English

Definition of handsome adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    handsome

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ˈhænsəm//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhænsəm//
     
    (handsomer, handsomest) more handsome and most handsome are more common Attractiveness, Male attractiveness
     
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  1. 1(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’. Synonymsbeautifulpretty 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 like a girl, with small, delicate features.handsome (of a man) pleasant to look at; (of a woman) pleasant to look at, with large strong features rather than small delicate ones:He was described as ‘tall, dark and handsome’.attractive (of a person) pleasant to look at, especially in a sexual way:She’s a very attractive woman.lovely (of a person) beautiful; very attractive:She looked particularly lovely that night. When you describe somebody as lovely, you are usually showing that you also have a strong 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 somebody as attractive you often also mean that they have a pleasant personality as well as being pleasant to look at; good-looking just describes somebody’s physical appearance.Patterns a(n) beautiful/​pretty/​handsome/​attractive/​lovely/​good-looking/​gorgeous girl/​woman a(n) beautiful/​handsome/​attractive/​good-looking/​gorgeous boy/​man a(n) beautiful/​pretty/​handsome/​attractive/​lovely/​good-looking face See related entries: Attractiveness, Male attractiveness
  2. 2(of women) attractive, with large strong features rather than small delicate ones a tall, handsome woman The bride and groom made a handsome couple. Synonymsbeautifulpretty 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 like a girl, with small, delicate features.handsome (of a man) pleasant to look at; (of a woman) pleasant to look at, with large strong features rather than small delicate ones:He was described as ‘tall, dark and handsome’.attractive (of a person) pleasant to look at, especially in a sexual way:She’s a very attractive woman.lovely (of a person) beautiful; very attractive:She looked particularly lovely that night. When you describe somebody as lovely, you are usually showing that you also have a strong 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 somebody as attractive you often also mean that they have a pleasant personality as well as being pleasant to look at; good-looking just describes somebody’s physical appearance.Patterns a(n) beautiful/​pretty/​handsome/​attractive/​lovely/​good-looking/​gorgeous girl/​woman a(n) beautiful/​handsome/​attractive/​good-looking/​gorgeous boy/​man a(n) beautiful/​pretty/​handsome/​attractive/​lovely/​good-looking face
  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 cheque
  5. 5generous She paid him a handsome compliment. It was very handsome of him to pay for the meal.
  6. Word Origin Middle English: from hand + -some. The original sense was ‘easy to handle or use’, hence ‘suitable’ and ‘apt, clever’ (mid 16th cent.), giving rise to the current appreciatory senses (late 16th cent.).Extra examples a tall, dark, handsome stranger his ruggedly handsome features He had an interesting and rather handsome face. He was elected by a handsome majority (= a lot of people voted for him). He’s the most handsome man I’ve ever met. I enjoyed the job, and was paid a handsome salary too. She was a tall, handsome woman. They sold the house two years later at a handsome profit.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: handsome