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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
Featuring a lovely stone exterior and blue shutters, the stately Colonial-style residence offers stunning views of the Long Island Sound, a sparkling 72-foot infinity pool and pool house, formal gardens, plus a private boat dock. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 29 Sep. 2023 Jeff is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who possesses a lovely, gentle singing voice. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2023 The result is a lovely outdoor tabletop display that's easy to move around as needed. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Sep. 2023 Following the lovely opening, three contemporary choreographic creations followed. Vogue, 24 Sep. 2023 Miller says February and March are lovely, too, as spring begins and the flowers start to bloom. Meagan Drillinger, Travel + Leisure, 23 Sep. 2023 Nobody ever says anything negative in person, so that’s always lovely. Kate Lindsay, Vulture, 22 Sep. 2023 While the redbud's typical yellow fall color can be perfectly lovely, there is one selection with exciting color that transforms throughout the year. Arricca Elin Sansone, Southern Living, 19 Sep. 2023 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
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 3 Oct. 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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