Main definitions of fine in English

: fine1fine2fine3fine4

fine1

adjective

  • 1Of very high quality; very good of its kind.

    ‘this was a fine piece of film-making’
    ‘fine wines’
    • ‘Of exceptionally fine quality, it is pyramid-shaped and inset with beaded gold wiring in the shape of a serpent.’
    • ‘He was a man of very fine qualities and his great love of horses was no secret.’
    • ‘This is probably the best place in the world to buy fine silk as quality is high and prices are surprisingly reasonable.’
    • ‘It had a selection of top-notch artisan products and fine wines, in addition to its bigger industries.’
    • ‘The restaurant serves gourmet meals three times daily and we are promised they can choose from a fine selection of wines.’
    • ‘Gunner Palace is a fine piece of filmmaking and a fine piece of journalism, and I highly recommend it.’
    • ‘The wedding guests at Cana celebrated with wine that had aged, and rejoiced in its fine quality.’
    • ‘A fine quality shirt should have solid yet discreet stitching around the seams and buttons.’
    • ‘It represents the vampire genre well and delivers a quality story with fine performances.’
    • ‘Moksh have a fine selection of wine and trained staff guide guests to appropriate selection of the right wine for the right food.’
    • ‘She was a very popular lady who possessed many fine qualities and was held in high esteem by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance.’
    • ‘I am more likely to be carrying Ranjith Chandrasiri's wine column guide to selecting fine wines!’
    • ‘Dye is a fine hitter when healthy, but he hasn't made it through any of the past three seasons unscathed.’
    • ‘Plentiful olive trees yield oil considered so fine and healthy Cypriots guard the output for themselves.’
    • ‘Tipping is discouraged and all alcoholic drinks are part of the deal, including a fine selection of wines for lunch and dinner.’
    • ‘This pottery is distinctive because of its high quality, fine decoration, and beautifully curved shapes.’
    excellent, first-class, first-rate, great, exceptional, outstanding, admirable, quality, superior, splendid, magnificent, beautiful, exquisite, choice, select, prime, supreme, superb, wonderful, sublime, superlative, very good, of high quality, of a high standard, second to none, top, rare
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Worthy of or eliciting admiration.
      ‘what a fine human being he is’
      ‘a fine musician’
      • ‘Martin is a fine musician and a main figure in the organisation of the most adventurous jazz gigs in Melbourne.’
      • ‘A fine singer and musician, he also writes very good songs and is a record producer of considerable note.’
      • ‘The two lads are extremely fine musicians and go down really well at various pub and cabaret venues around the city and county.’
      • ‘The Minister complimented the Health Committee on its fine, very thorough work on the bill.’
      • ‘He was a fine musician, playing the lyre, and he used music as a means to help those who were ill.’
      • ‘If the city can't do this, perhaps your newspaper could find a way to honour this fine gentleman.’
      • ‘The miners had done all that digging to get this new cavern open in a matter of days, and here was Akuma ignoring their fine workmanship.’
      • ‘Mezzo Janet Campbell doesn't have a large voice, but she is one fine singer and musician.’
      • ‘He was a delight, a fine gentleman who made us all a little richer for his being here.’
      • ‘She is pretty, and a fine actress, but as a femme-fatale figure, she seems too sweet, and the film's themes are too thin.’
      • ‘One of the men stripped off her filthy clothes, and the men about her grunted in admiration of her fine figure.’
      • ‘A retired bachelor farmer, he was a very fine gentleman who gained the popularity and respect of everybody.’
      • ‘Now here is a fine young athlete that already has dipped into a little bit of professional competition.’
      • ‘A fine noble gentleman, honest and upright, he gained the respect of everybody.’
      • ‘A fine musician, Eddie had been unable to hit the right notes with his golf until Sunday, when his dedication to the game paid off.’
      • ‘One of them went to high school with my oldest son, and the other fine young man was a coach to one of my sons in track.’
      worthy, admirable, praiseworthy, laudable, estimable, upright, upstanding, respectable, seemly, ladylike, gentlemanly
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Good; satisfactory.
      ‘relations in the group were fine’
      • ‘However, more is fine if you tolerate the higher carbohydrate amount and feel good consuming it.’
      • ‘It may be fine to say average rates have been lowered with the various rebates.’
      • ‘If you edit entries by hand, it is fine to use filenames suitable for humans such as the name of the item.’
      • ‘These are, nevertheless, still reasonably fine fabrics and much finer than some of the cloth some of the public expect us to be wearing.’
      • ‘One of his mentors wanted to reschedule to another day, it was fine so Kenny accepted.’
      • ‘Four days out of five it's fine, but on average, one day out of five, I can't get to it.’
      • ‘I recently bought a T68i phone in the Dubai Airport Duty Free shop and it appeared to work fine.’
      • ‘I just know that one beer bash was fine, two was tolerable, and the third was just a way to eat up time on Memorial Day.’
      • ‘In this day and age, I think any and all of these are fine reasons to practice aikido.’
      • ‘The DVD quality is fine, with enough extra content to add even more impetus for purchase.’
      • ‘Brand quality is fine, but sales are poor and the owner is disillusioned with the plant at Tröllhattan.’
      • ‘If you haven't yet reached a place where you feel worthy of peace, health and happiness, fine.’
      • ‘He goes all right, fine, I endorse him, get the hell out of here.’
      • ‘Excluding women seems to be unacceptable, but excluding men appears to be fine.’
      • ‘In fact, just pressing my nose against the window and giving him a double thumbs up satisfies me fine.’
      all right, acceptable, suitable, good, good enough, agreeable, fair, passable, satisfactory, adequate, reasonable, up to scratch, up to the mark, up to standard, up to par, average, tolerable
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Used to express one's agreement with or acquiescence to something.
      ‘anything you want is fine by me, Linda’
      ‘he said such a solution would be fine’
      • ‘Whatever it takes to be at peace with saying goodbye is fine by me.’
      • ‘So he has an opinion and he's willing to express it which is fine by me - it's certainly not a freedom of speech issue.’
      • ‘Any outcome from here on in is fine by me, and I mean that honestly.’
      • ‘If you don't get HBO, you're missing a large part of that greatness, which is fine by me.’
      • ‘Frankly, if there are people on the left or the right that are not sure how he's going to rule on a case, that's fine by me.’
    4. 1.4 In good health and feeling well.
      ‘‘I'm fine, just fine. And you?’’
      • ‘The babe, clearly in fine health, scrunched its pink face and began to cry heartily.’
      • ‘Assuring her that she was in fine health, the doctor sent Shelley on her way.’
      • ‘Nathaniel appeared fine for the most part, besides his shaky hands and increasingly white face.’
      • ‘Similar tests were done in 1997 and at that time the Char stock was fine and healthy.’
      • ‘There is no update, he says, other than adding that his health is fine.’
      • ‘The six individuals, who looked fine, healthy and happy in real life were cruelly presented in muted monochromatic colors.’
      • ‘Sion knew that this was supposed to be good news; everyone in Dawe City was in fine health.’
      • ‘Her husband, who had been in fine health, came home one day from the office feeling ill.’
      • ‘Upon awaking four days later Hughes contrarily declared himself to be in fine health.’
      • ‘He appears to be fine though because I didn't find anything that had triggered the headache of his.’
      • ‘She had been fine one day and silent and brooding the next.’
      • ‘I presume he's fine, in good health and that, but it's very unlike him to pop off.’
      • ‘Frances is on virtually no medication and in fine health.’
      • ‘After a couple of hours the med team announced to the commander that they were all in fine health.’
      in good health, well, healthy, all right, fit, fighting fit, as fit as a fiddle, as fit as a flea, robust, strong, vigorous, blooming, thriving, in good shape, in good condition, in fine fettle
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 (of the weather) bright and clear.
      ‘it was another fine winter day’
      • ‘Mr Clarke said he walks to work when the weather is fine but in the winter he appreciates being able to call on a lift.’
      • ‘However, in all this fine weather, something else has come out - insects.’
      • ‘The fine weather added to the enjoyment of the trip and well done to the organisers who ensured that everyone had a great time.’
      • ‘The weather was fairly fine and we managed to get in a game or two on most days.’
      • ‘Luckily, the weather was fine and some sunshine managed to peek through.’
      • ‘The river is still coloured but this is expected to clear over the coming week, if the fine weather forecasted arrives.’
      • ‘The fine weather has brought some plants into bloom unexpectedly early, including some stunning magnolias.’
      fair, dry, bright, clear, sunny, sunshiny, cloudless, unclouded, without a cloud in the sky, warm, balmy, summery, clement, agreeable, pleasant, nice, benign
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6 Imposing or impressive in appearance.
      ‘Donleavy was a fine figure of a man’
      • ‘It is also set among some fine church towers and mill chimneys.’
      • ‘He was a fine figure of a man, she thought and some woman must be missing him.’
      • ‘Wherever he was, with his family, in a fine mansion, or in a dingy prison cell, he made the very best of his circumstances.’
      • ‘A fine figure of a man, he radiates masculine self-assurance, a quality that interested her greatly.’
      • ‘Holy Cross abbey, near the English bridge, has a fine early Norman nave.’
      • ‘Hence it helps if the actor is a fine figure of a man, of noble countenance and with a beautiful speaking voice.’
      • ‘You enter the property via a fine hallway with an imposing stained glass window and original spindled staircase sweeping to the first floor.’
      impressive, imposing, dignified, striking, splendid, grand, majestic, magnificent, august, lofty, stately
      View synonyms
    7. 1.7 (of speech or writing) sounding impressive and grand but ultimately insincere.
      ‘fine words seemed to produce few practical benefits’
      • ‘It will be very gratifying indeed to see such a fine speech as that followed up by a vote that is in line with her own rhetoric.’
      • ‘It is full of grand statements and fine sounding but vague promises to assist working people and the poor.’
      • ‘He will make a fine speech on the title in the next couple of minutes.’
      • ‘Greetings to members of the House and to all the other New Zealanders listening to this fine speech.’
      • ‘I hesitate to interrupt my colleague, because he is giving a very fine speech.’
    8. 1.8 Denoting or displaying a state of good, though not excellent, preservation in stamps, books, coins, etc.
      • ‘Despite the specimen's fine preservation, we are not sure to what species it belongs.’
    9. 1.9 (of gold or silver) containing a specified high proportion of pure metal.
      ‘the coin is struck in .986 fine gold’
      • ‘They have one of their fine Gold Dots of the same weight and also a 325 gr.’
  • 2Very thin or narrow.

    ‘a fine nylon thread’
    ‘fine flyaway hair’
    • ‘People with anorexia have dry skin and might have fine hair growing on their body.’
    • ‘Your surgeon then uses a fine thread to stitch the new cornea into place.’
    • ‘Marared was sitting across from him with her long fine hair braided and a robe covering her slender figure.’
    • ‘Iraq is also famous for its carpets, woven from fine threads in brilliant colors.’
    • ‘If the hair is fairly fine and downy, either on the upper lip or the cheeks, then bleaching is by far the best solution.’
    • ‘The obvious answer to counter this infiltration was a fine wire which lit a signal lamp when broken.’
    • ‘While fine hair is genetic, Kingsley says, there are plenty of ways to increase its volume.’
    • ‘Strong arms, lightly covered in fine hair, came around her to grasp the reins.’
    • ‘Acupuncture points lie on meridians and are stimulated by the insertion of thin, fine needles at various points.’
    • ‘People with fine hair tend to have more glands on their scalps and thus have greater chances of having oily hair.’
    • ‘Once this is dry, fine threads of beeswax are tightly wound around it.’
    • ‘It was a day when the fine hairs on your skin seem to crinkle up in the sun.’
    • ‘Dom ran a hand over his arm, wrapping his fingers around his wrists and stroking the fine hairs along his skin.’
    • ‘At the mention of its name a thin dog with short fine hair came at attention beside Jen.’
    • ‘There were no visible pores in the skin and the fine hairs of the lower legs were bleached white.’
    • ‘Nick's Cajun chicken pasta consisted of a bed of fine ribbons of fresh pasta tossed in a light tomato sauce with pieces of spiced Cajun chicken on top.’
    • ‘The process of converting the wild grass into fine thread involves stages of processing and dyeing.’
    • ‘The fine hair that covers our bodies provides warmth and protects our skin.’
    • ‘In places the fine filaments run on top of the thicker filaments, and are thus closer to the plasma membrane.’
    • ‘This is the soft, flexible white tape that can be stretched out into a fine thread.’
    • ‘Abruptly, the strands lost their color, looking for all the world like fine threads of crystal.’
    • ‘Tiny, tiny fine hairs on her cheek and upper lip caught the red sun; her whole face shimmered.’
    • ‘Myst can make out the attempts at a mustache on his upper lip, but his hair is too fine and matches his pink skin too well to show.’
    thin, light, delicate, wispy, floaty, flyaway, feathery
    sheer, light, lightweight, thin, flimsy, ultra-fine, insubstantial
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of a point) sharp.
      ‘I sharpened the leads to a fine point’
      • ‘By the time I finished grade school, my sense of dark, black humor had been honed to a fine point.’
      • ‘On the outer edges of the sword was shining steel, sharpened to a fine point.’
      sharp, keen, acute, sharpened, honed, razor-sharp, razor-like, whetted
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Made or consisting of small particles.
      ‘the soils were all fine silt’
      • ‘The sample was dried in an oven and ground into fine powder.’
      • ‘Enamel is essentially just coloured glass ground up into a fine powder.’
      • ‘Sometimes they are split open, the pips removed, and the rest ground up into a fine powder to be sprinkled into stews and soups.’
      • ‘The grey paintwork and windows were already covered in a fine layer of silt.’
      • ‘Just above the fine silt on the base of the ditch were four partial cattle skulls and a cranial fragment, probably also cattle.’
      • ‘I later applied a paint for cement floors, but it came off in fine particles.’
      • ‘Conway said there is good evidence that fine particulate matter from Asia is landing in British Columbia.’
      • ‘He could not resist the urge to look up, and when he did, his eyes became full of very fine, golden particles.’
      • ‘Dust and fine sand particles tend to cling to the surface of the skin, especially in the folds and in between the toes and fingers.’
      • ‘In deserts, and on Mars, fine sand and silt are funnelled down valleys by wind and may even carve new systems of ridges and depressions in solid rock.’
      • ‘At the back is a bank of fine silt that is invariably stirred up by the first few divers who venture inside, so try to be first there if you can!’
      • ‘I descend through the green globs of the algal bloom, then into bottom visibility clouded by fine silt lifted by the tide.’
      • ‘A puff of fine silt draws my attention to a squat lobster darting back into a crack in the rocks.’
      • ‘This groundbait with its very fine particles was designed to catch the tiny little canal roach.’
      • ‘There was no damage to the property but a lot of fine silt mud was left.’
      • ‘The material can range from fine particles to large lumps.’
      fine-grained, powdery, dusty, chalky, floury, powdered, ground, granulated, crushed, pulverized
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 Of delicate or intricate workmanship or structure.
      ‘fine bone china’
      • ‘I unscrew the tiny joints that holds the cover onto me with fine tools made for delicate jobs.’
      • ‘Those of a higher class have theirs hand made by a tailor with intricate needlework and fine fabric.’
      • ‘In all his life, Peter had never seen any fabric so fine or so intricately woven.’
      • ‘She fingered fine muslins and intricate laces, heavy crimson silks and tulle.’
      • ‘The winning hybrids yielded breads with a fine crumb structure and a high overall number of cells.’
      • ‘He drinks in her delicate features, the fine curve of her jaw, the long lashes veiling her stark blue eyes.’
      • ‘So we make these really fine structures that mechanically have hinges that allow them to move and bend.’
      • ‘It looks like it is made up of an intricate fine lace expertly spun in glass fibers no thicker than human hair.’
      • ‘Beneath it lay more men's clothes, including linen tunics of fine weave and workmanship.’
      • ‘Color a few fine pieces for subtle highlights, or create chunkier pieces for a more dramatic look.’
      delicate, fragile, frail, breakable, dainty, insubstantial
      intricate, delicate, detailed, minute, elaborate, ornate, dainty, meticulous, painstaking
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4 (of something abstract) subtle and therefore perceived only with difficulty and care.
      ‘there is a fine distinction between misrepresenting the truth and lying’
      • ‘Other hypotheses he puts forward also invoke this very fine, subtle matter.’
      • ‘It's a fine distinction, but I can think of no other way of making it than by testing the evidence in open court.’
      • ‘There's a fine distinction between a burial ground and a graveyard, the former needing a few years to grow into the other.’
      • ‘The difference between prices and costs is not just a fine distinction made by economists.’
      • ‘When the opportunity came I would be fine, I'd be okay because I like to think that I take care of the fine detail in football.’
      • ‘Maybe the fine distinctions between ethics and morality should be simplified.’
      • ‘It's a fine distinction to be drawn, clearly - but we know that governments have more information than the general public.’
      • ‘If we couldn't make fine distinctions in the natural world, we'd be done for.’
      subtle, fine-drawn, ultra-fine, precise, minute, nice, narrow, tenuous
      View synonyms
    5. 2.5 (of a physical faculty) sensitive and discriminating.
      ‘he has a fine eye for the detail and texture of social scenery’
      • ‘She begins to shrink from his lack of fine feeling and drunkenness; embittered, she turns their marriage into a battle.’
      • ‘A heartless person incapable of fine emotions is unable to attain to high ideals.’
      • ‘While at work you must ruthlessly suppress all three of these fine emotions.’
      • ‘That fine sensitivity also helps to interpret a minor insult or affront as a threat or rejection.’
      • ‘It was a good lesson that the truth is more important than fine feelings.’
      • ‘Srivatsa reveals a fine feeling for the telling detail, and a great sense of humour.’
      • ‘The reader will be curious to know where those fine feelings of moral repugnance were when you took the job.’
      • ‘Rafael Benitez is clearly an intelligent coach who has a fine understanding of the game.’
      • ‘I think Dr Lynda Scott has struck that very, very sensitive, fine balance.’
      • ‘You are able to maintain a fine balance in sensitive personal relationships and business partnerships.’
  • 3Cricket
    Directed or stationed behind the wicket and close to the line of flight of the ball when it is bowled.

    • ‘He moved me back and the ball went straight through fine gully, again exactly where I had been standing.’

noun

fines
  • Very small particles found in mining, milling, etc.

    • ‘Odds ratios showed cows preferred the stalls bedded with sand 2.8 times more than the stalls bedded with granite fines.’
    • ‘For flowability, the mixes contained additional fines, including limestone powder and silica fume.’
    • ‘There are limitations and certain conditions for the success of this method such as uniformity of sand and fines content in addition to the time factor.’
    • ‘Dry maintenance comprises the use of a grader only, to smooth the road by respreading the mixed fines and gravel material across the surface.’
    • ‘It raises dust, separating fines from aggregate.’
    • ‘The product dries in 20 to 30 minutes to form a hard, durable surface that binds fines to the larger aggregate particles in the road surface.’
    • ‘Transportation costs, on a per-kilometer basis, should be similar for both the sand and granite fines.’
    • ‘The clay minerals and copious fines reported suggest that blockfields were produced by chemical weathering in a Mediterranean-type climate.’
    • ‘Eighteen stalls were randomly bedded with sand or granite fines.’
    • ‘Screening followed, separating waste matter from the fines, or powdered borates.’

adverb

  • 1informal In a satisfactory or pleasing manner; very well.

    ‘‘And how's the job-hunting going?’ ‘Oh, fine.’’
    ‘mother and baby are both doing fine’
    • ‘He was well liked and fine mannered young man who later secured work in the Bacon Factory where he spent some years.’
    • ‘He had had trouble with TelePrompter in the past, he did just fine last night.’
  • 2Cricket
    Behind the wicket and close to the line of flight of the ball when it is bowled.

verb

  • 1with object Clarify (beer or wine) by causing the precipitation of sediment during production.

    • ‘If, after egg-white fining, the wine remains hazy, it always will be hazy.’
    • ‘To ensure clarity and stability, wine often needs to be fined (wine-speak for clarified) and filtered.’
    • ‘The aging in large Slovenian oak barrels remains the same and they are still not fining or filtering their wines.’
    • ‘We fine the wine with egg extracts, so are we to put that on the label?’
    • ‘Fish extract is used to fine the wine - to take all the cloudy particles out of it.’
    clarify, clear, become clear, make clear, purify, refine, filter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of liquid) become clear.
      • ‘Wood-matured ports, often called simply wood ports, are aged either in wooden casks or, sometimes, cement tanks, and are ready to drink straight after fining, filtration, and bottling.’
      • ‘The heavy rains earlier in the week have added a much needed drop of extra water to our local rivers which should be fining down nicely by the weekend.’
  • 2Make or become thinner.

    no object ‘she'd certainly fined down—her face was thinner’
    • ‘In a set of photographs at the end of the book, we see the twins fined down to skin and bone shortly after their release from Kolyma in 1942.’
    • ‘He preserved a courtly oblivion towards the event, though it seems beyond reason that he could have not noticed his wife's girth had suddenly fined down.’
    • ‘His face was fined down and lost most of its boyishness but his skin was still a dusky gold.’
    thin, become thin, make thin, become thinner, make thinner, narrow, taper, attenuate, constrict
    View synonyms
  • 3fine upNZ Australian Northern English informal no object (of the weather) become bright and clear.

    • ‘It was an easy day, but frustrating in having to just wait around until the weather fined up.’
    • ‘The weather will fine up on Tuesday before a change on Thursday night bringing some thundery rain on Friday followed by showers on Saturday and Sunday.’
    • ‘About 10: 30 P.M.that night it suddenly hit us all simultaneously that the wind had calmed down and the weather had fined up.’
    • ‘‘That is a hypothetical situation and we just hope the weather fines up before we even have to think about anything like that,’ he added.’

Phrases

  • cut it (or things) fine

    • Allow a very small margin of something, especially time.

      ‘boys who have cut it rather fine are scuttling into chapel’
      • ‘They're cutting things fine in Athens as the jackhammers around the main stadium mix with the sounds of rehearsals for the Opening Ceremony.’
      • ‘Another US Olympic legend Jenny Thompson also cut it fine coming in second behind Rachel Komisarz in the 100m fly, but should still make the journey to Greece for her fourth Olympics.’
      • ‘If you have your exam timetable to hand you are already cutting it fine.’
      • ‘Started out trying to get the holiday sorted out first, though - we go a week today, so we're cutting it fine already.’
      • ‘At evening signings I'll always stay and make sure everyone goes away happy, but on this tour there will be several places where I'll need to go from a signing to another signing, so don't cut it fine.’
      • ‘‘You're cutting it fine,’ said a thin man with dry lips.’
      • ‘If you still haven't got around to filling in your tax return, then you're cutting it fine.’
      • ‘We had the turf remover for three hours which was cutting it fine - especially since the thing kept stalling if you didn't have the choke out, but wouldn't cut turf if you did.’
      • ‘The airport bus wasn't due to leave for 20 minutes, and it was already 6: 10, which was going to be cutting it fine for a 7pm flight.’
      • ‘Thankfully, my instincts for not cutting it fine where travel plans are concerned kicked in, and I made it ok.’
  • do someone fine

    • Suit or be enough for someone.

      • ‘If we finish one place behind the European qualification places it would do me fine.’
      • ‘I'd rather be sitting on a sun lounger in Cyprus wondering which restaurant to go to for a long boozy lunch, but for now, Monday morning at home will do me fine.’
      • ‘Quite frankly, any type of legitimacy in this country would do me fine.’
      • ‘And yes, I know that the labels don't fit too well but I'm not happy to play games with them; most people know what you mean by pop and classical and that'll do me fine.’
      • ‘For that reason I invite members to support the amendment from my colleague that simply changes the date to 5 years hence, which will do us fine.’
      • ‘So it looks like my theory that an 800 seater would do us fine with plenty of room for people who showed up on the day might have been a little over-optimistic.’
      • ‘Graham seems to think that a cheap laptop plugged into the holiday camp network will do me fine.’
      • ‘I still ‘sleep fast ‘- 5-6 hours, but it seems to do me fine.’’
      • ‘I think you can just bring us a couple glasses of ice water, that'll do us fine.’
      • ‘Ken pulled up in front of what looked like a dingy old hotel, but by this time even though I'd been sleeping in the car I knew that any bed would do me fine.’
  • fine feathers make fine birds

    • proverb Beautiful or expensive clothes may make the wearer seem more impressive than is really the case.

  • a fine line

    • A subtle distinction between two concepts or situations.

      ‘there's a fine line between humour and inappropriateness’
      ‘he was treading a fine line and it wouldn't be too long before he finally overstepped the mark’
      • ‘Educators at public schools near polygamous communities walk a fine line to encourage children from plural marriages to attend school.’
      • ‘The police walk a fine line on the gang issue.’
      • ‘In Riyadh, the absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia walks a fine line to maintain power.’
      • ‘In promoting free trade, Mr Bush walks a fine line.’
      • ‘They are treading a fine line, risking bookings over mundane issues like throw-ins.’
      • ‘Ward is careful to walk a fine line in describing the weekend.’
      • ‘In the Social Security debate, Democrats are walking a fine line.’
      • ‘Each of them knows he walks a fine line.’
      • ‘Critics say the airport must walk a fine line in its quest for revenue.’
      • ‘He told Olson he had to tread a fine line of neutrality.’
  • the finer points of

    • The more complex or detailed aspects of.

      ‘he went on to discuss the finer points of his work’
      • ‘We also had the opportunity to discuss the finer points of display and presentation.’
      • ‘More than 20 people learned the finer points of photography on a Greenough river cruise yesterday.’
      • ‘Now their only problem might come from itinerant lawyers wanting to discuss the finer points of local corporate law.’
      • ‘On Talkback Gardening, local rose expert, Dean Stringer, explained the finer points of pruning a bush rose and a standard.’
      • ‘I was discussing the finer points of impeachment, and votes of no confidence.’
      • ‘He had to know the finer points of how to get a web site noticed.’
      • ‘They hope to bring out a magazine, which will update women about the finer points of combining the microwave and gas-stove cookery.’
      • ‘After all, the finer points of fiscal autonomy are not generally discussed down the local bar.’
      • ‘I doubt that he knows the finer points of what's proper or not proper.’
      • ‘When he asks why she is in therapy, she blithely professes ignorance and discusses the finer points of gourmet cooking.’
  • —'s finest

    • informal The police of a particular city.

      ‘Moscow's finest’
      • ‘I opened the door to one of our city's finest… the Vancouver Police Department.’
      • ‘On another note, one of our county's finest who routinely patrols the multiplex actually stood in a side aisle through the entire film, even going so far as to participate in the various audience-related activities.’
      • ‘The inimitable Fish makes several pungent observations on the transgressions of our city 's finest this past holiday.’
      • ‘Some of the city's finest were recognized Feb. 7 for their cool heads in the line of duty.’
  • one's finer feelings

    • One's feelings of honour, loyalty, or duty; one's conscience or sense of morality.

      • ‘It was a period when middle-class fathers often withdrew behind taciturnity and rituals of manliness, when mothers stifled their finer feelings and aspirations behind domestic routines.’
      • ‘More specifically addressing Freeman Dyson's essay, Freeman writes ‘If we are partly analog, the downloading of a human consciousness into a digital computer may involve a certain loss of our finer feelings and qualities.’’
      • ‘It addresses our finer feelings, and gives exercise to every mild and generous propensity ’.’
      • ‘You're trying to appeal to his finer feelings, and people who write for that slimy rag don't have any.’
  • one's finest hour

    • The time of one's greatest success.

      • ‘And the ten year old will be back at the scene of his finest hour and possibly favourite to become the first horse to achieve back to back victories in the race since the legendary Red Rum last did it all those long years ago.’
      • ‘The 11-year-old achieved his finest hour when winning the 2003 Champion Hurdle, having taken this corresponding race the previous November.’
      • ‘And let us not forget their finest hour: the night of treachery 14 years ago that began this whole unhappy saga’
      • ‘I can't say more for fear of broken fingers and retribution, but tonight wasn't our finest hour.’
      • ‘They are nostalgic for their finest hour.’
      • ‘Others (the late, great Luis Bunuel for example), however, seem to enjoy their finest hour.’
      • ‘It can hardly be said that this was their finest hour.’
      • ‘It is something less than our finest hour, but highly revelatory of our national obsessions.’
      • ‘Many cite The Third Man as his finest hour, but Odd Man Out is not far behind.’
      • ‘Which reminds me of possibly my finest hour in such matters.’
  • fine words butter no parsnips

    • proverb Nothing is achieved by empty promises or flattery.

  • not to put too fine a point on it

    • To speak bluntly.

      ‘not to put too fine a point on it, your Emily is a liar’
      • ‘But the lyrics are, not to put too fine a point on it, controversial.’
      • ‘If you believe they are, you are, not to put too fine a point on it, a fool.’
      • ‘For short stories are wonderful in this respect: they are, as the name of the genre strongly suggests, short, unlike novels, which, in comparison with most typical short stories, are, not to put too fine a point on it, long.’
      • ‘We are dealing here with people who are, not to put too fine a point on it, nuts.’
      • ‘His office, not to put too fine a point on it, is a tip.’
      • ‘There is much more I could say here, but it would be, not to put too fine a point on it, frankly un-Christian, and I do try to avoid that.’
      • ‘Then we went through several years of a very boring market, not to put too fine a point on it, and the ratings kept climbing.’
      • ‘He lacks, not to put too fine a point on it, the breeding.’
      • ‘This is, not to put too fine a point on it, insane.’
      • ‘For we, not to put too fine a point on it, were robbed.’
  • one fine day

    • At some unspecified or unknown time.

      ‘one fine day he decided to take an apartment in Rome’
      • ‘So one fine day, the moody tusker decides that he wants to take over the rat holes near his lair and starts killing the rats one by one.’
      • ‘And once we get down to improving our infrastructure, which includes good roads, uninterrupted power supply, a good international airport, which is going to happen one fine day, then we can say we are nearly there.’
      • ‘Once again the boredom of prison life seeps into Horatio's life, until one fine day when the commandant brings the unexpected news that Horatio and his men are being freed in recognition of their efforts to rescue the wrecked Spanish crew.’
      • ‘Normal service resumes… oh, I don't know… one fine day.’
      • ‘And then, one fine day, your child turns to you and tells you that smoking is dangerous.’
      • ‘I considered myself lucky most of the time, until one fine day…’
      • ‘Having taken refuge in many other women after their break up he had finally, one fine day, woken up in some strange woman's bed and began to cry.’
      • ‘Then one fine day, a boy called Rocky almost proved me wrong.’
      • ‘I have always made a habit of retaining the last few frames of film for the unexpected - it has never come to much all these years, but one fine day, I hit pay dirt.’
      • ‘Arriving at school one fine day, this odd couple is smitten by a new student, Leigh Cabot, who is as smart as she is attractive.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French fin, based on Latin finire ‘to finish’ (see finish).

Pronunciation

fine

/fʌɪn/

Main definitions of fine in English

: fine1fine2fine3fine4

fine2

noun

  • A sum of money exacted as a penalty by a court of law or other authority.

    ‘a parking fine’
    • ‘The Court should have regard to any other fines or penalties suffered by the defendant for the misconduct in question.’
    • ‘Motorists parking illegally near the scene of a fatal accident face fines and penalty points as police in Accrington get tough on drivers.’
    • ‘Are we to assume that the money raised from parking fines is being put into an account that the owners, should they ever materialise, can have access to?’
    • ‘The court can enforce fines, ranging from $25 to $10,000, by garnishing wages and bank accounts.’
    • ‘The 54 retailers who have been summonsed to the Rotorua District Court face fines of up to $1000.’
    • ‘There were no sanctions, no fines and no penalties.’
    • ‘Currently, fines of the High Court can be collected only by officers of the High Court.’
    • ‘Failure to comply constitutes a criminal offence and the penalty is a fine.’
    • ‘They could end up facing an employment tribunal, or be hauled before a judge in a county court, with fines running into thousands of pounds.’
    • ‘A person found guilty in the District court faces fines of up to 1,900, up to three months in prison, or both.’
    • ‘A speedy team of York council wardens will zip through the streets, slapping £60 penalty fines on cars parked illegally during the racing festival.’
    • ‘Litter louts would get a set period of time - between 14 to 28 days - to pay the fines before running the risk of prosecution and larger fines in court.’
    • ‘Drivers can opt to take part in the scheme instead of paying fines and incurring penalty points on their licences.’
    • ‘Students caught without a licence risk a visit to the magistrates court and a fine of up to £1,000.’
    • ‘More than £354m of fines imposed by magistrates courts across England and Wales is outstanding, with more than £16m owed in Yorkshire.’
    • ‘The question becomes, ‘Are they penalties or fines imposed by a court’?’
    • ‘A tough new regime across West Yorkshire will clamp down this month on non-payers of court penalties and on-the-spot fines, including speeding tickets.’
    • ‘The Supreme Court held these fines could, consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, be imposed only if preceded by a criminal trial.’
    • ‘The restraining order is the first step toward possible contempt-of-court findings and heavy fines if the court finds the mechanics staged illegal job actions.’
    • ‘The District Court can impose fines of up to €1,900 for any single offence in this area.’
    financial penalty, punishment, forfeit, forfeiture, sanction, punitive action, penalty, fee, charge, penance
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • Punish (someone) for an illegal or illicit act by making them pay a sum of money.

    ‘she was fined £1500 for driving offences’
    • ‘In related news, the Taiwan High Court yesterday fined a man for illegally hiring a Chinese woman to work in his home.’
    • ‘We did prosecute in that particular case and the person was fined $1,000 for attempting that importation.’
    • ‘After a unanimous verdict of guilty at the impeachment, he was fined £30,000.’
    • ‘Judge Mary Martin convicted the defendant and fined him £100.’
    • ‘The magistrate convicted the applicant and fined him $400 with costs.’
    • ‘In this instance a football club was appealing to the Football Association after a commission had fined the directors and severely censured the club for misconduct.’
    • ‘Four Italian football fans were fined by magistrates after a violent disturbance at Stansted Airport.’
    • ‘He is fined and sentenced to three years' probation.’
    • ‘The Tribunal made identical findings against myself and another Respondent but imposed wildly disparate penalties: I was struck off the roll whilst he was fined.’
    • ‘The recent move to fine inconsiderate drivers from illegal parking is late in forthcoming.’
    • ‘For these offences he was variously fined, sent to a Detention Centre, and given a suspended prison term.’
    • ‘It follows a series of cases at Bradford magistrates' court last month when several people were fined for not having licences.’
    • ‘He was fined $300 and ordered to pay costs and witness expenses amounting to $190.’
    • ‘He was fined £300 for each offence, and ordered to pay the respondent's costs in the sum of £675.’
    • ‘The code also provides for fining drivers and legal persons whose cars do not have this type of insurance.’
    • ‘He was fined $500 and ordered to pay $1, 000 compensation to the complainant.’
    • ‘The court can also fine these people and can also ask for a forfeiture order.’
    • ‘He was fined at Elgin Sheriff Court, in Scotland, in May - but he is not the only gamekeeper whose sights are trained on this protected bird.’
    • ‘I am going to fine you a modest sum for your failure to deal with the matter as you should have dealt with it yesterday.’
    • ‘The judge explained to him at an early stage that he was being asked to fine him or commit him to prison.’
    penalize, punish by fining, impose a fine on, exact a penalty from, charge
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French fin ‘end, payment’, from Latin finis ‘end’ (in medieval Latin denoting a sum paid on settling a lawsuit). The original sense was ‘conclusion’ (surviving in the phrase in fine); also used in the medieval Latin sense, the word came to denote a penalty of any kind, later specifically a monetary penalty.

Pronunciation

fine

/fʌɪn/

Main definitions of fine in English

: fine1fine2fine3fine4

fine3

noun

mass noun
  • 1French brandy of high quality made from distilled wine rather than from pomace.

    1. 1.1
      short for fine champagne

Pronunciation

fine

/fiːn/

Main definitions of fine in English

: fine1fine2fine3fine4

fine4

noun

  • (in musical directions) the place where a piece of music finishes (when this is not at the end of the score but at the end of an earlier section which is repeated at the end of the piece).

Origin

Italian, from Latin finis ‘end’.

Pronunciation

fine

/ˈfiːneɪ/