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beau ideal

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noun, plural beaus ideal, beaux ideal for 1; beau ideals for 2.
  1. a conception of perfect beauty.
  2. a model of excellence.

Origin of beau ideal

First recorded in 1795–1805, beau ideal is from the French word beau idéal literally, ideal beauty. See beau, ideal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for beau-ideal

Historical Examples

  • The book, this last declared, was the "beau-ideal of historical romance."

    De Libris: Prose and Verse

    Austin Dobson

  • From that day Stuart was Bivens's beau-ideal of a gentleman.

  • That is the profession of the metaphysican, considered in his beau-ideal.

  • A potato-paring and a true heart are your beau-ideal for this world.

    The Bertrams</p>

    Anthony Trollope

  • Nothing too much; nothing lacking—just the beau-ideal of a bachelor's parlor.

    The Diamond Coterie

    Lawrence L. Lynch


British Dictionary definitions for beau-ideal

beau idéal

noun plural beaux idéals (boz ideal)
  1. perfect beauty or excellence

Word Origin

literally: ideal beauty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for beau-ideal

n.

1801, from French beau idéal "the ideal beauty, beautifulness as an abstract ideal," in which beau is the subject, but as English usually puts the adjective first, the sense has shifted in English toward "perfect type or model."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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