Nicely vs Fretful - What's the difference?

nicely | fretful |

As an adverb nicely

is (obsolete) fastidiously; carefully.

As an adjective fretful is

irritable, bad-tempered, grumpy or peevish.




(en adverb)
  • (obsolete) Fastidiously; carefully.
  • * 1590 , (Edmund Spenser), The Faerie Queene , III.xii:
  • He lookt askew with his mistrustfull eyes, / And nicely trode, as thornes lay in his way, / Or that the flore to shrinke he did auyse [...].
  • Precisely; with fine discernment or judgement.
  • *1926 , (Ford Madox Ford), A Man Could Stand Up—'', Penguin 2012 (''Parade's End ), p. 580:
  • *:An army – especially in peace time – is a very complex and nicely adjusted affair […].
  • * 2011 , Thomas Penn, Winter King , Penguin 2012, p. 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’.
  • Pleasantly; satisfactorily.
  • fretful


    Alternative forms

    * fretfull (archaic)


    (en adjective)
  • irritable, bad-tempered, grumpy or peevish
  • * 1909:
  • It was another cry, but not quite like the one she had heard last night; it was only a short one, a fretful , childish whine muffled by passing through walls.
  • unable to relax; fidgety or restless
  • Anagrams