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Nicety   /nˈaɪsɪti/   Listen
Nicety

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






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Nicety" Quotes from Famous Books



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

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

... whatever failures in this respect may be inevitable in those hopelessly starved and mismanaged "museums" at present surviving to bear witness to the decay of public spirit and intelligent culture in our country towns, the prime duty of the great London museum is to preserve "records" with the greatest nicety and readiness for reference, whilst the duty of actively adding to these records from all parts of the Empire, and, therefore, of the world, and that of minutely studying and reporting upon the collections so ...
— More Science From an Easy Chair • Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester

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

... dairy, which Hareton seized and commenced drinking and spilling from the expansive lip. I expostulated, and desired that he should have his in a mug; affirming that I could not taste the liquid treated so dirtily. The old cynic chose to be vastly offended at this nicety; assuring me, repeatedly, that 'the barn was every bit as good' as I, 'and every bit as wollsome,' and wondering how I could fashion to be so conceited. Meanwhile, the infant ruffian continued sucking; and glowered up at me defyingly, as he slavered ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... 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, ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... 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

... its way with elephantine nicety, the motor-car progressed down the Avenue—twilight deepening, arcs upon their bronze columns blossoming suddenly, noiselessly into spheres of opalescent radiance—Mr. Maitland ceased to respond, ceased even to give heed, to the running fire of chaff (largely personal) ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... plaguy long in coming:— some Nicety now, some perfum'd Smock, or Point Night-Clothes to make her more lovely in my Eyes: Well, these Women are right City Cooks, they stay so long to garnish the Dish, till the Meat be cold— but ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. I (of 6) • Aphra Behn

... this, 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 to the art boasted that they had also a familiar intercourse with certain spirits ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... constructed by millions of workers, set in motion by dozens of companies; your carriage is attached in turn to Spanish, French, Bavarian, and Russian locomotives: you travel without losing twenty minutes anywhere, and the two hundred francs which you paid in Madrid will be divided to a nicety among the companies which have combined to forward you to your destination. This line from Madrid to St. Petersburg has been constructed in small isolated branches which have been gradually connected, and direct trains are the result of ...
— The Place of Anarchism in Socialistic Evolution - An Address Delivered in Paris • Pierre Kropotkin

... morning; and Nettie herself sat by the child's bedside—Nettie, all alert and vigorous, in the little room, which, homely as its aspect was, displayed even to the doctor's uninitiated glance a fastidious nicety of arrangement which made it harmonious with that little figure. Nettie was singing childish songs to solace the little invalid's retirement—the "fox that jumped up on a moonlight night," the "frog that would a-wooing go"—classic ditties of which the nursery never tires. The doctor, who was not ...
— The Doctor's Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... had to do was keep his strongest 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

... a rod. Some men seem to be unable to make the right selection; they seem to lack the correct sense of touch and balance. Others suffer from love of change; disloyal to the old friend which fitted their hand to a nicety, they discard it for the passing attractions ...
— Lines in Pleasant Places - Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler • William Senior

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

... 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

... 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 ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... delicate mechanism of the larynx belong to the realm of reflex action—to a spontaneous activity that, left unhindered, does its part in perfect nicety. ...
— Resonance in Singing and Speaking • Thomas Fillebrown

... these blemishes where I found them. But I am determined to report everything just as it is, or at least just as it appears to me; and those who have a curiosity to see courts and courtiers dissected, must bear with the dirt they find in laying open such minds with as little nicety and as much patience as, in a dissection of their bodies, if they wanted to see that operation, they must submit ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume I (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

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

... time of that fine old martinet M. Deslandes, M. Henrivaux would pass his life in a cocked hat, knee-breeches, peruke, embroidered coat, and sword, for the casting now takes place every day and at a fixed hour. None the less, rather the more, it is a work still of extreme nicety, one to be done by experts, who must be as cool as soldiers under fire. In a certain way and measure it is like ladling out the molten lava of Vesuvius and pressing it into slabs for a lady's toilette-table. The plates, once cast, must be smoothed and made even. This is a ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... 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 spirit might bid; ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... observe in passing that no gingerly nicety of regard in calling those who served by any other name than servant, was shown or heeded in olden times. They believed with St. Paul, "Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it." All hired workers in the house, hired laborers in the field, those contracting ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... quite poor, hence there was 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

... of Lord Melville). It had been thought very desirable, while that distinguished lawyer was King's counsel, that his assistance should be obtained in drawing an appeal case, which, as occasion for such writings then rarely occurred, was held to be matter of great nicety. The solicitor employed for the appellant, attended by my informant acting as his clerk, went to the Lord Advocate's chambers in the Fishmarket Close, as I think. It was Saturday at noon, the Court was just dismissed, the Lord Advocate had changed his dress and booted ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... his extreme left and reached almost exactly the point from which he started the first time. He pauses, panting, but with the scowl of determination still more intense, and concentrated chiefly in his right eye. Very cautiously extending his dexter hand, that he may not destroy the nicety of his perpendicular balance, he points with a finger at the knob of the door, and suffers his stronger eye to fasten firmly upon the same object. A moment's balancing, to make sure, and then, in three irresistible, rushing strides, he goes through the glass doors with a burst, without stopping ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 11, June 11, 1870 • Various

... of Jerusalem is described with equal nicety. We may notice viii. 20; ix. 7; x. 23; xviii. 1, 15; xix. 17, 41; and particularly the pool near the sheep-gate, having five porches (v. 2), and the place which is called the Pavement, "but in the Hebrew Gabbatha" (xix. 13). Even a person who had heard of Solomon's porch and of Golgotha ...
— The Books of the New Testament • Leighton Pullan

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

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

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

... 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

... frame of mind was hardly calculated for the rapid reception and assimilation of these particles, terminations, and cases of philological nicety in which May began to recognize that she was inaccurate ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... will sometimes fail in making souffles, as their manufacture requires the very greatest care and attention. It is also necessary to be able to judge to a nicety the time they will take to cook, because, to be eaten in perfection, they should be served directly they are ready. In making a souffle, be very careful to take exact measure of the different ...
— The Skilful Cook - A Practical Manual of Modern Experience • Mary Harrison

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

... a humanly soothing mood. He fairly crooned over Larry and could tell to a nicety the ...
— At the Crossroads • Harriet T. Comstock

... were arranged in three rows of four abreast with one pair in lead, while of the drivers three rode the near-horses and three the off-horses, with one driver riding the near-horse of the leading-pair; a complicated business requiring much skill and nicety of judgment in order to get the best ...
— With Our Army in Palestine • Antony Bluett

... whose work he comes across later. In any case, this main fact arises, that the canon appears as what the artist deviated from, not what he abided by: and any one who has any feeling for the infinite nicety of the results obtained by Greek sculptors will easily apprehend that each masterpiece established a new and slightly different canon, and was then in the position to be in its turn again deviated from, ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... 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! his ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... a girl of sixteen. The only sign she showed of interest in her person, appeared in her hair and the covering of her neck. Of one of the many middle shades of brown, with a rippling tendency to curl in it, her hair was parted with nicety, and drawn back from her face into a net of its own colour, while her neckerchief was of blue silk, covering a very little white skin, but leaving bare a brown throat. She wore a blue print wrapper, nowise differing from that of a peasant ...
— Heather and Snow • George MacDonald

... 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, she had ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... silent, 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 ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... the holy water, knelt on one knee for an instant, and walked off again to play another game at bowls. They are remarkably expert at this diversion, and will play in the stony lanes and streets, and on the most uneven and disastrous ground for such a purpose, with as much nicety as on a billiard-table. But the most favourite game is the national one of Mora, which they pursue with surprising ardour, and at which they will stake everything they possess. It is a destructive kind of gambling, requiring no accessories ...
— Pictures from Italy • Charles Dickens

... Chateaubriand, saddling the poetic defender of Christianity with an invention in cookery of which he was never capable. I approved the new-comer, who was writing half a dozen notes with his mouth full, for his nicety in nomenclature: to get the right term, even in kitchen affairs, shows a reflective mind and tenderness of conscience. My friend the engineer arrived, and placed himself in the chair I had turned up beside my own. I was ashamed of the rate at which I advanced through my capon, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 31. October, 1873. • Various

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

... way in which he held his tool. Hence the result was tolerably satisfactory. Long before he had reached the depth of which he wished to make the spool, he had learned to manage his chisel with some nicety. Burt finished it off for him with just a few touches; and, delighted with his acquisition of the rudiments of a new trade, he carried the spool home with him, to try once more the possibility of educating ...
— Gutta-Percha Willie • George MacDonald

... The telegraphic request for money, which had been kept a secret from him by his niece, because of his already unfriendly tone towards Somerset, arrived on the morning of the twenty-third—a date which neighboured with painfully suggestive nicety upon that now given ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... and so when I make it and give it to thee thou hast nothing to do when in some battle thou seest they have cut me in half through the middle of the body—as is wont to happen frequently,—but neatly and with great nicety, ere the blood congeal, to place that portion of the body which shall have fallen to the ground upon the other half which remains in the saddle, taking care to fit it on evenly and exactly. Then thou shalt give me to drink but two drops of the balsam ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... that which we hire made for us. The object of this paper is to assist home-makers in doing just this kind of work. I shall endeavor to make it so plain and practical that anyone so inclined can do all that needs doing in a satisfactory manner. It may not have that nicety of finish, when completed, that characterizes the work of the professional, but it will harmonize with its surroundings more perfectly, perhaps, and will afford us quite as much pleasure as ...
— Amateur Gardencraft - A Book for the Home-Maker and Garden Lover • Eben E. Rexford

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

... of his two predecessors, realized the new form better than any one before him had done. For he possessed the special gifts necessary to the performance of the task. He possessed, in the first place, a miraculous power of musical characterization. Through the representative nicety of his themes, through his inordinate capacity for thematic variation and transformation, his playful and witty and colorful instrumentation, Strauss was able to impart to his music a concreteness and descriptiveness and realism hitherto unknown to symphonic art, to characterize ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... and give them their teas, and then from 3 a.m. to half-past six to give them their breakfast and their food for the day, whilst all the time the enemy was fighting and shooting, and one had to judge to a nicety where to keep everyone until the rations were issued, so that in case the Germans should suddenly rush us we should have enough to repel them. I wonder where you are now—at Rostrevor or at Carlton—and whether I am fated to get home ...
— Letters of Lt.-Col. George Brenton Laurie • George Brenton Laurie

... 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 ...
— Charles Dickens and Music • James T. Lightwood

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

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

... rises. To the north of the city, on the summit of a lofty eminence, appeared the still dark and frowning fortress of Cyclopean architecture, composed of stones of vast magnitude. When I afterwards visited it, I was surprised to find the extraordinary nicety with which, without any cement, they were joined together; and I cannot tell with what machinery the Peruvians could have raised blocks so enormous to such heights, or how they could have fitted them, shaped as they are in so many various ...
— Manco, the Peruvian Chief - An Englishman's Adventures in the Country of the Incas • W.H.G. Kingston

... every Bridget or Gretchen fancies she can do it—requires nicety and care to do it well, and is far more difficult than "frying in deep fat." The pan requires to be hot, also the fat or butter used, which should cover the bottom of the pan; a bright fire is required. Things that take long to cook require more fat than those that require but a short ...
— Choice Cookery • Catherine Owen

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

... to a nicety, and before the German could cry out, one of the lad's hands sank deep into his throat. But the latter was a powerful man and not to be overcome easily. He hurled the lad from him with a quick shove, ...
— The Boy Allies On the Firing Line - Or, Twelve Days Battle Along the Marne • Clair W. Hayes

... moral character of the arch is called by architects its "Line of Resistance." There is a great deal of nicety in calculating it with precision, just as there is sometimes in finding out very precisely what is a man's true line of moral conduct; but this, in arch morality and in man morality, is a very simple ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... in the way of small-talk—for the hostess felt a certain unwilling hesitation to approach the topic of daughters—but it happened to suit the social purpose of Miss Chetwynd to a nicety. Miss Chetwynd was a ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... found the beaten routes of travel filled with young English men 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

... 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 ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... "leap and caracole and curvet, and are as warm as velvet, and as sleek as satin, and as perfumed as a Naples fan, in every part of us; and the end of our poems is as pointed as a perch's back-fin, and it requires as much nicety to pick it up as a needle{38a} ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

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

... 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 ...
— The Journey to the Polar Sea • John Franklin

... 'conservative' method of writing. It was not necessary for a transliteration to be accurate, whereas, in the case of a translation, the greatest care would naturally be taken to preserve the original sacred text with all nicety and accuracy, since upon accuracy and nicety the whole efficacy of the formulas rested. The redaction of the incantation texts in the double style must not be regarded as a necessary indication of high antiquity, but only as a proof that the oldest incantation texts were written ...
— The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria • Morris Jastrow

... magnificently furnished, and very well fancied; her winter rooms being furnished with figured velvet, on gold grounds, and those for summer, with fine Indian quilting embroidered with gold. The houses of the great Turkish ladies are kept clean with as much nicety as those in Holland. This was situated in a high part of the town; and from the window of her summer apartment, we had the prospect of the sea, the islands, and the Asian mountains.—My letter is insensibly grown so long, I am ashamed of it. This is a very bad symptom. 'Tis ...
— Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e • Lady Mary Wortley Montague

... 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

... Journeys. These Maps they will draw in the Ashes of the Fire, and sometimes upon a Mat or Piece of Bark. I have put a Pen and Ink into a Savage's Hand, and he has drawn me the Rivers, Bays, and other Parts of a Country, which afterwards I have found to agree with a great deal of Nicety: But you must be very much in their Favour, otherwise they will never make these Discoveries to you; especially, if it be in their own Quarters. {No Discovery of Mines.} And as for Mines of Silver and other Metals, we are satisfied we have enow, and those very ...
— A New Voyage to Carolina • John Lawson

... pride of place as butlers 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 ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... blacked, the crockery to be washed up, the linen to be washed, the small things to be mended (if it were worth while), the carpets to be brushed, and the next morning would bring back the things entrusted to it, all well cleaned. A few hours later your hot coffee and your eggs done to a nicety would appear on your table. It is a fact that between twelve and two o'clock there are more than twenty million Americans and as many Englishmen who eat roast beef or mutton, boiled pork, potatoes and a seasonable vegetable. And at the lowest figure eight ...
— The Conquest of Bread • Peter Kropotkin

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

... editions of her favourite authors; her bed-chambers, too, gave the nest for sleep a dainty cosiness in aerial draperies. Hence, more or less directly, the peccant bills. Credit was reduced to reckon to a nicety the amount she could rely on positively: her fixed income from her investments and the letting of The Crossways: the days of half-yearly payments that would magnify her to some proportions beside the alarming growth of her partner, who was proud of it, and referred her to the treasures ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... merely examined my pile very carefully, and congratulated myself at finding that three out of the fifteen were genuine. It was very evident that despite his very sound advice, my friend General Valiente had neglected to examine them with any great nicety. ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... her excellence in ears that cared little to hear of it. When at home she must always be within his reach, if not within his call; but he was far from slow to anger with her, and she dreaded his anger, not so much from love or fear as from nicety, because of the ugly things he would say when he was offended with her. One hears of ruling by love and ruling by fear, but this man ruled by disgust. At home he lived much as we have seen him in the house of another, cared for nobody's comfort but his ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... quiet moments. Most of them didn't, anyhow. They were properly brought up, and sat still and straight, and took the luck fate brought them as gentlewomen should. And they had an idea of what men were like behind all their nicety. They knew they were all Bogey in disguise. I ...
— Ann Veronica • H. G. Wells

... requires being performed with extreme nicety, in order to obtain any sensible quantity of carbon, and the experiment is much too delicate for me to attempt it. But there can be no doubt of the accuracy of Mr. Tennant's results; and all chemists now agree, that one hundred parts of carbonic acid gas consists of about twenty-eight parts of ...
— Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2 • Jane Marcet

... passion, and though his countenance was the image of his mind, he was vain even of his personal appearance, and never adopted the external habits of a sans culotte. Amongst his fellow Jacobins, he was distinguished by the nicety with which his hair was arranged and powdered; and the neatness of his dress was carefully attended to, so as to counterbalance, if possible, the vulgarity of his person. His apartments, though small, were elegant ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 262, July 7, 1827 • Various

... to doubt his own or the public's sanity to hear audiences laughing boisterously over tragic situations? And yet, if they did not come to laugh, they would not come at all. Mockery is the price he must pay for a hearing. Or has he calculated to a nicety the power of reaction? Does he seek to drive us to aspiration by the portrayal of sordidness, to disinterestedness by the picture of selfishness, to illusion by disillusionment? It is impossible to believe that he is unconscious of ...
— Arms and the Man • George Bernard Shaw

... the nervous system by far the most delicate of these—differences in the effect depend as much on differences of quality in the physical agents, as on their quantity: and if the quality of an instrument is to be tested by the nicety and delicacy of the work it can do, the indications point to a greater average fineness of quality in the brain and nervous system of women than of men. Dismissing abstract difference of quality, a thing difficult to verify, the efficiency of an organ is known to depend not solely on ...
— The Subjection of Women • John Stuart Mill

... 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 ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... takes. He was born in Dolton, which was 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 ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... cutter, still held up by the snow of the drift which sloped down into the field and which the horses had churned into slabs and clods, had struck the fence wire and, lifting the whole of the conveyance, had placed me; cutter and all, balanced for a moment to a nicety, on top of the post. But already ...
— Over Prairie Trails • Frederick Philip Grove

... the steam engine of 1820 was a much more wasteful machine, as well as more costly to build than the steam engine of to-day; but the difference cannot have been so great as to create an advantage in favor of an appliance which required even greater nicety of construction. The best gas-engine at present made would have been an expensive thing to supply with gas at the prices current in 1820, even if the resources of mechanical science at that date had been equal to its construction; which we know was ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 417 • Various

... 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 ...
— The Taming of Red Butte Western • Francis Lynde

... united by a common cause, with all the excitement of a conspiracy on foot that has a master for its victim; though, to confess the truth, the master in our case has generally the best of it, as he has a perfect talent for hitting on one's sore point. Then, too, we know to a nicety when the dear old man is in a particularly vicious mood, which is usually at dinner-time, and we keep looking at each other through every course, wondering on whose devoted head the shell of his wrath will first ...
— Molly Bawn • Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

... Atlanta, and needed commanders who were purely and technically soldiers, men who would obey orders and execute them promptly and on time; for I knew that we would have to execute some most delicate manoeuvres, requiring the utmost skill, nicety, and precision. I believed that General Howard would do all these faithfully and well, and I think the result has justified my choice. I regarded both Generals Logan and Blair as "volunteers," that looked to personal fame and glory as auxiliary and secondary to their political ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... meaning or wrest an old one to a different purpose; and this necessity frequently recurring must tend to lessen his idea of the sanctity of symbols. Meanwhile the dog is clear in his own conscience, and draws, with a human nicety, the distinction between formal and essential truth. Of his punning perversions, his legitimate dexterity with symbols, he is even vain; but when he has told and been detected in a lie, there is not a hair upon his body but confesses guilt. To a dog of gentlemanly ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of the head-cap between the headband and the thread. The leather is then tapped over the headband, and the whole turned over on the stone and rubbed at the back with a folder. This operation requires great nicety. The shape of head-cap is shown at fig. 67. The nice adjustment of head-caps and corners, although of no constructional value, are the points by which the forwarding of a ...
— Bookbinding, and the Care of Books - A handbook for Amateurs, Bookbinders & Librarians • Douglas Cockerell

... hands well greased, and a fast hold upon the moon? Read, d——n it, man! there's no trouble in deciphering my aunt Catharine's penmanship. Hers is not what Tony Lumpkin complained of—a cursed cramp hand; all clear and unmistakable—the t's accurately stroked across, and the i's dotted to a nicety. ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 5, July 29, 1850 • Various

... extirpate a Crime which had so long prevailed and was so firmly fixed in the Opinion of the World as great and laudable; but the King answered, That indeed Instances of Ignominy were necessary in the Cure of this Evil; but considering that it prevailed only among such as had a Nicety in their Sense of Honour, and that it often happened that a Duel was fought to save Appearances to the World, when both Parties were in their Hearts in Amity and Reconciliation to each other; it was evident that turning the Mode another way would effectually ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

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

... in words, ought in good manners to be avoided: expressions therefore are a modest clothing of our thoughts, as breeches and petticoats are of our bodies. If I have kept myself within the bounds of modesty, all beyond it is but nicety and affectation; which is no more but modesty depraved into a vice. They betray themselves, who are too quick of apprehension in such cases, and leave all reasonable men to imagine worse of them, than ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... doctors attended the suffering men. No cooking was allowed, and all windows were carefully curtained, in order not to draw the fire of the enemy, who were in very unpleasant proximity to the house. I well remember next morning, because the Germans had got the range to a nicety, and the otherwise enjoyable place was rendered unbearable by the crash of shells. So unhealthy grew the position, that the transport was moved a mile away; but we who composed the tent section remained ...
— With The Immortal Seventh Division • E. J. Kennedy and the Lord Bishop of Winchester

... was absorbed for the time, not so much in the Bible as in the "Tracts for the Times"—a publication which was engaging much attention. These Oxford tracts suited me exactly, and fitted my tone of mind to a nicety. Their object was the restoration of the Church of England from a cold, formal condition, into something like reality—from a secular to a religious state; this also was my own present object for myself. I read these writings ...
— From Death into Life - or, twenty years of my ministry • William Haslam

... upon a proposal, which, if accepted, will so effectually answer all their views?—Can they insist a moment longer upon my having Mr. Solmes, when they see what sacrifices I am ready to make, to be freed from his addresses?—Oh! but I suppose the struggle is, first, with Bella's nicety, to persuade her to accept of the estate, and of the husband; and next, with her pride, to take her sister's refusals, as she once phrased it!—Or, it may be, my brother is insisting upon equivalents ...
— Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... all others who do a fire-eating act, calculate to a nicety just how long a certain fire will burn. And they do not place the blazing material into the mouth until the flames are almost on the point of going out of themselves. This, added to the fact that a chemical solution protects the ...
— Joe Strong The Boy Fire-Eater - The Most Dangerous Performance on Record • Vance Barnum

... FAMILY DINNER AT HOME, compared with either giving or going to a dinner-party, is, of course, of much more frequent occurrence, and many will say, of much greater importance. Both, however, have to be considered with a view to their nicety and enjoyment; and the latter more particularly with reference to economy. These points will be especially noted in the following pages on "Household Cookery." Here we will only say, that for both mistress and servants, ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... and more, there would be danger of bursting the pipe if the water were suddenly shut off at the nozzle itself. For this reason it is necessary to use a needle valve, similar to that in an ordinary garden hose nozzle; and by such a valve the amount of water may be regulated to a nicety. Where the head is so great that even such a valve could not be used safely, provision is made to deflect the nozzle. These wheels have a speed variation amounting to as much as 25 per cent from no-load to full load, in generating electricity, and since the speed ...
— Electricity for the farm - Light, heat and power by inexpensive methods from the water - wheel or farm engine • Frederick Irving Anderson

... thing, I don't believe that these competitions are ever conducted fairly. I don't see how they can be. I don't see how any man, or any set of men, can wade through a cartload of MSS. in such a manner as to be able to judge, with critical nicety, which is the best one in the truckful. But I'm sure of this, I don't believe that any man sent in a better story than 'The Beggar'—a more original one, I mean. I know the sort of people who enter for these competitions-a lot ...
— The Harmsworth Magazine, v. 1, 1898-1899, No. 2 • Various

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

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

... considered finished by a musical critic, it may have lacked restraint and nicety of shading; but no one who heard the Algonquin congregation that morning singing "Ye Gates lift up your heads," led by Lawyer Edward Brians, could doubt that it was surely some such fine fresh rapture that rang through the aisles of Heaven on that creation day when the morning stars sang ...
— The End of the Rainbow • Marian Keith

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

... cunning; the Andalusian, laughing and merry;—in short, he was all things to all men. Nor was he incapable of passing off, when occasion required, for a Frenchman; but as he spoke the language with a strong German accent, he called himself an Alsatian. He maintained that character with the utmost nicety; and as there is a strong feeling of fellowship, almost equal to that which exists in Scotland, amongst all those who are born in the departments of France bordering on the Rhine, and who maintain their Teutonic originality, he always found friends and supporters ...
— Reminiscences of Captain Gronow • Rees Howell Gronow

... nicety*, *simplicity And thought, "All this is done but for a wile. They weenen* that no man may them beguile, *think But by my thrift yet shall I blear their eye, For all the sleight in their philosophy. The more *quainte knackes* ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

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

... which, however, deposited them at the Etoile. The driver explained unamiably that he wanted his dinner; and a bribe, unless unthinkable, would have been useless. In these days taxi drivers made fifty francs a day in tips, and, as a Frenchman knows exactly what he wants and calculates to a nicety when he has enough, valuing rest and nutriment above even the delights of gouging foolish Americans, Alexina knew that it would be useless to argue and did not even waste energy in announcing her opinion of him for taking a fare under false pretenses. ...
— The Sisters-In-Law • Gertrude Atherton

... and several gourds of fresh water had been brought along, and upon this simple fare he had expected to break his fast. Now, in addition to the parched corn, he saw fish, oysters, eggs, and a vegetable, all smoking hot, cooked to a nicety, and temptingly spread on some ...
— The Flamingo Feather • Kirk Munroe

... newspaper, to a group of fifty or more listeners; at evening, sweet singing, riddles, jests, or loud-voiced sarcastic conundrums and satirical responses. Many found interest and pleasure in carving with the utmost nicety wood or bone.[12] ...
— Lights and Shadows in Confederate Prisons - A Personal Experience, 1864-5 • Homer B. Sprague

... 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 ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... say why sentence of death should not pass on thee, ay, and be executed straightway too—say on. What! not a shot in thy locker? Then may all such land-sharks perish, say I, as thus I signify thy doom." He examined his pistols with great nicety as he spoke. Harrington was dumb with amazement, whilst his enemy surveyed him with a desperate and determined glance. At length ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... another tree in the whole piece of timber! This will bring tears to his eyes, for it seems so strange to him. But if you get tears in your eyes, also, hire him by the day for a while, and look into "the pulse of the machine," you will soon understand the wonderful workings of society, and the nicety of that order of things which separates the wheat from the tare. When the winds of adversity ...
— The Golden Censer - The duties of to-day, the hopes of the future • John McGovern

... numbers of people can do good black and whites! So few can illustrate a story, or apparently 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

... should say that a cold, glaring, hard tea-tray style prevails in painting, and a still worse taste, if possible, in sculpture. No soul, no grandeur, no simplicity; a meagre insipidity in the conception, a nicety of finish in the detail; affectation instead of grace, distortion instead of power, and prettiness instead of beauty. Yet the artists who execute these works, and those who buy them, have free access to the marvels ...
— The Diary of an Ennuyee • Anna Brownell Jameson

... set forth on his foolish errand, and Fremont likewise came upon his,—though it is true that he was better employed thus than in doing nothing,—and Jackson, highly pleased, and calculating his time to a nicety, on May 31 slipped rapidly between the two Union generals,—the closing jaws of Mr. Lincoln's "trap,"—and left them to close upon nothing.[21] Then he led his pursuers a fruitless chase towards the ...
— Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II • John T. Morse

... 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 stated times from ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

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

... this slovenly shrew was the fragile and exquisite creature he had married. He had the habit of personal cleanliness, had Ben, in a day when tubbing was a ceremony in an environment that made bodily nicety difficult. He discovered that Bella almost never washed and that her appearance of fragrant immaculateness, when dressed, was due to a natural clearness of skin and eye, and to the way her blond hair swept away in a clean line from her forehead. For the rest, ...
— One Basket • Edna Ferber

... stood as intently looking off over the farther landscape. Methought I had a sort of pride in his fine appearance; and yet he did in no wise belong to me. Nevertheless, it was pleasant to see the firm, still attitude, the fine proportions, the military nicety of all his dress, which I had before noticed on the parade ground. For as there is a difference between one walk and another, though all trained, so there is a difference between one neatness ...
— Daisy • Elizabeth Wetherell

... of indulgence in epigram had made him rather apt to quiz his friends. But we are to remember that he was encouraged in this, and that a self-indulgent man is only too liable to have the nicety of his sensitiveness spoiled. Certainly, he had a kind heart and good principles. He would lend any man money, or give any man help,—even to the extent of weakness and imprudence. This was one reason why he died no better off,—and one ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... of iron, of different lengths, are attached, so as that both ends vibrate on the board, one end being broader and more elevated than the other. This broad end is played with the thumbs, the instrument being held with both hands. All these are tuned in a peculiar manner, and with great nicety, especially the marimba[92]; but, as I am no musician, I cannot explain ...
— Journal of a Voyage to Brazil - And Residence There During Part of the Years 1821, 1822, 1823 • Maria Graham

... shallow ravines, and at a break-neck run came forward. Part of Wad Melik's men uprose from the west sides of Surgham, the Khalifa and Yacoub came upon us from the south-west, and a smaller body from the west. In half delirium and full frenzy on rushed the dervishes. Our guns, knowing the range to a nicety—for they were able to see landmarks put down the day before—hurled at them avalanches of shell. The vivid air blazed and shook, and the hail of Lee-Metfords cut, like mighty scythes, lanes in the columns massed ...
— Khartoum Campaign, 1898 - or the Re-Conquest of the Soudan • Bennet Burleigh

... possible for fear of the machine getting adrift, since, under the peculiar circumstances in which we were placed, it would have inevitably fallen with a crushing blow, which might have proved fatal. I never remember to have been in a situation when more coolness and nicety were required to overcome the peril which here beset us; while on that day the strong wind was, strange as it may sound, helping us to alight easily, that is to say as long as the grapnel held fast and the balloon did not turn over like an unsteady kite." Such peril ...
— The Dominion of the Air • J. M. Bacon

... followed the coach until the road turned; thereupon it again swept over the plain, and whistled and sighed long and strangely among the dry clusters of heather. The fox lay at his post; everything was calculated to a nicety; the hare must soon ...
— Norse Tales and Sketches • Alexander Lange Kielland

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

... her teens, and her self-consciousness is born. After a certain interval passed in infantine helplessness it begins to act. Simple, young, and inexperienced at first. Persons of observation can tell to a nicety how old this consciousness is by the skill it has acquired in the art necessary to its success—the art of hiding itself. Generally begins career by actions which are popularly termed showing-off. Method adopted depends in ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

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

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

... We had made the dresses alike, to the nicety of a bow, because we thought it ladylike that the costumes of sisters should be so. How far we were from guessing that they would not be ...
— Six to Sixteen - A Story for Girls • Juliana Horatia Ewing

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

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

... perturbation. What's his game? was the question in the sophisticated eye of Mr. Tubbs. But the Scotchman had when he chose a perfect poker face. The great game of bluff would have suited him to a nicety. Mr. Tubbs interrogated that inexpressive countenance ...
— Spanish Doubloons • Camilla Kenyon

... 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 "time" ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... would not break up into granules of smaller size. The trouble due to the settling of the granules and wedging the electrodes apart has been practically eliminated in well-designed instruments, by great mechanical nicety in manufacture. ...
— Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1 - A General Reference Work on Telephony, etc. etc. • Kempster Miller

... the superlatives in the language,—you must lay on your praise thick and thin, and not leave a crevice untrowelled. But to tickle, sir, is a comprehensive word, and it comprises all the infinite varieties that fill the interval between slashing and plastering. This is the nicety of the art, and you can only acquire it by practice; a few examples will suffice to give you an ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... "principal," "final," "vessel," "rebel," "principle," and "little." If that troublesome word "separate" were from the beginning rightly pronounced, it would probably be less often wrongly spelled. One should hasten to say, however, that over-nicety in enunciation, pedantic exactness, obtrusive "elocutionary" excellence, or any sort of labored or affected effort should be carefully guarded against. The line of distinction between what is perfect and what is slightly strained ...
— Public Speaking • Irvah Lester Winter

... morning exchanges one gun came to grief. The remaining gun changed position, and the duel became still more interesting. By skilful manoeuvring the gun was got much nearer, and at once the range was obtained to a nicety. Every shot was placed so near the mark as to rouse the infantry's obvious excitement to fever heat, and finally a shell was planted right into the enemy observation tower, setting it on fire and burning it to the ground. By placing four shells near to hand, and working like Trojans, the Czech ...
— With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia • John Ward

... hand away, its heel slipped from under it, and down it came again with another bang. I shrunk together and listened a moment in silent fury —no harm done, everything quiet. With the most painstaking care and nicety, I stood the umbrella up once more, took my hand away, and down it ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... to reconcile three periods which have no common measure, namely, the week, the lunar month, and the solar year; and as this can only be done approximately, and within certain limits, the determination of Easter is an affair of considerable nicety and complication. It is to be regretted that the reverend fathers who formed the council of Nicaea did not abandon the moon altogether, and appoint the first or second Sunday of April for the celebration of the Easter festival. The ecclesiastical calendar would in ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... a snow-white charger, which he put bravely at the steep bank, and clambered up with the coolness of one who rode well to hounds. He gained the top, and served as a rallying-point for the shattered remnant of his regiment, which there quickly re-formed with as much coolness and fastidious nicety as ...
— The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood • Arthur Griffiths

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

... did the work quite to my satisfaction, but before it was well finished I made a portentous discovery—several of my diamonds were missing. There could be no doubt about it, for I knew the number to a nicety, and had counted them over and over again. Neither could there be any doubt that Kidd was the thief. Besides my wife, myself, and one or two of our servants, no one else had been in the room; and our own people would not have taken the ...
— Mr. Fortescue • William Westall

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

... the middle of the platform. The churches were counted under Karl Johan's able guidance, and all the well- known places pointed out. "There's Stone Farm, too," said Anders, pointing to something far off toward the sea. It was not Stone Farm, but Karl Johan could say to a nicety behind which hill it ought to lie, and ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo



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



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