home·​ly | \ ˈhōm-lē How to pronounce homely (audio) \
homelier; homeliest

Definition of homely

1 : suggestive or characteristic of a place of residence or home
2 : being something familiar with which a person is comfortable and at ease : comfortable and familiar like home satisfy themselves with houses, furniture, books and clothes that were worn and homely and friendly to the touch— Brendan Gill
3a : free from affectation : unaffectedly natural : simple plain, homely prose
b : not elaborate or complex homely virtues
4 : plain or unattractive in appearance a homely face he's a bit homely

Other Words from homely

homeliness noun

Examples of homely in a Sentence

She has a homely face. He's a bit homely but nice. the homely appeal of farm life
Recent Examples on the Web These homely delights, Risbridger asserts, will sustain us through dark times. Jennifer Reese, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 Catherine Zeta-Jones got her start in this homely British series set in South East England in the 1950s. Amy Mackelden, ELLE, 30 June 2022 The plot, set in frostbitten Wisconsin in 1907, was about a widower seeking a practical and homely mail-order bride and instead getting an ominous beauty. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, 14 May 2022 The reduced size makes for a truly bizarre and uncanny sight — highlighting its grim facades, its willfully homely form and the mammoth scale of its LED billboards, which have all the design grace of the drunk guy wearing a lampshade at the party. Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2022 The look is soft, opaque at times, doing away with hi-def graphics for something more childlike, homely and calm — a video game that will likely inspire art that will grace many a parent’s fridge. Todd Martens Game Critic, Los Angeles Times, 30 Jan. 2022 The measure of its slipping prestige is that one tends to think of it only in connection with homely children and with United States senators who have been defeated, preferably in the primary, for re-election. Joan Didion, Vogue, 22 Oct. 2014 It's made of solid brass because life's too short for homely plastic watering cans. Leanne Potts, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Dec. 2021 Into this scene came the short, homely, ardent, Waldo-worshipping figure of Thoreau. James Marcus, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'homely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of homely

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for homely

Middle English homly, homely "belonging to a household, used at home, close, intimate, meek, tame, common, unattractive," from hom home entry 1 + -ly -ly entry 1

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Time Traveler for homely

Time Traveler

The first known use of homely was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near homely

home loan



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Statistics for homely

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Homely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homely. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for homely


home·​ly | \ ˈhōm-lē How to pronounce homely (audio) \
homelier; homeliest

Kids Definition of homely

1 : not pretty or handsome a homely face
2 : suggesting home life homely comforts … there it was, a plain, homely little house …— Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

More from Merriam-Webster on homely

Nglish: Translation of homely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of homely for Arabic Speakers


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