el·​e·​gant ˈe-li-gənt How to pronounce elegant (audio)
: marked by elegance
elegant clothes
an elegant solution
: of a high grade or quality : splendid
elegant gems priced at hundreds of thousands of dollars
elegantly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for elegant

choice, exquisite, elegant, rare, delicate, dainty mean having qualities that appeal to a cultivated taste.

choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind.

choice fabric

exquisite implies a perfection in workmanship or design that appeals only to very sensitive taste.

an exquisite gold bracelet

elegant applies to what is rich and luxurious but restrained by good taste.

a sumptuous but elegant dining room

rare suggests an uncommon excellence.

rare beauty

delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility.

delicate craftsmanship

dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate.

dainty sandwiches

Examples of elegant in a Sentence

an elegant solution to the problem the most elegant First Lady in the nation's history
Recent Examples on the Web Tara Hydrangea This easygoing oakleaf variety is shade tolerant and makes for an elegant choice for both mass or accent plantings. Patricia Shannon, Southern Living, 9 May 2024 There’s a touch of crushed oyster shell and bright acidity in the elegant finish. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for elegant 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'elegant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin elegant-, elegans; akin to Latin eligere to select — more at elect

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of elegant was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near elegant

Cite this Entry

“Elegant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elegant. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


el·​e·​gant ˈel-i-gənt How to pronounce elegant (audio)
: having or showing elegance
: of excellent quality : splendid
elegantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on elegant

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