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One that bites a little at a time; a carper.


Biting in small bits; carping.


In a nibbling manner.


The wood of the Cæsalpinia echinata, used in dyeing red. Ure.

NICE, a. [Sax. nesc or hnesc; D. nesch, soft, tender; G. naschen, to eat dainties or sweetmeats; Dan. knæs, dainties.]

  1. Properly, soft; whence, delicate; tender; dainty; sweet, or very pleasant to the taste; as, a nice bit; nice food.
  2. Delicate; fine; applied to torture, composition or color; as, cloth of a nice texture; nice tints of color.
  3. Accurate; exact; precise; as, nice proportions; nice symmetry; nice workmanship; nice rules.
  4. Requiring scrupulous exactness; as, a nice point.
  5. Perceiving the smallest difference; distinguishing accurately and minutely by perception; as, a person of nice taste; hence,
  6. Perceiving accurately the smallest faults, errors or irregularities; distinguishing and judging with exactness; as, a nice judge of a subject; a nice discernment. Our author happy in a judge so nice. Pope.
  7. Over scrupulous or exact, Curious, not knowing; not exact, but nice. Pope:
  8. Delicate; scrupulously and minutely cautious. The letter was not nice, but full of charge Of dear import. Shak. Dear love, continue nice and chaste. Donne.
  9. Fastidious; squeamish. And to taste / Think not I shall be nice.
  10. Delicate; easily injured. How nice the reputation of the maid! Roscommon.
  11. Refined; as, nice and subtle happiness. Milton.
  12. Having lucky hits. [Not used.] Shak.
  13. Weak; foolish; effeminate. [Obs.] Gower.
  14. Trivial; unimportant. Shak. To make nice, to be scrupulous. Shak.

NICE'LY, adv.

  1. With delicate perception; as, to be nicely sensible.
  2. Accurately; exactly; with exact order or proportion; as, the parts of a machine or building nicely adjusted; a shape nicely proportioned; a dress nicely fitted to the body; the ingredients of a medicine nicely proportioned and mixed.
  3. In colloquial language, well; cleverly; dextrously; handsomely; in the best manner; as, a feat is nicely done.


Pertaining to Nice, a town of Asia Minor. The Nicene creed, was a summary of Christian faith composed by the council of Nice against Arianism, A. D. 325, altered and confirmed by the council of Constantinople, A. D. 381. Encyc.


  1. Delicacy of perception; the quality of perceiving small differences; as, niceness of taste.
  2. Extreme delicacy; excess of scrupulousness or exactness. Unlike the niceness of our modern dames. Dryden.
  3. Accuracy; minute exactness; as, niceness of work; niceness of texture or proportion. Where's now the labored niceness in thy dress? Dryden.


  1. Niceness; delicacy of perception.
  2. Excess of delicacy; fastidiousness; squeamishness. So love doth lothe disdainful nicety. Spenser.
  3. Minute difference; as, the niceties of words.
  4. Minuteness of observation or discrimination; precision. The connoisseur judges of the beauties of a painting with great nicety.
  5. Delicate management; exactness in treatment. Love such nicety requires, / One blast will put out all his fires. Swift.
  6. Niceties, in the plural, delicacies for food; dainties.

NICH, or NICHE, n. [Fr. niche; Sp. and Port. nicho; It. niechia, properly a nook, corner, and nicchio, a shell. It seems to be a different orthography of nook.]

A cavity, hollow or recess within the thickness of a wall, for a statue or bust. Pope.


A plant. Miller.

NICH'ED, a. [nichd.]

Placed in a niche. Sedgwick.

NICK, n.1

In the northern mythology, an evil spirit of the water; hence the modern vulgar phrase, Old Nick, the evil one.

NICK, n.2 [Sw. nick; Dan. nik; D. knik, a nod; G. nicken, to nod; genick, the nape; genicke, a continual nodding. The word seems to signify a point, from shooting forward.]

  1. The exact point of time required by necessity or convenience; the critical time. L'Estrange.
  2. [G. knick, a flaw.] A notch or score for keeping an account; a reckoning. [Obs.] Shak.
  3. A winning throw. Prior.

NICK, v.t.1

  1. To hit; to touch luckily; to perform by a slight artifice used at the lucky time.
  2. To cut in nicks or notches. [See Notch.] Shak. The just reason of doing things must be nicked, and all accidents improved. L'Estrange.
  3. To suit, as lattices cut in nicks. [Obs.] Camden.
  4. To defeat or cozen, as at dice; to disappoint by some trick or unexpected turn. [Obs.] Shak.

NICK, v.t.2 [G. knicken, to flaw.]

To notch or make an incision in a horse's tail, to make him carry it higher.


A tree of the genus Guilandina, which grows in the East and West Indies, and bears a nut of the size of a small nutmeg.

NICK'ED, pp.

  1. Hit; touched luckily.
  2. Notched, or made an incision in, as in a horse's tail.


A metal of a white or reddish white color, of great hardness, very difficult to be purified, always magnetic, and when perfectly pure, malleable. It is generally obtained from its sulphuret.


One who watches for opportunities to pilfer or practice knavery. Arbuthnot.



NICK'NAME, n. [In Fr. nique is a term of contempt. In G. necken is to banter. In Ch. חנך signifies to surname, to call by a name of reproach.]

A name given in contempt, derision or reproach; an opprobrious appellation. Bacon.


To give a name of reproach; to call by an opprobrious appellation. You nickname virtue vice. Shak.


Named in derision.


Calling by a name in contempt or derision.