come·​ly | \ˈkəm-lē also ˈkōm- or ˈkäm- \
comelier; comeliest

Definition of comely 

1 : pleasurably conforming to notions of good appearance, suitability, or proportion Going in with him, they observed that all was neat and comely— Willa Cather

2 : having a pleasing appearance : not homely or plain a comely young woman

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Other Words from comely

comeliness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for comely

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

Comely Has a Broad and Beautiful History

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.

Examples of comely in a Sentence

a brood of comely children that any parent would be proud to claim

Recent Examples on the Web

This redesigned Traverse is a comely critter that’s lighter, easier on gas, peppier, and roomier than its predecessor. Al Haas,, "Roomy three-row SUVs appeal to 'child-raising generation'," 7 June 2018 The contest regularly posted photos and brief bios of comely winners on trains from 1941 until 1976, and then sporadically. Don Oldenburg, USA TODAY, "David Duchovny rides a winner with his third novel, 'Miss Subways'," 30 Apr. 2018 While at a fashion show with his son, the elder Donald spotted a comely young model on the runway and in possibly the most embarrassing dad move ever, decided to play matchmaker. Julianne Pepitone, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Donald Trump Jr.," 11 July 2017 Like its comely skin and handsome 18-inch alloy wheels, the SL’s roomy interior was quite pleasing. Al Haas,, "2018 Nissan Rogue offers comfort and utility but not performance," 2 Feb. 2018 Kerry Conte is a comely Betty Haynes, creating a nice spark with Montgomery. Theodore P. Mahne,, "Saenger's 'White Christmas' is a joyous holiday pleasure full of song, dance and romance," 20 Dec. 2017 Because not every man with power used it back then or uses it today to violate young women who deserve to be treated as more than comely faces or shapely bodies. Ronnie Polaneczky,, "The delicious comeuppance of men who use their power for sex | Ronnie Polaneczky," 2 Nov. 2017 No one expects such colorful language to spew from the comely Ms. Hayek. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Review: A Funny, Bloody Near-Miss," 17 Aug. 2017 The interior had an upscale look and featured comely chrome accents and a lot of soft-touch surfaces for an inexpensive family sedan. Al Haas,, "The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu makes for a great off-lease car," 28 Oct. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of comely

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for comely

Middle English comly, alteration of Old English cȳmlic glorious, from cȳme lively, fine; akin to Old High German kūmig weak

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The first known use of comely was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for comely



English Language Learners Definition of comely

: pleasing in appearance : pretty or attractive


come·​ly | \ˈkəm-lē \
comelier; comeliest

Kids Definition of comely

: physically attractive

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