The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
fine \fine\ (f[imac]n), a. [Compar. finer (f[imac]n"[~e]r);
superl. finest.] [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
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.
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].
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;
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:
(a) Not gross; subtile; thin; tenous.
The eye standeth in the finer medium and the
object in the grosser. --Bacon.
(b) Not coarse; comminuted; in small particles; as, fine
sand or flour.
(c) Not thick or heavy; slender; filmy; as, a fine thread.
(d) Thin; attenuate; keen; as, a fine edge.
(e) 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.
Note: Fine is often compounded with participles and
adjectives, modifying them adverbially; a, fine-drawn,
fine-featured, fine-grained, fine-spoken, fine-spun,
Fine arch (Glass Making), the smaller fritting furnace of a
Fine arts. See the Note under Art.
Fine cut, fine cut tobacco; a kind of chewing tobacco cut
up into shreds.
Fine goods, woven fabrics of fine texture and quality.
Fine stuff, lime, or a mixture of lime, plaster, etc., used
as material for the finishing coat in plastering.
To sail fine (Naut.), to sail as close to the wind as
Syn: Fine, Beautiful.
Usage: 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