beautiful

adjective
beau·​ti·​ful | \ ˈbyü-ti-fəl How to pronounce beautiful (audio) \

Definition of beautiful

1 : having qualities of beauty : exciting aesthetic pleasure
2 : generally pleasing : excellent

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from beautiful

beautifulness \ ˈbyü-​ti-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce beautifulness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for beautiful

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

beautiful, pretty, and handsome mean pleasing or delightful in some way. beautiful is used of whatever is most pleasing to the senses or the mind. We saw a beautiful sunset. It was a beautiful story about faith. pretty is usually used of something that is small or dainty. She held a pretty little doll. handsome is used of something that is well formed and therefore pleasing to look at. The mayor sat at a handsome desk.

Can beautiful be used to describe a man?

Our evidence shows that when beautiful is used to describe physical beauty, it is overwhelming used of women or a physical aspect of a woman (such as her hair or skin). This hasn't always been the case: when beautiful first came into English it was used as easily of men as it was of women. Nowadays, handsome is the adjective of appreciation most commonly used of men.

The plural noun phrase beautiful people doesn't refer to the overall looks of the people mentioned, but rather the elegance and sumptuousness of their lives.

Examples of beautiful in a Sentence

Located on one of the most beautiful and untouched coastlines in America, this recreational area has much to offer. You can hike on rocky headlands that rise dramatically from the Pacific Ocean, ride horses or bikes along scenic trails, walk along the many beaches, kayak on pristine Tomales Bay, or spy the abundance of native flowers and wildlife, including elephant seals and tule elk. — Tim Fish, Wine Spectator, 15 Nov. 2008 In her biography of Monroe, Churchwell takes to task the relentless mythomania of her admirers and critics, who are equally invested in nurturing the legend of a hapless beautiful woman consumed by her desire for celebrity and love. — Lakshmi Chaudhry, Nation, 27 Aug.-3 Sept. 2007 In the hothouse of today's celebrity monoculture, the result has been the perfection of the kind of profile in which athletes and actors struggle to overcome … absence or presence in their lives of money, fame, sex and drugs. Especially so in the upscale slicks, where these stories of the rich and beautiful emerge so flat and lifeless that no one in them casts a shadow. — Jeff MacGregor, New York Times Book Review, 21 Aug. 2005 You have the most beautiful smile. The film tells a beautiful story about two young lovers. Our hotel room had a beautiful view of the ocean. The sunsets here are absolutely beautiful. What a beautiful day for a picnic! This is a beautiful example of early American poetry.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Celebrate a beautiful Midsummer Night with a fantastical costume ball. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 23 June 2019 Like a preening pageant contestant, the restaurant is beautiful and knows it. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: The Terrace Grill at the Dalmar in Fort Lauderdale is a good-looking disappointment," 20 June 2019 As the influencer economy picked up speed, images became more polished and captions more aspirational, although light on the details of what made such a beautiful life possible. Allison Gibson, Bon Appétit, "Whatever Happened to #Vanlife? Well, Things Are Changing," 20 June 2019 People could also stay at the Karcher Hotel in beautiful downtown Waukegan. Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun, "Talk of the County: Tiger Woods not worthy of hero worship," 17 June 2019 This same scene can also be beautiful in the morning light when the ridges turn a fiery red as they are lit by the rising sun. Zak Podmore, National Geographic, "How to take an amazing photo of the Grand Canyon," 13 June 2019 Kihavah is located off a beautiful sandy island in the Baa Atoll, which has been officially designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its stunning coral reefs and prolific marine life. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "9 Beautiful Overwater Bungalows Around the World," 13 June 2019 This wealth would be held in common and used to make the place prosperous and beautiful. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 Prior to his time in Afghanistan, our family life in Milford, DE, was beautiful in its simplicity. Colleen Johnson, Woman's Day, "How My Veteran Husband Copes with His War Injuries," 19 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beautiful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of beautiful

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beautiful

Middle English bewteful, beautefull, from beaute beauty + -ful, -full -ful entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beautiful

Statistics for beautiful

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beautiful

The first known use of beautiful was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beautiful

beautiful

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of beautiful

: very attractive in a physical way
: giving pleasure to the mind or the senses
: very good or pleasing : not having any bad qualities

beautiful

adjective
beau·​ti·​ful | \ ˈbyü-ti-fəl How to pronounce beautiful (audio) \

Kids Definition of beautiful

1 : having qualities of beauty : giving pleasure to the mind or senses a beautiful child a beautiful song
2 : very good : excellent beautiful weather

Other Words from beautiful

beautifully adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on beautiful

What made you want to look up beautiful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!