Online Encyclopedia

NICE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 647 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NICE, an adjective which in present usage has two main meanings: (1) fastidious, particular, precise or scrupulous, andpleasant, kind or agreeable. The first meaning has been common since the 16th century, the second only since the end of the 18th. In O. Fr., from which the English form was adapted, the word is niche or nice, which are derivatives of Lat. nescius, not knowing, ignorant. The development in meaning is doubtful; some authorities take it as (1). foolish, (2) foolishly precise, (1) delicate, (4) pleasant. Skeat suggests an early confusion with the word " nesh," soft, delicate, still surviving dialectically. NICEPHORUS, the name of three emperors of the East.
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