From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Nicely



From nice +‎ -ly.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈnʌɪsli/
  • (file)


nicely (comparative nicelier or more nicely, superlative niceliest or most nicely)

  1. (obsolete) Fastidiously; carefully. [16th–18th c.]
  2. Precisely; with fine discernment or judgement. [from 17th c.]
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island:
      All told, we had scarce two miles to run; but the navigation was delicate, the entrance to this northern anchorage was not only narrow and shoal, but lay east and west, so that the schooner must be nicely handled to be got in.
    • 1926, Ford Madox Ford, A Man Could Stand Up— (Parade's End), Penguin, published 2012, page 580:
      An army – especially in peace time – is a very complex and nicely adjusted affair […].
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin, published 2012, page 59:
      Henry's carefully calibrated public appearances would present him as the wellspring of honour, justice and power, the unknowable, all-seeing sovereign who, as the Milanese ambassador Soncino nicely observed, appeared in public ‘like one at the top of a tower looking on at what is passing in the plain’.
  3. Pleasantly; satisfactorily. [from 18th c.]
    • 1986-1987, Lou Sullivan, personal diary, quoted in 2019, Ellis Martin, Zach Ozma (editors), We Both Laughed In Pleasure
      He was a sweet boy, but became the kind of man I can do nicely without.