beau·​ti·​ful | \ ˈbyü-ti-fəl How to pronounce beautiful (audio) \

Essential Meaning of beautiful

1 : very attractive in a physical way a beautiful young woman/child You have the most beautiful smile/eyes.
2 : giving pleasure to the mind or the senses The film tells a beautiful story about two young lovers. a beautiful song See More Examplesa beautiful dress/color/garden/house Our hotel room had a beautiful view of the ocean. The sunsets here are absolutely beautiful.Hide
3 : very good or pleasing : not having any bad qualities We've been having such beautiful [=excellent, fine] weather lately. a beautiful sunny day See More ExamplesWhat a beautiful day for a picnic! They did a beautiful job [=an excellent job] fixing up the house. a beautiful friendship/relationship This is a beautiful example of early American poetry.Hide

Full Definition of beautiful

1 : having qualities of beauty : exciting aesthetic pleasure
2 : generally pleasing : excellent

Other Words from beautiful

beautifulness \ ˈbyü-​ti-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce beautiful (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for beautiful

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

Can beautiful be used to describe a man?

Our evidence shows that when beautiful is used to describe physical beauty, it is overwhelming used of women or a physical aspect of a woman (such as her hair or skin). This hasn't always been the case: when beautiful first came into English it was used as easily of men as it was of women. Nowadays, handsome is the adjective of appreciation most commonly used of men.

The plural noun phrase beautiful people doesn't refer to the overall looks of the people mentioned, but rather the elegance and sumptuousness of their lives.

Examples of beautiful in a Sentence

Located on one of the most beautiful and untouched coastlines in America, this recreational area has much to offer. You can hike on rocky headlands that rise dramatically from the Pacific Ocean, ride horses or bikes along scenic trails, walk along the many beaches, kayak on pristine Tomales Bay, or spy the abundance of native flowers and wildlife, including elephant seals and tule elk. — Tim Fish, Wine Spectator, 15 Nov. 2008 In her biography of Monroe, Churchwell takes to task the relentless mythomania of her admirers and critics, who are equally invested in nurturing the legend of a hapless beautiful woman consumed by her desire for celebrity and love. — Lakshmi Chaudhry, Nation, 27 Aug.-3 Sept. 2007 In the hothouse of today's celebrity monoculture, the result has been the perfection of the kind of profile in which athletes and actors struggle to overcome … absence or presence in their lives of money, fame, sex and drugs. Especially so in the upscale slicks, where these stories of the rich and beautiful emerge so flat and lifeless that no one in them casts a shadow. — Jeff MacGregor, New York Times Book Review, 21 Aug. 2005 You have the most beautiful smile. The film tells a beautiful story about two young lovers. Our hotel room had a beautiful view of the ocean. The sunsets here are absolutely beautiful. What a beautiful day for a picnic! This is a beautiful example of early American poetry.
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Recent Examples on the Web Ikea making Oak Creek a regional destination on our I-94 corridor, and our beautiful District 4 Lake Front. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 Jan. 2022 Here, tips on how to plant a meadow big or small, with the help of three garden designers who’ve done so to beautiful effect. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 20 Jan. 2022 The 23-point rout was inevitable from the beginning, but the Jungle, Auburn’s beautiful student section, never sat down. Joseph Goodman |, al, 20 Jan. 2022 For short visits, try the West Wind Inn, on a beautiful stretch of beach on the island’s western end. Susan Glaser, cleveland, 20 Jan. 2022 What is known as a beautiful, green nation is now covered in dark ash, and water could still be seen alongside buildings wrecked from the tsunami waves. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 20 Jan. 2022 But half an hour outside the city, there are genuinely beautiful, very fluffy, white sand coves. Kara Warner,, 20 Jan. 2022 Its attack on solar is just the latest of a series of terrible decisions that are undoing climate progress in our once-beautiful state. Los Angeles Times, 20 Jan. 2022 The entrance of shareability into the experience of running has had some beautiful consequences. Devin Kelly, Longreads, 19 Jan. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beautiful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beautiful

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beautiful

Middle English bewteful, beautefull, from beaute beauty + -ful, -full -ful entry 1

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Time Traveler for beautiful

Time Traveler

The first known use of beautiful was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near beautiful



beautiful letters

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Statistics for beautiful

Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Beautiful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for beautiful


beau·​ti·​ful | \ ˈbyü-ti-fəl How to pronounce beautiful (audio) \

Kids Definition of beautiful

1 : having qualities of beauty : giving pleasure to the mind or senses a beautiful child a beautiful song
2 : very good : excellent beautiful weather

Other Words from beautiful

beautifully adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for beautiful

beautiful, pretty, and handsome mean pleasing or delightful in some way. beautiful is used of whatever is most pleasing to the senses or the mind. We saw a beautiful sunset. It was a beautiful story about faith. pretty is usually used of something that is small or dainty. She held a pretty little doll. handsome is used of something that is well formed and therefore pleasing to look at. The mayor sat at a handsome desk.

More from Merriam-Webster on beautiful

Nglish: Translation of beautiful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beautiful for Arabic Speakers


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