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 Frontgate also has up to 40% off outdoor furniture, from handsome, durable sofas to upscale dining tables for a patio or deck. oregonlive, "Create summer camp at home, with or without a waterslide," 27 June 2020 The roof is not like the sumptuous sky decks on nearby high-rises, with professional landscaping and handsome patio furniture. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Quarantined in New York, We Escape Skyward," 23 June 2020 Tom Seaver, then a handsome rising star, pitched a complete-game masterpiece. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Sporting Green reader memories: Joe DiMaggio sightings, Giants make ’62 playoffs," 20 June 2020 His firm still handles plenty of these cases, winning handsome payouts. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "Ben Crump has become the go-to attorney for racial justice: ‘I feel like I’m running out of time’," 19 June 2020 The handsome brick Monroe Elementary School on the south side of Topeka, Kansas, became the launch point for one of the most consequential civil rights breakthroughs in American history. Curtis Tate, USA TODAY, "Remembering George Floyd: Here are the civil rights museums and landmarks to visit," 9 June 2020 The film ends with our devastatingly handsome anti-hero on his knees, eyes bloodshot with rage at the news that the love of his life is dead. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "I’m Not Sure Where Else 365 DNI Can Take Us — But I Think I’m Down For The Sexy Ride," 16 June 2020 This was, to our eye, the most handsome and minimally designed of the straightforward auto-brewers, delivering a clean, tasty cup. Elizabeth Wallace, CNN Underscored, "The best drip coffee makers of 2020," 12 June 2020 Posters of his handsome face went up around Paris, transforming him into a symbol of the intense suffering of seropositive men and women at the time. Andrew Durbin, The New York Review of Books, "Hervé Guibert: Living Without a Vaccine," 12 June 2020

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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Statistics for handsome

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Handsome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handsome. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for handsome

handsome

adjective
How to pronounce handsome (audio)

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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Comments on handsome

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