General English

General Science

  • adjective describing something that is very small in size, thickness or weight
  • adjective referring to weather that is warm and sunny, with few clouds and no rain or fog


  • noun money paid because of something wrong which has been done



  • verb to punish someone by making him or her pay money

Cars & Driving

  • adjective made of very small particles
  • adjective having many grooves and ridges close together


  • adjective close to, and on either side of, an imaginary line separating the off and leg sides of the pitch behind the batsman’s wicket
    Citation ‘Sometimes short-slip is put very fine, sometimes rather wider, as circumstances may require’ (Ranjitsinhji 1897)
    Citation ‘Cowdrey went ahead with another four off Davidson, which went very fine past backward short-leg’ (Peebles 1959)
    Compare straight See fielding positions

Information & Library Science

  • noun an amount of money that has to be paid as a penalty
  • verb to make somebody pay money as a punishment


  • noun a sum of money ordered to be paid by a defendant as punishment on conviction for an offence
  • verb to order a defendant who has been convicted of an offence to pay a sum of money as punishment


  • adjective referring to something such as hair or thread which is very thin


  • adjective referring to paper with a smooth surface
  • adjective referring to a screen with narrow spaces between the lines


  • adjective good, pleasant or sunny with no rain


  • to remove any solid particles left in wine after fermentation.
  • the youngest of the categories of Marsala wine.

Origin & History of “fine”

both the adjective and the noun fine have come a very long way since their beginnings in Latin finis ‘end’. The etymological sense of the adjective is ‘finished’ – hence, ‘of high quality’. It comes via Old French fin from vulgar Latin *fīnus, an adjective formed from the Latin verb fīnīre ‘limit, complete’ (source of English finish). (A derivative of *finus was the noun *finitia, from which ultimately English gets finesse (15th c.).) The noun fine also comes from an Old French fin, this time a noun descended directly from Latin fīnis. In medieval times this was used for ‘money to be paid at the completion of legal proceedings’ – hence the present-day sense ‘payment imposed as a punishment’. From the same ultimate source, but reflecting different aspects of it, come confine (16th c.) and define (14th c.) (‘limitation’) and refine (16th c.) (‘high quality’).