home·​ly ˈhōm-lē How to pronounce homely (audio)
homelier; homeliest
: suggestive or characteristic of a place of residence or home
: 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 touchBrendan Gill
: free from affectation : unaffectedly natural : simple
plain, homely prose
: not elaborate or complex
homely virtues
: plain or unattractive in appearance
a homely face
he's a bit 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 Over-collars with homely top-stitching details look like something out of The Scarlet Letter. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 16 Feb. 2024 The colour palette of petrol-blue, canary yellow and bright orange adds to this homely vibe and feels at once interesting and welcoming. Angelina Villa-Clarke, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Overlapping, roasted slices of lemon can camouflage a homely turkey. Bonnie S. Benwick, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 In the English basement, Bergman and Pond turned a homely kitchen into one that would suit two chefs. Curbed, 17 Jan. 2024 Despite the grandeur of the castle—and all the amenities of a luxury hotel that come with it—there remains a homely, informal atmosphere to the Domaine. Shon Faye, Vogue, 23 Nov. 2023 Conjure the homely, heart-warming elements of the season and take inspiration from nature with Taupe 03 Soho Roc House by Lick. Sophie Flaxman, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 July 2023 Powell first thought the homely wooden figurines – a man and a woman – were put in his mailbox by mistake. Laura Colvin, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2023 Are observations about women loving shoes and homely men with money earth-shattering? Helena Andrews-Dyer, Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'homely.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near homely

Cite this Entry

“Homely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homely. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


home·​ly ˈhōm-lē How to pronounce homely (audio)
homelier; homeliest
: characteristic of home life
homely meals
: not pretty or handsome
a homely person
homeliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on homely

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