handsome

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

Physical attraction may only be skin deep; going all out to pursue a pretty face or a handsome hunk could backfire. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 28, 2019: Happy birthday John Cusack; Capricorn; keep the bar set at a realistic level," 28 June 2019 And, yes, Eric Bana is a very handsome man, but part of John’s allure as a con man was his good looks. Janet Kinosian, latimes.com, "In 'Dirty John,' Connie Britton taps into the hunger for love behind the red flags," 18 June 2019 In 2018 Acacia Oudinot, a 37 year-old from Arizona, met the handsome con-man via Facebook messanger, according to the Daily Beast. Kynala Phillips, Essence, "Longtime Scammer Broke Hearts And Drained Bank Accounts," 17 June 2019 Elsewhere, Washington confers with his white slave overseer, while a black groom — handsome, alert, handsomely dressed — holds the reins of his horse. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "The Case for Keeping San Francisco’s Disputed George Washington Murals," 26 July 2019 Cohen, who is fifty-one, is a handsome, salt-and-pepper-haired gay man who is exceedingly gregarious, almost gladhandy, in a way that might turn some off. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "“Watch What Happens Live” Offers a Break from the Drudgery of Late-Night TV," 23 July 2019 On the bank of the Saône River, our handsome, blue and white private barge, Lilas, part of the Belmond Afloat in France fleet, was waiting with her crew lined up on deck. Jo Rodgers, Condé Nast Traveler, "On the Slow Boat Through Burgundy: A Barge Trip in France," 3 July 2019 Ricardo Hurtado as Tyler Tyler's the handsome know-it-all who has to spend his summer training in the junior lifeguard program. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About Netflix's "Malibu Rescue" Movie and Series," 9 May 2019 Painted a handsome navy blue, your truck has just enough rear space to haul something rugged and earthy-smelling—like a Christmas tree or a nice pile of mulch—and a front cab just big enough for you and your golden retriever. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The World Is Getting a Pickup Truck Emoji," 17 July 2019

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

17 Aug 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 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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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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