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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Though vibrant in color and as beautiful as any flower, poppies are technically classified as weeds. Elissa Sanci, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the Symbolism Behind Memorial Day Poppies," 9 May 2019 L'Oréal is giving me an opportunity to feel beautiful. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Céline Dion's #1 Fitness Secret," 6 May 2019 Beyond the service, there’s also the fact that the property itself is breathtakingly beautiful. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "The Best Room At...Baros Maldives," 4 May 2019 You could be put together in all the right ways and be the most beautiful, and then bad breath could be a deal breaker. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Kendall Jenner Wants You to Instagram Your Toothpaste," 24 Apr. 2019 Tetris Effect manages to shake things up by layering a beautiful, and surprisingly emotional, layer of music, visuals, and storytelling over the familiar game. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The 15 best video games of 2018," 17 Dec. 2018 The user experience can be beautiful, if the food is not delicious, and food is emotional ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Sweetgreen thinks like a tech company," 17 Dec. 2018 This is the most beautiful compliment for anybody who uses a minimalist strategy: The author disappears. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, "David Adjaye's Message to Architects: Stop Building McMansions," 26 Mar. 2019 The news media has touted the park’s transformation from a bustling open-air drug market to one of the most beautiful fields in the country. Kate Morgan, Woman's Day, "A New Jersey Softball Team Is Lifting Its City's Spirits," 21 Mar. 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.

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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

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Statistics for beautiful

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beautiful

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

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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

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Comments on beautiful

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