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

Beyond the gate, a winding dirt track runs up a hill to another iron gate, which leads you, after a time, to a handsome farmhouse in brick and the yellowish stone that predominates in this region of Italy. Joshua Levine, WSJ, "The Rustic Charm of an Idyllic Tuscan Hideaway," 21 May 2019 This campaign-style tray on a stand features handsome brass hardware and would be perfect perched in a corner of a gentleman’s office or library. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "Why Every Home Could Use a Vintage Bar Cart," 17 May 2019 Ricardo played Freddy on Nickelodeon's School of Rock, an also handsome 12-year-old who played drums in the school band. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About Netflix's "Malibu Rescue" Movie and Series," 9 May 2019 The Niro is a handsome little crossover that’ll disappear in traffic. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards," 16 Apr. 2019 These spacious rooms are filled with treasures of their own, not least a vast collection of 18th century mezzotints, and on this occasion by the guests—including the absurdly handsome actor Quim Gutierrez. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "How Hamish Bowles Spent a Whirlwind 24 Hours in Madrid," 14 June 2018 As his arch-nemesis, Harold, a heavily made-up Mr. Quinto, registers as an inhuman visitor from another planet, an effect that sometimes happens when handsome actors play ugly. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto Enter Sniping in ‘The Boys in the Band’," 31 May 2018 There is an undeniable new class of handsome Asian male actors dominating TV right now. Greta Lee, Glamour, "Now Trending on TV: The Sexy Asian Hunk," 14 Mar. 2018 At an enterprise value of $43 billion including debt, FIS is paying a handsome 23 times Worldpay’s adjusted 2018 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Paying Up for Worldpay Might Make Sense," 18 Mar. 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

25 May 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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