beautiful

1
as in lovely
very pleasing to look at the banquet hall was decorated with beautiful flower arrangements for the reception

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Antonyms & Near Antonyms

2
as in wonderful
of the very best kind you've done a beautiful job of illustrating that children's story

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

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How does the adjective beautiful differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of beautiful are comely, fair, handsome, lovely, and pretty. While all these words 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

How are the words comely and handsome related as synonyms of beautiful?

Comely is like handsome in suggesting what is coolly approved rather than emotionally responded to.

the comely grace of a dancer

When can fair be used instead of beautiful?

The words fair and beautiful are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, fair suggests beauty because of purity, flawlessness, or freshness.

fair of face

When could handsome be used to replace beautiful?

While in some cases nearly identical to beautiful, handsome suggests aesthetic pleasure due to proportion, symmetry, or elegance.

a handsome Georgian mansion

How do lovely and beautiful relate to one another?

Lovely is close to beautiful but applies to a narrower range of emotional excitation in suggesting the graceful, delicate, or exquisite.

a lovely melody

In what contexts can pretty take the place of beautiful?

The words pretty and beautiful can be used in similar contexts, but pretty often applies to superficial or insubstantial attractiveness.

a painter of conventionally pretty scenes

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Cite this Entry

“Beautiful.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/beautiful. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

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