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handsome

English

Etymology

From hand + -some. It at first meant dexterous; compare Dutch handzaam, dexterous, ready, limber, manageable, and English handy.

Pronunciation

Adjective

handsome (comparative more handsome or handsomer, superlative most handsome or handsomest)

Positive
handsome

Comparative
more handsome or handsomer

Superlative
most handsome or handsomest

  1. (obsolete) Dexterous; skillful; handy; ready; convenient; -- applied to things as persons.
    • That they [engines of war] be both easy to be carried and handsome to be moved and turned about. - Robynson (Utopia)
    • For a thief it is so handsome as it may seem it was first invented for him. - Spenser
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Agreeable to the eye or to correct taste; having a pleasing appearance or expression; attractive; having symmetry and dignity; comely.
    Examples: a handsome man; a handsome garment, house, tree, horse.
  3. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Striking, impressive and elegantly proportioned, though not typically beautiful.
  4. Suitable or fit in action; marked with propriety and ease; graceful; becoming; appropriate.
    Examples: a handsome style, etc.
    • Easiness and handsome address in writing. - Felton
  5. Evincing a becoming generosity or nobleness of character; liberal; generous.
    • Handsome is as handsome does. - Old Proverb
  6. Ample; moderately large.
    • He . . . accumulated a handsome sum of money. - V. Knox

Derived terms

  • To do the handsome thing to act liberally.

Synonyms

Translations

Verb

to handsome

  1. (transitive, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) To render handsome. - Donne

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Last modified on 12 April 2008, at 19:46