handsome

adjective
hand·​some | \ ˈhan(t)-səm \
handsomer; handsomest

Definition of handsome

1 chiefly dialectal : appropriate, suitable
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 : having a pleasing and usually impressive or dignified appearance

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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

Matt’s tall, handsome, brilliant, funny and deeply kind. Jill Gleeson, Good Housekeeping, "Menopause Doesn't Make Me Invisible," 5 Oct. 2018 Sensitively restored on the outside and repurposed in spanking white on the inside by Selldorf Architects of New York, the cleaned-up, handsome-but-not-fancy, 7,500-square foot building fits right into the neighborhood. Joseph Giovannini, New York Times, "Swiss Institute Has a New Home Ready-Made for Art," 28 June 2018 From the street today, the two houses are indeed handsome, resembling siblings, if not twins. Steve Bennett, San Antonio Express-News, "2 Beacon Hills homes came from 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair," 29 Mar. 2018 Nine-year-old Junior is a handsome young boy whose skills and functioning are unfolding and improving every day. Boys & Girls Aid / Community Content Partner, OregonLive.com, "A Home of His Own: Michael, 11, is a fun boy who has a unique, yet keen sense of humor.," 1 June 2018 So apparently a handsome man chasing after adorably scared animals is a huge turn-on, no surprise. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus Confirm It: They Totally Got Married," 27 Dec. 2018 My Christmas Dream, these traditionally handsome men always arrive in the knick of time. Lourdes Avila Uribe, Glamour, "What You Can Expect to See in Every Single Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie," 24 Dec. 2018 One pressing matter, during the heat of summer, is to arrange the wedding of her oldest daughter Angustias (Donna McMaster) to a handsome young man, the unseen Pepe el Romano, to get him away from the other daughters. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thought-provoking play by West Allis Village Playhouse opens April 6," 2 Apr. 2018 She parties, escapes to Paris, marries a handsome British man (Elliot Knight) and assumes her actions will have no consequences. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Lucy Hale leaves 'Pretty Little Liars' behind in sunny but shallow 'Life Sentence'," 7 Mar. 2018

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 1

History and Etymology for handsome

Middle English handsom easy to manipulate

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Statistics for handsome

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handsome

The first known use of handsome was in 1530

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More Definitions for handsome

handsome

adjective

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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on handsome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handsome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handsome

Spanish Central: Translation of handsome

Nglish: Translation of handsome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handsome for Arabic Speakers

Comments on handsome

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