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Pronunciation:  fi'ness

WordNet Dictionary
 Definition: [n]  subtly skillful handling of a situation
 Synonyms: delicacy, diplomacy, discreetness
 See Also: tact, tactfulness



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Fi`nesse"\ (? or ?), n. [F., fr. fin fine. See {Fine},
    1. Subtilty of contrivance to gain a point; artifice;
             This is the artificialest piece of finesse to
             persuade men into slavery.            --Milton.
    2. (Whist Playing) The act of finessing. See {Finesse}, v.
       i., 2.
  2. \Fi*nesse"\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Finessed}; p. pr. &
    vb. n. {Finessing}.]
    1. To use artifice or stratagem. --Goldsmith.
    2. (Whist Playing) To attempt, when second or third player,
       to make a lower card answer the purpose of a higher, when
       an intermediate card is out, risking the chance of its
       being held by the opponent yet to play.
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: ability, acquired taste, acuteness, address, adeptness, adroitness, airmanship, angle, appreciation, appreciation of differences, appreciation of excellence, appreciativeness, art, artfulness, artifice, artisanship, artistic judgment, artistry, astuteness, beguile, bluff, bravura, brew, brilliance, cabal, cageyness, callidity, canniness, capability, capacity, choiceness, civilized taste, civilizedness, cleverness, collude, collusion, command, competence, complicity, complot, con, concoct, confederacy, connivance, connive, connoisseurship, conspiracy, conspire, contrivance, contriving, control, cook up, coordination, countermine, counterplot, covin, craft, craftiness, craftsmanship, critical niceness, criticalness, cultivated taste, cultivation, culture, cunning, cunningness, daintiness, dash, deceit, deceive, deception, deep-laid plot, deftness, delicacy, delude, device, dexterity, dexterousness, dextrousness, diplomacy, discretion, discriminating taste, discriminatingness, discrimination, discriminativeness, dodge, efficiency, elan, elegance, engineer, engineering, excellence, expedient, expertise, expertness, exploit, facility, fastidiousness, feel, feeling, finagle, finagling, fine Italian hand, fine palate, fool, foxiness, frame, frame up, frame-up, game, gamesmanship, good taste, grace, gracefulness, gracility, graciosity, graciousness, grip, guile, handiness, hatch, hatch a plot, hatch up, hoodwink, horsemanship, ingeniousness, ingenuity, insidiousness, intrigue, inventiveness, Italian hand, jockey, judiciousness, knack, know-how, lay a plot, little game, machinate, machination, making distinctions, maneuver, maneuvering, manipulate, manipulation, marksmanship, mastership, mastery, niceness, niceness of distinction, nicety, one-upmanship, operate, outwit, palate, panache, play, plot, plotting, polish, practical ability, proficiency, prowess, quality, quickness, readiness, refined discrimination, refined palate, refinement, resource, resourcefulness, rig, rigging, ruse, satanic cunning, savoir-faire, savvy, scheme, schemery, scheming, seamanship, selectiveness, sense, sensibility, sensitivity, sharpness, shift, shiftiness, shrewdness, skill, skillfulness, slipperiness, slyness, sneakiness, sophistication, sophistry, stealth, stealthiness, stratagem, strategy, style, subtilty, subtleness, subtlety, suppleness, tact, tactfulness, talent, taste, tastefulness, technical brilliance, technical mastery, technical skill, technique, timing, trick, trickiness, twist and turn, underplot, virtuosity, wangle, wariness, web of intrigue, wile, wiles, wiliness, wire-pulling, wit, wizardry, workmanship