mid-13c., "unblemished, refined, pure; of superior quality," from Old French fin "perfected, of highest quality" (12c.), from Latin finis "end, limit" (see finish); hence "acme, peak, height," as in finis boni "the highest good."
In French, the main meaning remains "delicate, intricately skillful;" in English since mid-15c. fine is also a general expression of admiration or approval, the equivalent of French beau (cf. fine arts, 1767, translating French beaux-arts). Finer; finest. Fine print is from 1861 as "type small and close-set;" by 1934 as "qualifications and limitations of a deal."