adjective hand·some \ˈhan(t)-səm\

: pleasing to look at; especially of a person : having a pleasing appearance that causes romantic or sexual feelings in someone

: large in size or amount

: done or achieved in an impressive way


Full Definition of HANDSOME

chiefly dialect :  appropriate, suitable
:  moderately large :  sizable <a painting that commanded a handsome price>
:  marked by skill or cleverness :  adroit
:  marked by graciousness or generosity :  liberal <handsome contributions to charity>
:  having a pleasing and usually impressive or dignified appearance
hand·some·ly adverb
hand·some·ness noun

Examples of HANDSOME

  1. It was a handsome house situated on a large lot.
  2. The book includes many handsome illustrations.
  3. I predict that someone tall, dark, and handsome is going to come into your life.
  4. He inherited a handsome fortune.
  5. He made a handsome profit on the sale of the house.
  6. The book is a handsome tribute to a great poet.
  7. He was a handsome man, in a big-screen way, with the deep-set eyes and boyish smile and even the lumpy, interesting complexion of a Harrison Ford or a Robert Redford. —Adam Gopnik, New Yorker, 10 May 2004

Origin of HANDSOME

Middle English handsom easy to manipulate
First Known Use: 1530

Synonym Discussion of HANDSOME

beautiful, lovely, handsome, pretty, comely, fair mean exciting sensuous or aesthetic pleasure. beautiful applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses <beautiful mountain scenery>. lovely is close to beautiful but applies to a narrower range of emotional excitation in suggesting the graceful, delicate, or exquisite <a lovely melody>. handsome suggests aesthetic pleasure due to proportion, symmetry, or elegance <a handsome Georgian mansion>. pretty often applies to superficial or insubstantial attractiveness <a painter of conventionally pretty scenes>. comely is like handsome in suggesting what is coolly approved rather than emotionally responded to <the comely grace of a dancer>. fair suggests beauty because of purity, flawlessness, or freshness <fair of face>.

Rhymes with HANDSOME

HANDSOMELY Defined for Kids


adjective hand·some \ˈhan-səm\

Definition of HANDSOME for Kids

:  having a pleasing and impressive appearance <a handsome dog>
:  considerable <They made a handsome profit on the sale.>
:  more than enough <We left a handsome tip.>
hand·some·ly adverb


Next Word in the Dictionary: handsome HarryPrevious Word in the Dictionary: hands–offAll Words Near: handsome
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears