lovely 1 of 2



2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective lovely differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of lovely are beautiful, comely, fair, handsome, and pretty. While all these words mean "exciting sensuous or aesthetic pleasure," 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 could beautiful be used to replace lovely?

The words beautiful and lovely are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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 lovely?

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

the comely grace of a dancer

When is fair a more appropriate choice than lovely?

In some situations, the words fair and lovely are roughly equivalent. However, fair suggests beauty because of purity, flawlessness, or freshness.

fair of face

When would handsome be a good substitute for lovely?

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

a handsome Georgian mansion

When is it sensible to use pretty instead of lovely?

Although the words pretty and lovely have much in common, pretty often applies to superficial or insubstantial attractiveness.

a painter of conventionally pretty scenes

Thesaurus Entries Near lovely

Cite this Entry

“Lovely.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on lovely

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!