• (RP) IPA: /fɪˈnɛs/, /fɨ-/
  • (GA) IPA: /fɪˈnɛs/, /fə-/


  1. (uncountable) Skill in the handling#Noun|handling or manipulation of a situation. [from c. 1520]
    Synonyms: finessing
    • 1830, Walter Scott, chapter II, in Tales of a Grandfather; being Stories Taken from Scottish History. […] In Three Vols. (Third Series), volume III, Edinburgh: Printed [by Ballantyne and Company, […]] for Cadell and Co.; London: Simpkin and Marshall; Dublin: John Cumming, OCLC 270782151 ↗, page 68 ↗:
      When Lovat finally took the resolution of dispatching his son, with the best part of his clan, to the assistance of Charles Edward, a resolution which was not adopted without much hesitation and many misgivings, he feigned, with characteristic finesse, an apology for his march.
  2. (uncountable) The property of having elegance, grace, refinement, or skill. [from mid 16th c.]
  3. (countable) An adroit manoeuvre. [from mid 16th c.]
  4. (countable, card games) In bridge#Noun|bridge, whist, etc.: a technique which allows one to win#Verb|win a trick#Noun|trick, usually by play#Verb|playing a card#Noun|card when it is thought that a card that can beat#Verb|beat it is hold#Verb|held by another player whose turn#Noun|turn is over. [from early 18th c.]
Translations Translations
  • French: impasse
  • Russian: проре́зывание

finesse (finesses, present participle finessing; past and past participle finessed)

  1. (transitive, chiefly, Canada, US, politics) To evade (a problem, situation, etc.) by using some clever argument or strategem.
  2. (transitive, card games) To play#Verb|play (a card#Noun|card) as a finesse. [from mid 18th c.]
  3. (ambitransitive) To handle#Verb|handle or manage carefully or skilfully; to manipulate in a crafty way. [from mid 18th c.]
    Synonyms: zhoosh
  4. (intransitive, card games) To attempt#Verb|attempt to win#Verb|win a trick#Noun|trick by finessing. [from mid 18th c.]
  5. (intransitive, croquet, obsolete) To play#Verb|play a ball#Noun|ball out of the way of an opponent.
Translations Translations

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