Thesaurus

handsome

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of handsome

2 of a size greater than average of its kind
  • earns a handsome salary as senior vice president of the firm

Synonyms for handsome

Words Related to handsome

Near Antonyms for handsome

Antonyms for handsome

3 very pleasing to look at
  • a handsome man with finely chiseled features

Synonyms for handsome

Words Related to handsome

Near Antonyms for handsome

Antonyms for handsome

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Frequently Asked Questions About handsome

How does the adjective handsome differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of handsome are beautiful, comely, fair, lovely, and pretty. While all these words mean "exciting sensuous or aesthetic pleasure," handsome suggests aesthetic pleasure due to proportion, symmetry, or elegance.

a handsome Georgian mansion

When is it sensible to use beautiful instead of handsome?

While the synonyms beautiful and handsome are close in meaning, 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?

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

the comely grace of a dancer

When could fair be used to replace handsome?

The synonyms fair and handsome are sometimes interchangeable, but fair suggests beauty because of purity, flawlessness, or freshness.

fair of face

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

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

a lovely melody

When would pretty be a good substitute for handsome?

The words pretty and handsome 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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Learn More about handsome

Time Traveler for handsome

Time Traveler

The first known use of handsome was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Handsome.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/handsome. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on handsome

Dictionary: Definition of handsome

Nglish: Translation of handsome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handsome for Arabic Speakers

Comments on handsome

What made you want to look up handsome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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