, it would have been more exact to say that they entered upon or drove over. But I know now that it ...
— The House - An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife, Alice • Eugene Field

... every direction in quest of us. Now, take notice, lady, I know a place in which I can take refuge with my friends and countrymen, those gallant Scots, who have never even in this dishonoured age bent the knee to Baal. For their honour, their nicety of honour, I could in other days have answered with my own; but of late, I am bound to tell you, they have been put to those trials by which the most generous affections may be soured, and driven to ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... considerable authority, are delivered in it. Some may think that because the Law-French is no better than the old Norman corrupted, and now a deformed hotch-potch of the English and Latin mixed together, it is not fit for a polite spark to foul himself with; but this nicety is so desperate a mistake, that lawyer and Law-French are coincident; one will not stand without the other." So enamored was he of the grace and excellence of law-reporters' French, that he regarded it as a delightful study for a man of fashion, and maintained that no barrister would do ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

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

... profitable than the blacks. Upon the last original design I have mentioned, in planting this colony, they also based an argument against their admission, viz., that the cultivation of silk and wine, demanding skill and nicety, rather than strength and endurance of fatigue, the whites were better calculated for such labour than the negroes. These were the prominent arguments, drawn from the various considerations of internal and external policy, which influenced the Trustees in making this prohibition. Many of them, ...
— History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George W. Williams

... found to be quite safe. But by degrees he began to find that his wife's eyes had been sharper than his own. Other people coupled the signora's name with that of Mr. Arabin. The meagre little prebendary who lived in the close told him to a nicety how often Mr. Arabin had visited at Dr. Stanhope's, and how long he had remained on the occasion of each visit. He had asked after Mr. Arabin at the cathedral library, and an officious little vicar choral had offered to go and see ...
— Barchester Towers • Anthony Trollope

... mind was a colourless world. He understood and has explained the secrets of the human heart, the workings of the human passions; but he performs all these moral dissections with the coolness of an anatomist, engaged in a delicate operation. The nicety of his distinctions, and his deep insight into the nature of man, are displayed without passion, while his constant effort after the discovery of new truth, never for one moment betrays him into mysticism, or tempts him to substitute ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... out to hermits by a nobleman's butler, whose wife takes care of the lodgings. His cells consist of a refectory, a dormitory, and an adjacent oratory where he keeps his shower-bath and boots—the pretty boots trimly stretched on boot-trees and blacked to a nicety (not varnished) by the boy who waits on him. The barefooted business may suit superstitious ages and gentlemen of Alcantara, but does not become Mayfair and the nineteenth century. If St. Pedro walked the earth now with his eyes to the ground he would know fashionable divines by the way in which ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

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

... ancient remains there the optical corrections which it was alleged the Greeks made in the horizontal lines of their buildings. Mr. Penrose made careful measurements, establishing the fact, and a folio volume of plates was published to illustrate the discovery, and evince the unequalled nicety of the Greek eye. But the main point, namely, that a horizontal line above the level of the eye, in order to appear horizontal, must bend slightly upwards, was pointed out to me years ago ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 60, October 1862 • Various

... if they express their enthusiasm. I must arrange that." He therefore quietly caused to be planted a few judicious claqueurs about the house at his own expense, and that night bravos and hand-clappings were bestowed on Lemaitre alone. This suited the actor's notions to a nicety. Not so with the actress, however. "These people have no taste," she thought; "but that can't last." So she arranged privately for a small claque of her own, and that night she also was applauded. But this sort of game was ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875 • Various

... "brifiletched" and "awbsairf" with great nicety. Perhaps his discernment was less ...
— The Spenders - A Tale of the Third Generation • Harry Leon Wilson

... out a sloop armed with ten guns and a crew of seventy men. The fact that he honestly paid in cash for this ship is highly suspicious of a deranged mind, since no other pirate, to the writer's knowledge, ever showed such a nicety of feeling, but always stole the ship in which to embark "on the account." The Major, to satisfy the curious, gave out that he intended to trade between the islands, but one night, without a word of farewell to Mrs. Bonnet, ...
— The Pirates' Who's Who - Giving Particulars Of The Lives and Deaths Of The Pirates And Buccaneers • Philip Gosse

... quick in his movements, graceful, neat to nicety in his dress, with much in his air of what is called style, with a face almost too beautiful for a man's, had not his eyes commanded it and all who looked at it, and his close, firm mouth been ready to say what the fiery ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... aggressor still; else why is not every living maid undone that does but touch or see thee? Tell me why? No, the fault is in me, and thou art innocent.—Were but my soul less delicate, were it less sensible of what it loves and likes in thee, I yet were dully happy; but oh, there is a nicety there so charmed, so apprehensive of thy beauties, as has betrayed me to unrest for ever:——yet something I will do to tame this lewd betrayer of my right, and it shall plead no more in thy behalf; no more, no more disperse the joys which it conceives through every vein (cold and insensible ...
— Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister • Aphra Behn

... 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 watch ticked at ...
— Thackeray • Anthony Trollope

... exactly how they 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 that ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... of catching fish by means of a rod, line, hook, and bait, which by its mixture of idleness and chance forms recreation; but however simple the art appears, it requires much nicety. ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... forces, comparatively small, were to occupy the railway stations and the Grande Place. At the Hotel de Ville he was to establish the headquarters of the staff and administer the city government through the regularly constituted authorities. It was all worked out to a nicety, even to the exact measures for policing the line ...
— A Journal From Our Legation in Belgium • Hugh Gibson

... spear-head in the lintel; and it was good hurling, not to be complained of: the end of the haft stuck in the socket, and stuck firm. And as fast as those two men did those two things, Creidne had his rivets ready, and threw them at the spear-head; and so excellent his throwing, and the nicety of his aim, no rivet would do less than enter the holes in the socket, and drive on into the wood of the shaft;—and that way there was no cast of a spear by the Gods at the hellions, but there was a new spear ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

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

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

... a remarkable illustration of this in the life of John the Baptist, who clearly realized the distinction on which we are dwelling, and used it with remarkable nicety, when approached by various classes of character. When Gentile soldiers came to him, in Roman regimentals, he merely bade them do violence to no man, and be content with their wages. When Jews came he ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... 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 and weak. I want some one to assist me in the cares of my immense business; a partner, ...
— May Brooke • Anna H. Dorsey

... think so. He had calculated matters with some nicety. He was not exactly on such terms with Mount Dunstan as would make a casual call seem an entirely natural thing, and he wished to drop in upon him for a casual call and in an unpremeditated manner. He meant to reach the Mount about the time the storm broke, under which ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... the Dutch gentlemen, who had no idea of his sufferings, insisted, with surprising obstinacy of regard, upon his staying until he should see an instance of the skill of the mariners; and, bringing him on deck, commanded the men to carry the vessel's lee gunwale under water. This nicety of navigation they instantly performed, to the admiration of Pickle, the discomposure of the doctor, and terror of Pallet, who blessed himself from the courtesy of a Dutchman, and prayed to ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... opportunity offered, in a sailing-ship under way there went on the work of readjusting the yards and sails; a pull here and a pull there, like a woman getting herself into shape after sitting too long in one position. Yards trimmed to a nicety; the two sheets of each sail close home alike; all the canvas taut up, from the weather-tacks of the courses to the weather-earings of the royals; no slack weather-braces, or weather-leaches, letting a bight of loose canvas ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... themselves they criticised her constantly, exaggerating her faults and taking delight in recounting her failures. She was too familiar with every detail of the business for her men to dare to neglect her interests too flagrantly, but they had learned to a nicety how high their percentage of losses might run without getting their ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... 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, ...
— Account of a Voyage of Discovery - to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-Choo Island • Captain Basil Hall

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

... 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

... and taste of her dress, and the atmosphere of a fastidious and wholesome cleanliness which exhaled from her. In the lady I saw before me, half reclining in a rocking-chair, there was none of the stiffness and nicety. Habited in a loose gown of some easy, flexible, but rich material, worn with that peculiarly indolent slouch of the Mexican woman, Mrs. Saltillo had parted with half her individuality. Even her arched feet and thin ankles, the close-fitting boots or small slippers of which ...
— Stories in Light and Shadow • Bret Harte

... hen-coops?" said my father, looking carelessly up. "Let him take care not to shoot himself then. He has no nicety ...
— The Dew of Their Youth • S. R. Crockett

... somehow could not bring her lips to utter the name of Louis Fores to Rachel. For the old lady had divined a connection of cause and effect between Louis Fores and the apparition of Rachel's superlative frock. And she did not like the connection; it troubled her, and offended the extreme nicety of ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... lodging that was modest, to say the best of it, in the rue du Cours, on the second floor of a house belonging to Madame Lardot, the best and busiest washerwoman in the town. This circumstance will explain the excessive nicety of his linen. Ill-luck would have it that the day came when Alencon was guilty of believing that the chevalier had not always comported himself as a gentleman should, and that in fact he was secretly married in his old age to a certain Cesarine,—the mother of a child which had had the impertinence ...
— The Jealousies of a Country Town • Honore de Balzac

... There on the wide window seat was the self-supporting cat, George Washington himself, with a fern spreading its feathery fronds above his head and a cluster of red asters in a brass bowl at his tall. George Washington had calculated the amount of space between the jardiniere and the bowl to a nicety. There was not the fraction of an ...
— Mary Rose of Mifflin • Frances R. Sterrett

... friend was able to obtain from 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 ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... neatness; the fire, the wood fire was taken care of; Miss Fortune seemed to know, by instinct, when it wanted a fresh supply, and to be on the spot by magic to give it. Ellen's medicines were dealt out in proper time; her gruels and drinks perfectly well made and arranged, with appetizing nicety, on a little table by the bedside, where she could reach them herself; and Miss Fortune was generally at hand when she was wanted. But, in spite of all this, there was something missing in that sick room there was a great want; and whenever the delirium was upon her, Ellen made ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... 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

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

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

... 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 him that afternoon, you would have wondered how ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... dine and sup, albeit he was not always bidden. There was likewise at Florence, in those days, a man called Biondello, a little dapper fellow of his person, very quaint of his dress and sprucer than a fly, with his coif on his head and his yellow periwig still drest to a nicety, without a hair awry, who plied the same trade as Ciacco. Going one morning in Lent whereas they sell the fish and cheapening two very fine lampreys for Messer Vieri de' Cerchj, he was seen by Ciacco, who accosted him and said, 'What meaneth this?' Whereto Biondello made ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... And she's Lady Dawn's sister, of course. But——Well, to put it frankly, a woman who's been married three times might just as well never have been married at all. Looks as though she'd only squandered her money in rising to the nicety of a marriage-license. I hope you don't mean to marry her, old chap, ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... surface thoughts entirely on innocuous things. The trouble with that was that it made it extremely difficult to think about some way to get out of the jam he was in. Thinking on two levels at once, while not impossible, required a nicety of control that made ...
— The Foreign Hand Tie • Gordon Randall Garrett

... read it. You have shown that you can do both, and your creation of Wiltshire is a real illumination of the text. It was exactly so that Wiltshire dressed and looked, and you have the line of his nose to a nicety. His nose is an inspiration. Nor should I forget to thank you for Case, particularly in his last appearance. It is a singular fact - which seems to point still more directly to inspiration in your case ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... 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 already at the head of the table, waiting their arrival. She made a ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... mean time Peter had drawn his waghon, or curved Indian knife, from his belt, and, carefully commencing at the rear of the body, skinned the animal without forming another aperture, removing the mask, and ears attached, with great nicety. With equal dexterity he whittled a piece of pine board to the proper shape, and, turning the skin inside out, drew it tightly over the batten, fastening it in place with a few tacks. His task completed, he handed it to La Salle, and rose to go. The ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall



Words linked to "Nicety" :   conformity, import, refinement, nuance, rightness, shade, significance, subtlety, meaning



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