comely

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective comely differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of comely are beautiful, fair, handsome, lovely, and pretty. While all these words mean "exciting sensuous or aesthetic pleasure," comely is like handsome in suggesting what is coolly approved rather than emotionally responded to.

the comely grace of a dancer

When is it sensible to use beautiful instead of comely?

The words beautiful and comely can be used in similar contexts, but beautiful applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses.

beautiful mountain scenery

When would fair be a good substitute for comely?

Although the words fair and comely have much in common, fair suggests beauty because of purity, flawlessness, or freshness.

fair of face

When might handsome be a better fit than comely?

In some situations, the words handsome and comely are roughly equivalent. However, handsome suggests aesthetic pleasure due to proportion, symmetry, or elegance.

a handsome Georgian mansion

How do lovely and beautiful relate to one another, in the sense of comely?

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

a lovely melody

Where would pretty be a reasonable alternative to comely?

The meanings of pretty and comely largely overlap; however, pretty often applies to superficial or insubstantial attractiveness.

a painter of conventionally pretty scenes

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Cite this Entry

“Comely.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/comely. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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