Definition of comely
- Going in with him, they observed that all was neat and comely …
- —Willa Cather
- a comely young woman
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a brood of comely children that any parent would be proud to claim
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Although comely is now typically used to describe the appearance of human beings, it was once used more broadly of other appealing things, such as fine clothing. Comely can be traced back to an Old English word meaning "lovely, glorious, or fine." If you're looking to pretty up your prose or poetry with additional words meaning "beautiful," English is well-supplied with them. Aside from beautiful itself, we have lovely, handsome, pretty, fair, good-looking, gorgeous, ravishing, and even well-favored.
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
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