1. Finished; brought to perfection; refined; hence, free from impurity; excellent; superior; elegant; worthy of admiration; accomplished; beautiful. "The gain thereof [is better] than fine gold." (Prov. Iii. 14) "A cup of wine that's brisk and fine." (Shak) "Not only the finest gentleman of his time, but one of the finest scholars." (Felton) "To soothe the sick bed of so fine a being [Keats]" (Leigh Hunt)

2. Aiming at show or effect; loaded with ornament; overdressed or overdecorated; showy. "He gratified them with occasional . . . Fine writing." (M. Arnold)

3. Nice; delicate; subtle; exquisite; artful; skillful; dexterous. "The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!" (Pope) "The nicest and most delicate touches of satire consist in fine raillery." (Dryden) "He has as fine a hand at picking a pocket as a woman." (T. Gray)

4. Not coarse, gross, or heavy; as: Not gross; subtile; thin; tenous. "The eye standeth in the finer medium and the object in the grosser." (Bacon)

Not coarse; comminuted; in small particles; as, fine sand or flour.

Not thick or heavy; slender; filmy; as, a fine thread.

Thin; attenuate; keen; as, a fine edge.

Made of fine materials; light; delicate; as, fine linen or silk.

5. Having (such) a proportion of pure metal in its composition; as, coins nine tenths fine.

6. (Used ironically) "Ye have made a fine hand, fellows." (Shak)

Fine is often compounded with participles and adjectives, modifying them adverbially; a, fine-drawn, fine-featured, fine-grained, fine-spoken, fine-spun, etc. Fine arch, to sail as close to the wind as possible.

Synonyms: Fine, Beautiful.

When used as a word of praise, fine (being opposed to coarse) denotes no "ordinary thing of its kind." It is not as strong as beautiful, in reference to the single attribute implied in the latter term; but when we speak of a fine woman, we include a greater variety of particulars, viz, all the qualities which become a woman, breeding, sentiment, tact, etc. The term is equally comprehensive when we speak of a fine garden, landscape, horse, poem, etc.; and, though applied to a great variety of objects, the word has still a very definite sense, denoting a high degree of characteristic excellence.

Origin: F. Fin, LL. Finus fine, pure, fr. L. Finire to finish; cf. Finitus, p.p, finished, completed (hence the sense accomplished, perfect) See Finish, and cf. Finite.

(01 Mar 1998)

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