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 Hayakawa’s portrait of a handsome, dapper young Black man derives from the Postimpressionist technique of Paul Cézanne. Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2021 In 1909 Jacob, already fascinated by various mystical traditions, had had some sort of vision of Christ, who appeared to him as a handsome young man. Jed Perl, The New York Review of Books, 25 Feb. 2021 The building and grounds consume the entire block across from Keller Park and its handsome fountain, but the pricey Portland Plaza is not alone. oregonlive, 5 Oct. 2021 Dickie is more elegant, more handsome, more stylish than Tony. New York Times, 3 Oct. 2021 Its two handsome brick chimneys have new chimney caps. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 2 Oct. 2021 Some of the handsome greystones in the neighborhood had fallen into disrepair. Samantha Cabrera Friend, ProPublica, 30 Sep. 2021 Not a slam-dunk in terms of either scariness or storytelling, this Netflix joint nonetheless should get viewers’ Halloween countdown off to a solid start with its handsome aesthetics, not to mention a notably grotesque creature design. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 29 Sep. 2021 Seven of those were expansion teams, who paid handsome expansion fees for the right to take a beating. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 29 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near handsome

hands-off

handsome

handsome Harry

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Statistics for handsome

Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Handsome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handsome. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for handsome

handsome

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of handsome

: pleasing to look at : attractive especially : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on handsome

Nglish: Translation of handsome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handsome for Arabic Speakers

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