fine1 / fīn/ • adj. 1. of high quality: fine wines. ∎ worthy of or eliciting admiration: what a fine human being he is. ∎ good; satisfactory: relations in the group were fine. ∎ used to express one's agreement with or acquiescence to something: he said such a solution would be fine. ∎ in good health and feeling well: “I'm fine, just fine. And you?” ∎ (of the weather) bright and clear: it was another fine winter day. ∎ (of speech or writing) sounding impressive and grand but ultimately insincere: fine words seemed to produce few practical benefits. ∎ denoting or displaying a state of good, though not excellent, preservation in stamps, books, coins, etc. ∎ (of gold or silver) containing a specified high proportion of pure metal: the coin is struck in .986 fine gold.2. (of a thread, filament, or person's hair) thin: I have always had fine and dry hair. ∎ (of a point) sharp: I sharpened the leads to a fine point. ∎ consisting of small particles: the soils were all fine silt. ∎ having or requiring an intricate delicacy of touch: exquisitely fine work. ∎ (of something abstract) subtle and therefore perceived only with difficulty and care: the fine distinctions between the new and old definitions of refugee. ∎ (of feelings) refined; elevated: you might appeal to their finer feelings.• adv. inf. in a satisfactory or pleasing manner; very well: “And how's the job-hunting going?” “Oh, fine.”• v. 1. [tr.] clarify (beer or wine) by causing the precipitation of sediment during production. ∎ [intr.] (of liquid) become clear: the ale hadn't had quite time to fine down.2. make or become thinner. PHRASES: do fine be entirely satisfactory: an omelet will do fine. ∎ be healthy or well: the baby's doing fine. ∎ do something in a satisfactory manner: he was doing fine acquiring all the necessary disciplines in finance.the finer points of the more complex or detailed aspects of: he went on to discuss the finer points of his work.——'s finest inf. the police of a particular city: Moscow's finest.one's finest hour the time of one's greatest success.one fine day at some unspecified or unknown time: you want to be the Chancellor one fine day.DERIVATIVES: fine·ly adv.fine·ness n.fine2 / fīn/ • n. a sum of money exacted as a penalty by a court of law or other authority: a parking fine.• v. [tr.] (often be fined) punish (someone) by making them pay a sum of money, typically as a penalty for breaking the law.DERIVATIVES: fine·a·ble / ˈfīnəbəl/ adj.fine3 / fēn/ • n. French brandy of high quality made from distilled wine rather than from pomace. ∎ short for fine champagne.
(compare as fit as a fiddle).fine feathers make fine birds beautiful clothes confer beauty or style on the wearer. The saying is recorded in the late 16th century in English, but is found earlier in 16th-century French.
fine words butter no parsnips nothing is ever achieved by fine words alone (butter was the traditional garnish for parsips). The saying is recorded from the mid 17th century.
see also chance would be a fine thing, rain before seven, fine before eleven.
Hence fine vb.2 refine XIV; make fine, small, etc., XVI.