• WordNet 3.6
    • n finesse subtly skillful handling of a situation
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Finesse Subtilty of contrivance to gain a point; artifice; stratagem. "This is the artificialest piece of finesse to persuade men into slavery."
    • Finesse (Whist Playing) The act of finessing. See Finesse v. i., 2.
    • Finesse (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.
    • Finesse To use artifice or stratagem.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n finesse Artifice; delicate stratagem; subtlety of contrivance; also, that quality of mind or character which leads to subtle actions.
    • n finesse In whist, the play (usually by the third hand, but occasionally by the second) of a card (say C) of the suit led, lower than another (A) in the hand, in the hope that an unplayed card (B) of intermediate value, whose position is still unknown, may be found to lie to the right, so that the trick may be taken by the card C while A is reserved to take B.
    • n finesse Fineness of perception.
    • n finesse Synonyms Artifice, Manæuver, etc. (see artifice); skill, artfulness, adroitness, craft, subterfuge.
    • finesse To use artifice or fine stratagem.
    • finesse In whist-playing, to attempt to take a trick by finesse.
    • finesse In whist-playing, to practise or perform a finesse with: as, to finesse a king, a knave, etc.
    • n finesse In the fine arts, subtlety and delicacy in color or form.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Finesse fi-nes′ subtlety of contrivance: artifice: an endeavour by a player holding (say) queen and ace to take the trick with the lower card
    • v.i Finesse to use artifice
    • ***


  • Billy Gibbons
    Billy Gibbons
    “Sounds like the blues are composed of feeling, finesse, and fear.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. fin, fine. See Fine (a.)


In literature:

Too much finessing would be wanted; too many reserves.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
I'm going to use finesse about both things.
"The Comings of Cousin Ann" by Emma Speed Sampson
Why do you speak with such finesse?
"Tartuffe" by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere
It was as apt an illustration as might be, perhaps, of the inferiority of strength to finesse.
"The Wit of Women" by Kate Sanborn
There's a finesse required for this kind of work that their stupid young heads don't possess.
"The Madcap of the School" by Angela Brazil
They complain of the general lack of finesse and Latin; the licence of the pulpit has usurped the reverence of the altar.
"Mountain Meditations" by L. Lind-af-Hageby
Certainly there was no finesse in hailing Mirabelle as an heiress until Henry's failure was more definitely placarded.
"Rope" by Holworthy Hall
Now I shan't try the queen finesse.
"Competition" by James Causey
His readings of the Polish master's music were distinguished by grace, dexterity, finesse, pathos and subtilty.
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker
Here the natural finesse of woman plays a considerable part.
"The Sexual Question" by August Forel

In poetry:

Finesse, my statesman, calculates
Subjection's breaking strain,
And Comfort crooning mitigates
The drifting moan of pain.
"Prosperity" by Bernard O Dowd
How he dances as I edge him through the others;
He is fond of this finessing for a start,
Just a little bit more eager than his brothers
By a beat, or maybe two beats of his heart
"A Gallop From The Train" by William Henry Ogilvie

In news:

Even the smallest details are crafted with finesse and care.
Chef-owner Kash Brouillet brings quality ingredients and personal finesse to his diner-style menu.
As Obama ups his bid, GOP searches for a finesse.
The Lady Wildcats found out finesse won't get them much farther.
There's also surprising finesse to what would seem a ram-it-home-type feat.
Finesse Color Lock Hairspray .
This jighead defines finesse shaky heads.
VMC's Finesse Half Moon is a lightweight version of the original.
There is a certain finesse required for shadow boxing, because you are basically hitting air.
Lagers require a special finesse for a craft brewer, Heron has said.
There's no finesse, just the pure.
Finessing slumping stars with enormous egos and prodigious paychecks is part of a major league manager 's mandate, and sensitive situations can turn radioactive come October.
Finesse, maturity helps Jacobsen's game.
These people are trying to finesse their way to reelection.
Finesse News Network's Gear Guide: Rein's Swamp Mover Worm.

In science:

The archetypical scenario is a dielectric nanosphere trapped with optical tweezers inside a high-Finesse optical cavity.
Quantum Magnetomechanics with Levitating Superconducting Microspheres
Raman Lasing with a Cold Atom Gain Medium in a High-Finesse Optical Cavity.
A cold-atom random laser
VacuumStimulated Raman Scattering Based on Adiabatic Passage in a High-Finesse Optical Cavity.
A Single-Photon Server with Just One Atom
Spontaneous Emission Lifetime of a Single Trapped Ca+ Ion in a High Finesse Cavity.
Single barium ion spectroscopy: light shifts, hyperfine structure, and progress on an optical frequency standard and atomic parity violation
Brice et al., “ A Proposal for a near detector experiment on the booster neutrino beamline: FINeSSE: Fermilab intense neutrino scattering scintillator experiment,” Fermilab-Proposal-937 (2004).
Accelerator Neutrino Beams