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

Written just months before the author died in 1817, the story centers around Charlotte Heywood, her unexpected trip to a posh coastal resort town, and her relationship with a handsome young man named Sidney Parker. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Jane Austen's Unfinished Novel Sanditon Is Heading to TV," 11 July 2018 The Vision is most handsome in profile, with a two-box outline that's reminiscent of the new Volvo XC40. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "We got our first good look at BMW’s new electric iNext, on sale in 2021," 15 Sep. 2018 The Shannara Chronicles and Glee stars both have that tall, blonde, and handsome thing going on. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "18 Celebrity Lookalikes You Have To See To Believe," 7 Aug. 2018 Yet these military shorts—like utilitarian workwear standbys such as chambray shirts, bluejeans and chore coats—pack the secondary benefit of being quite handsome. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "This Summer, Dress Like Hemingway on His Boat," 10 July 2018 Either way, the right pair of glasses—for those of us who aren't 20/20 fortunate—can embellish an already-handsome visage. 13. Tucker Westbrook, Town & Country, "14 Style Lessons I Learned From JFK," 5 July 2018 Their idyll is soon interrupted by the arrival of an army of fierce mechanical dragons, flown by soldiers under the command of the handsome Izor. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms': Film Review | Shanghai 2018," 27 June 2018 No music is piped in, a welcome respite — the patio has an undercurrent of peacefulness, in spite of the energy from the customers who keep the patio busy (filling 10 handsome wood-and-metal tables and chairs, plus a six-seat high-top). Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dining patios proliferate around Milwaukee; a look at some new ones for 2018," 10 July 2018 The seven-part Cinemax miniseries is certainly handsome and well acted. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "'C.B. Strike': TV Review," 31 May 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

7 Dec 2018

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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