American English

Definition of handsome adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

     

    handsome

     adjective
    adjective
    NAmE//ˈhænsəm//
     
    (handsomer, handsomest)
     
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  1. 1more handsome and most handsome are more common (of men) attractive synonym good-looking a handsome face He's the most handsome man I've ever met. He was aptly described as “tall, dark, and handsome.” Thesaurusbeautifulpretty handsome attractive lovely good-looking gorgeousThese words all describe people who are pleasant to look at.beautiful (especially of a woman or girl) very pleasant to look at:She looked stunningly beautiful that night.pretty (especially of a girl or woman) pleasant to look at:She's got a very pretty face. Pretty is used most often to talk about girls. When it is used to talk about a woman, it usually suggests that she is attractive, but not beautiful.handsome (of a man) pleasant to look at; (of a woman) pleasant to look at, with strong features rather than small, delicate ones:He was described as “tall, dark, and handsome.” Joan Crawford was a handsome woman.attractive (of a person) pleasant to look at, especially in a sexual way:She's a very attractive woman.lovely (of a woman) beautiful; very attractive; (of a man or woman) with a pleasant personality:She looked particularly lovely that night. They really are a lovely couple. When you describe someone as lovely, you are usually showing that you also have a feeling of affection for them.good-looking (of a person) pleasant to look at, often in a sexual way:She arrived with a very good-looking man.gorgeous (informal) (of a person) extremely attractive, especially in a sexual way:You look gorgeous!attractive or good-looking?If you describe someone as attractive or lovely, you often also mean that they have a pleasant personality as well as being pleasant to look at;good-looking describes only someone's physical appearance.Patterns a(n) beautiful/pretty/handsome/attractive/lovely/good-looking/gorgeous girl/woman/lady a(n) beautiful/handsome/attractive/good-looking/gorgeous boy/man a(n) beautiful/pretty/handsome/attractive/lovely/good-looking face a(n) beautiful/attractive/lovely smile
  2. 2 (of women) attractive, with large strong features rather than small delicate ones a tall, handsome woman Thesaurusbeautifulpretty handsome attractive lovely good-looking gorgeousThese words all describe people who are pleasant to look at.beautiful (especially of a woman or girl) very pleasant to look at:She looked stunningly beautiful that night.pretty (especially of a girl or woman) pleasant to look at:She's got a very pretty face. Pretty is used most often to talk about girls. When it is used to talk about a woman, it usually suggests that she is attractive, but not beautiful.handsome (of a man) pleasant to look at; (of a woman) pleasant to look at, with strong features rather than small, delicate ones:He was described as “tall, dark, and handsome.” Joan Crawford was a handsome woman.attractive (of a person) pleasant to look at, especially in a sexual way:She's a very attractive woman.lovely (of a woman) beautiful; very attractive; (of a man or woman) with a pleasant personality:She looked particularly lovely that night. They really are a lovely couple. When you describe someone as lovely, you are usually showing that you also have a feeling of affection for them.good-looking (of a person) pleasant to look at, often in a sexual way:She arrived with a very good-looking man.gorgeous (informal) (of a person) extremely attractive, especially in a sexual way:You look gorgeous!attractive or good-looking?If you describe someone as attractive or lovely, you often also mean that they have a pleasant personality as well as being pleasant to look at;good-looking describes only someone's physical appearance.Patterns a(n) beautiful/pretty/handsome/attractive/lovely/good-looking/gorgeous girl/woman/lady a(n) beautiful/handsome/attractive/good-looking/gorgeous boy/man a(n) beautiful/pretty/handsome/attractive/lovely/good-looking face a(n) beautiful/attractive/lovely smile
  3. 3beautiful to look at a handsome horse/house/city The two of them made a handsome couple.
  4. 4large in amount or quantity a handsome profit He was elected by a handsome majority (= a lot of people voted for him). a handsome check
  5. 5generous She paid him a handsome compliment. It was very handsome of him to pay for the meal.
 
adverb a handsomely dressed man a handsomely produced book to be paid/rewarded handsomely
handsomeness
 
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noun [uncountable]
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: handsome