handsome

adjective
hand·​some | \ ˈhan(t)-səm How to pronounce handsome (audio) \
handsomer; handsomest

Definition of handsome

1 : having a pleasing and usually impressive or dignified appearance
2 : moderately large : sizable a painting that commanded a handsome price
3 : marked by skill or cleverness : adroit
4 : marked by graciousness or generosity : liberal handsome contributions to charity
5 chiefly dialectal : appropriate, suitable

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Other Words from handsome

handsomely adverb
handsomeness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for handsome

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

Examples of handsome in a Sentence

He was a handsome man, in a big-screen way, with the deep-set eyes and boyish smile and even the lumpy, interesting complexion of a Harrison Ford or a Robert Redford. — Adam Gopnik, New Yorker, 10 May 2004 An Alexandrian statue of a ruggedly handsome man with gaunt features like Caesar's exploits the translucent glow of large-grained marble from the distant Greek island of Thasos, combining Roman attention to the texture of aging skin with the abstract elegance of Egyptian-style almond eyes and chiseled cheekbones. — Ingrid D. Rowland, New Republic, 1 & 8 Apr. 2002 The Galaxy's first stop, St. Lucia's capital city of Castries, has been destroyed by so many fires that travel writers dismiss it as holding little interest. There I came upon a handsome three-story brick building that had clearly withstood the city's century of conflagrations. It was, of all things, a Carnegie Library, built by that American millionaire's beneficence in 1916. — Carla Davidson, American Heritage, November 1999 With bonds and utility stocks under seige, many people who depend on these traditional income investments are taking a new look at real estate investment trusts. What they're finding is that "REITs" generate handsome dividend yields of 6% or more while offering the possibility of capital gains. That's not bad at a time when 10-year Treasury notes, which currently yield about 7%, come with the worry that rising interest rates will cause their value to plummet. — Lynn Asinof, Wall Street Journal, 3 June 1994 It was a handsome house situated on a large lot. The book includes many handsome illustrations. I predict that someone tall, dark, and handsome is going to come into your life. He inherited a handsome fortune. He made a handsome profit on the sale of the house. The book is a handsome tribute to a great poet.
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Recent Examples on the Web The kitchen cabinets are especially handsome with overhead glass insets that are lighted. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$1.7M Birmingham house fits onto narrow 43-foot lot," 3 Oct. 2020 With characteristic bravado Dreiser had brought along with him a handsome and well-dressed young woman who certainly was not his wife. John Dos Passos, National Review, "Reminiscences of a Middle-Class Radical," 28 Sep. 2020 The sun played off Edward’s chiselled, handsome face, which sparkled like diamonds. Charlie Dektar, The New Yorker, "Chapter Books Rewritten to Reflect the Catastrophic Effects of Climate Change," 15 Sep. 2020 Winston is a handsome and sweet 4-year-old domestic medium hair black and gray kitty who has quite the history with the Arizona Humane Society. The Arizona Republic, "Winston and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 12 Sep. 2020 Tarek was standing there looking so handsome in his tux. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "'Selling Sunset' Star Christine Quinn Compares Heather Young and Tarek El Moussa to Spencer and Heidi Pratt," 7 Aug. 2020 This crime is also shocking, disturbing proof of what privileges being white, male, and handsome can afford you. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "American Murder: Netflix’s Doc About the Watts Family Murders Is Absolutely Chilling," 1 Oct. 2020 Things begin to seem like a fairy tale when Eli turns out to be handsome and kind, and even encourages Afi’s career in fashion design. The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 28 Sep. 2020 The Air Seller, a sci-fi novel about Western imperialists slowly stealing the atmosphere in hopes of a handsome profit. Anastasia Edel, The New York Review of Books, "The Big Smoke," 17 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handsome.' 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 handsome

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for handsome

Middle English handsom easy to manipulate

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Time Traveler for handsome

Time Traveler

The first known use of handsome was in 1530

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Statistics for handsome

Last Updated

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Handsome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handsome. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for handsome

handsome

adjective
How to pronounce handsome (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of handsome

: pleasing to look at especially, of a person : having a pleasing appearance that causes romantic or sexual feelings in someone
: large in size or amount
: done or achieved in an impressive way

handsome

adjective
hand·​some | \ ˈhan-səm How to pronounce handsome (audio) \
handsomer; handsomest

Kids Definition of handsome

1 : having a pleasing and impressive appearance a handsome dog
2 : considerable They made a handsome profit on the sale.
3 : more than enough We left a handsome tip.

Other Words from handsome

handsomely adverb

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Comments on handsome

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

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