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

And just like Will and Kate, a young, pretty Princess Elizabeth and a tall, handsome Prince Philip brought smiles and celebrations to the nation – something that was certainly needed in November 1947, just two years after the end of WWII. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Celebrating Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's Incredible Love Story," 10 June 2018 Finally, and most disturbing to the careful equilibrium the women have constructed on their own, is Hortense's next son Georges (Cyril Descours), young and handsome and with some of the entitlement that goes with being a mother's favorite. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Intimate epic 'The Guardians' distills how war changes everything for a French family," 10 May 2018 Common loon The Ojibwe called them the mang, the most handsome of birds. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Great Wisconsin Birdathon takes flight during Year of the Bird," 5 Apr. 2018 Chelsea have been reported to be ready to counter any offer from the French champions by handing the 2016/17 PFA, FWA and Premier League Player of the Year a handsome new contract, but Barcelona are now said to have joined the race as well. SI.com, "Barcelona Join Race for Chelsea Midfielder N'Golo Kante With Cash Plus Player Deal," 13 July 2018 Each chapter begins with a handsome frontispiece and a full-page illustration in a style reminiscent of the Arts & Crafts Movement, and each has its own floral motif. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: So Much to See—and Talk About," 12 July 2018 Growing up in Aleppo, Fadi, a handsome 18-year-old who wears his hair fashionably slicked back, was a keen soccer player until the accident happened shortly before the war . Cormac O'brien, The Christian Science Monitor, "Refugees in Ireland find their footing with soccer tournament," 5 July 2018 Just check out all those glamorous poolside photos of him, young and handsome and bare-chested. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Review: The Hollywood Bowl turns up the heat for Leonard Bernstein celebration — sometimes too high," 11 July 2018 As in the last movie, Chris Pratt is charming and handsome and funny. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "We’re Going to Need a Bigger Island," 22 June 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

14 Sep 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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Comments on handsome

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