What does finesse mean?

Definitions for finesse

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word finesse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. delicacy, diplomacy, discreetness, finessenoun

    subtly skillful handling of a situation


  1. finessenoun

    The property of having grace, elegance, skill, or balance.

  2. finessenoun

    Skill in handling of a situation.

  3. finessenoun

    An adroit maneuver.

  4. finessenoun

    A technique which allows one to promote tricks based on a favorable position of one or more cards in the hands of the opponent.

  5. finesseverb

    To handle or manage carefully or skillfully.

  6. finesseverb

    To evade.

  7. Etymology: from finesse, from fin.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FINESSEnoun

    Artifice; stratagem: an unnecessary word which is creeping into the language.

    Etymology: French.

    A circumstance not much to be stood upon, in case it were not upon some finess. John Hayward.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Finesseadjective

    subtilty of contrivance to gain a point; artifice; stratagem

  2. Finesseadjective

    the act of finessing. See Finesse, v. i., 2

  3. Finesseverb

    to use artifice or stratagem

  4. Finesseverb

    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

  5. Etymology: [F., fr. fin fine. See Fine, a.]


  1. Finesse

    In contract bridge and similar games, a finesse is a card play technique which will enable a player to win an additional trick or tricks should there be a favorable position of one or more cards in the hands of the opponents. The player attempts to win either the current trick or a later trick with a card of the suit he leads notwithstanding that the opponents hold a higher card in the suit; the attempt is based on the assumption that the higher card is held by a particular opponent. The specifics of the technique vary depending upon the suit combination being played and the number of tricks the player is attempting to win in that suit.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Finesse

    fi-nes′, n. subtlety of contrivance: artifice: an endeavour by a player holding (say) queen and ace to take the trick with the lower card.—v.i. to use artifice.—ns. Fines′ser; Fines′sing. [Fr.]

Suggested Resources

  1. finesse

    Song lyrics by finesse -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by finesse on the Lyrics.com website.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of finesse in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of finesse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of finesse in a Sentence

  1. Gary Bauer:

    We are unique in that we have a large presence in every congressional district, in every county in America, the temptation by politicians is to try and finesse these issues and move on, but no member will be able to claim ignorance.

  2. Gary Bauer:

    The temptation by politicians is to try and finesse these issues and move on, but no member will be able to claim ignorance.

  3. Bill Norris:

    In the early days the game was n’t as physical as it is now. When I first started they played with wooden rackets so you had to have more finesse. We had some injuries for our time but we never had the rotator tears of the muscle.

  4. Brian Eno:

    I'm struck by the insidious, computer-driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity. The transfer is not paying off. Sure, muscles are unreliable, but they represent several million years of accumulated finesse.

  5. Walter LaFeber:

    [H]is foreign policy displayed a realism, a careful calculation of forces and… diplomatic finesse…. Stalin’s priority was not world revolution but, once again, Russian security and his own personal power. (Feber, 1993, p. 22 of America, Russia and the Cold War 1945-1992.)

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Translations for finesse

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    any of a class of organic compounds containing the cyano radical -CN
    • A. encumbrance
    • B. helm
    • C. sheath
    • D. nitrile

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