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 In 1990, Sonia and the girls move in with Bruce, a handsome, Camaro-driving hockey-playing construction manager who becomes a kind of stepfather and emerges in the book as a caring, endearingly complicated hero. Jancee Dunn, Washington Post, "In ‘High School,’ Tegan and Sara Quin reflect on coming out and hitting it big," 17 Sep. 2019 The all-metal convertible looks handsome with its steel-gray finish and shiny, silver metallic accents. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: How to buy a Chromebook, plus our best picks," 7 Sep. 2019 My friend is a large, handsome Navy veteran, who built a big business. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Is this happiness thing overrated?," 16 Sep. 2019 The stories play out in song-cycle fashion, against the backdrop of a strikingly handsome giant tree, designed by Lance Landry. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Seasons’ gently and movingly showcases the human circle of life | Review," 14 Sep. 2019 Pukki scored five Premier League goals in four appearances during August, including a hat-trick in a handsome win for Norwich over Newcastle. SI.com, "Norwich Star Teemu Pukki Wins August Premier League Player of the Month," 13 Sep. 2019 Mr Campanella’s book is richly peopled with the likes of Floyd Bennett himself, a heroic and handsome aviator who flew to the North Pole in 1926, perishing two years later on another adventure. The Economist, "A technicolour history of Brooklyn," 12 Sep. 2019 Handsome starts need handsome continuations and that will be Deer Park’s objective when the team travels to Challenger/Columbia Stadium Friday night to face Clear Creek in a 7 p.m. kickoff. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park opens two-game road trip with pesky Clear Creek Friday night," 6 Sep. 2019 Upholstered booths up front suggest a kind of buffed-up coffeeshop aesthetic, but the main dining room’s spartan and white, with big windows that let the sunlight play across the handsome wooden bar. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Fontaine’s Southern Diner & Bar finds 2-star comfort zone near the Pearl," 29 Aug. 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 5

History and Etymology for handsome

Middle English handsom easy to manipulate

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Statistics for handsome

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for handsome

The first known use of handsome was in 1530

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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

What made you want to look up handsome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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not being in agreement or harmony

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