AskDefine | Define nuance

Dictionary Definition

nuance n : a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude; "without understanding the finer nuances you can't enjoy the humor"; "don't argue about shades of meaning" [syn: nicety, shade, subtlety, refinement]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Nuance



  • (UK) /ˈnjuː.ɑːns/
  • (US) /ˈnuː.ɑːns/


From the French nuance meaning "shade" or "hue".


  1. A minor distinction.
  2. Subtlety or fine detail.
    Understanding the basics is easy; appreciating the nuances takes years.
    • 1901: Alpheus Spring Packard, Lamarck, the Founder of Evolution
      ...the richer our collections become, the more numerous are the proofs that all is more or less shaded (nuance), that the remarkable differences become obliterated...


minor distinction
subtlety or fine detail



From verb nuer and suffix -ance



fr-noun f
  1. nuance

Extensive Definition

Nuance can refer to the following:
  • Subtle shift in color, or feeling, or meaning.
  • The make of a refined or subtle distinction in ideas.
  • Nuance, the name of a 1980s dance music group.
nuance in French: Nuance

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

allegory, allusion, amount, arcane meaning, assumption, caliber, coloration, compass, connotation, contradistinction, cut, dash, degree, delicacy, delicate distinction, demarcation, differentia, differential, differentiation, distinction, distinctiveness, distinguishment, division, extent, fine point, grade, hairline, hairsplitting, height, hint, implication, implied meaning, import, inference, innuendo, interval, intimation, ironic suggestion, leap, level, margin, mark, meaning, measure, metaphorical sense, microscopic distinction, narrow margin, nice distinction, nicety, notch, occult meaning, overtone, particle of difference, pas, peg, period, pitch, plane, plateau, point, point of difference, presumption, presupposition, proportion, range, ratio, reach, refinement, remove, round, rung, scale, scope, segregation, separation, shade, shade of difference, shadow, soupcon, space, stair, standard, step, stint, subsense, subsidiary sense, subtle distinction, subtlety, suggestion, supposition, suspicion, symbolism, tinge, touch, tread, trichoschistism, undercurrent, undermeaning, undertone, wide margin
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