nu·ance (näns′, ny-, n-äns, ny-)
1. A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation.
2. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone: a rich artistic performance, full of nuance.
tr.v. nu·anced, nu·anc·ing, nu·anc·es
To treat or consider with nuance; give nuances to: new information that nuanced their understanding of the situation.
[French, from Old French, from nuer, to shade, cloud, from nue, cloud, from Vulgar Latin *nūba, from Latin nūbēs.]
Synonyms: nuance, gradation, shade
These nouns denote a slight variation or differentiation between nearly identical entities: sensitive to delicate nuances of style; gradations of feeling from infatuation to deep affection; subtle shades of meaning.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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