beau·​ty ˈbyü-tē How to pronounce beauty (audio)
plural beauties
: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : loveliness
a woman of great physical beauty
exploring the natural beauty of the island
A thing of beauty is a joy forever …John Keats
: a beautiful person or thing
His new car's a real beauty.
especially : a beautiful woman
She was a great beauty in her day.
: a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
Well, at any rate, he had two great beauties—the pale flat white of his skin and his great shaggy mass of dark hair.Dorothy C. Fisher
: a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance
caught a couple of beauties on our last fishing trip
that mistake was a beauty

Example Sentences

We explored the natural beauty of the island. I'm learning to appreciate the beauty of poetry. We explored the natural beauties of the island. She was one of the great beauties of her time.
Recent Examples on the Web The beauty mogul left her raven hair down, and wore gold earrings and simple makeup palette. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 29 May 2023 Lemon and peroxide, the two lightening ingredients in Sun-In, are more natural, less combustible options that have their own long histories in the annals of beauty. Aj Willingham, CNN, 28 May 2023 Shoppers can save in every department, from home to fashion and beauty. Clara Mcmahon, Peoplemag, 27 May 2023 The idea is that these materials—warm wood, silk, velvet—hold a timeless quality that will retain their beauty through time and trends. House Beautiful, 26 May 2023 This involves moving into the ordinary world, adopting its habits and perspectives and trying, as a trusted insider, to reveal the beauty and grace that dwell in its seeming banality. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 26 May 2023 Overview The beauty of the 2024 Aston Martin DB12 is indisputable. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 25 May 2023 Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji READ REVIEWS BOOK NOW Likuliku Lagoon Resort is an adults-only retreat that has Fiji's only over-water bungalows, giving guests a front row seat to the island's reefs and natural beauty. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 25 May 2023 Whether for lounging in the backyard or accompanying us on outdoor adventures, the best outdoor dog beds become a sanctuary where our beloved pets can relax and recharge, while embracing the beauty of nature. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 24 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beauty.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English beaute, bealte, borrowed from Anglo-French, from bel, beau "beautiful, good-looking" (going back to Latin bellus) + -te -ty — more at beau

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of beauty was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near beauty

Cite this Entry

“Beauty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


beau·​ty ˈbyüt-ē How to pronounce beauty (audio)
plural beauties
: the qualities of a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses
: a lovely person or thing
especially : a lovely woman
: an outstanding example
that's a beauty of a black eye

Middle English beaute "beauty," derived from early French bel "beautiful," from Latin bellus "pretty" — related to beau, belle

More from Merriam-Webster on beauty

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