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love·​ly ˈləv-lē How to pronounce lovely (audio)
lovelier; loveliest
: delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace : attractive
She looks lovely in that dress.
: grand, swell
what a lovely morning
: eliciting love by moral or ideal worth
A lovely woman who loves him for himself, not for his money.
obsolete : lovable
lovelily adverb
loveliness noun


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plural lovelies
: a beautiful woman
: a lovely object
Choose the Right Synonym for lovely

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 lovely in a Sentence

Adjective She was wearing a lovely dress. a lovely bouquet of flowers The song has a lovely melody. The hotel has a lovely view. We enjoyed a lovely dinner. a singer with a lovely voice Their children have lovely manners. How lovely of you to come! It was lovely to have you here! Noun A chorus line of young lovelies danced on the stage. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Sometimes, that meant a spectacular pass, such as his 52-yard strike to rookie Zay Flowers that split two defenders or his lovely 17-yard teardrop to Nelson Agholor for the deciding touchdown. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2023 Aside from smelling like a lovely, spicy forest, eucalyptus turns out to be a powerful botanical. Treehugger Editors, Treehugger, 15 Sep. 2023 The skies are impacted by a lovely Virgo New Moon that fuels your 2nd House of Income and sharpens your eye for fresh financial forays that can improve your sense of security and bounty. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 14 Sep. 2023 The author of those lovely phrases, former Times staff writer Diana Marcum, passed away Aug. 9 due to complications from a brain tumor. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Guests can also expect lovely fall weather — and peak fall foliage — during this time, with average highs ranging from the mid-70s in September to the low 60s in October. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 13 Sep. 2023 Today, the Physic Garden’s four acres along the banks of the Thames are home to more than 5,000 varieties of plants, not to mention an impossibly lovely place to while away an afternoon. Hayley Maitland, Vogue, 13 Sep. 2023 One evening this past spring, in a lovely room of the University Club with sweeping views of downtown, family members of the deceased or desperate stand up one by one to share their plight. Alex Morris, Rolling Stone, 9 Sep. 2023 The adjustable crossbody bag comes in some really stunning colors too, like this pale lavender that would look lovely on you during a farmer's market stroll on a breezy fall morning. Kristine Solomon, Travel + Leisure, 6 Sep. 2023
But don’t despair, my scarred and scarring lovelies. Matt Thompson, Spin, 10 Sep. 2023 Serve these layered lovelies in old-fashioned glasses to make the treat extra special. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 July 2023 The first flowering of the reblooming variety of these perennial lovelies is in June. Erynn Hassinger, Country Living, 22 Apr. 2023 No, Colin Frissell hooking up with the three lovelies in Wisconsin. Kyle Smith, National Review, 10 Dec. 2019 The vegetables: Along with the summer lovelies mentioned above, some people get all crazy and put mushrooms in their ratatouille. James P. Dewan,, 13 Aug. 2019 Here are some of the lovelies that were arrested recently -- the Berkeley deal. Fox News, 29 Aug. 2018 Scott Rubin was asked to write jokes for National Lampoon’s Strip Poker, a witless pay-per-view series featuring Kaelin and a group of lovelies (including Olivia Munn, then known as Lisa) at the Hedonism II nudist resort in Jamaica. Benjamin Wallace, HWD, 1 May 2017 The Observer resolved then and there to award these two lovelies his first Mellow MoonPie award, for grit and glimmer in the face of death. The Masked Observer,, 31 Jan. 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lovely was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near lovely

Cite this Entry

“Lovely.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


lovelier; loveliest
: gracefully or delicately attractive
a lovely dress
: beautiful in character
: highly pleasing : fine
a lovely view
loveliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lovely

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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