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[byoo-tee] /ˈbyu ti/
noun, plural beauties.
the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
a beautiful person, especially a woman.
a beautiful thing, as a work of art or a building.
Often, beauties. something that is beautiful in nature or in some natural or artificial environment.
an individually pleasing or beautiful quality; grace; charm:
a vivid blue area that is the one real beauty of the painting.
Informal. a particular advantage:
One of the beauties of this medicine is the freedom from aftereffects.
(usually used ironically) something extraordinary:
My sunburn was a real beauty.
something excellent of its kind:
My old car was a beauty.
Origin of beauty
1225-75; Middle English be(a)ute < Old French beaute; replacing Middle English bealte < Old French beltet < Vulgar Latin *bellitāt- (stem of *bellitās), equivalent to Latin bell(us) fine + -itāt- -ity
Related forms
nonbeauty, noun, plural nonbeauties.
1. loveliness, pulchritude, comeliness, fairness, attractiveness. 2. belle.
1. ugliness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for beauty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This boasted power of intellect—this giddy triumph of beauty—what do they do for you?

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Let young men hear the praise of virtue from the lips of beauty.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Aspasia said wisely, that the spirit of beauty flows in, only where the proportions are harmonious.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • "The beauty that lies within has ever a mysterious power," answered Plato.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Now you like it, and you got beauty—only you need more money.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for beauty


noun (pl) -ties
the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and please the mind
a very attractive and well-formed girl or woman
(informal) an outstanding example of its kind: the horse is a beauty
(informal) an advantageous feature: one beauty of the job is the short hours
(informal, old-fashioned) a light-hearted and affectionate term of address: hello, my old beauty!
(NZ) (ˈbjuːdɪ). an expression of approval or agreement Also (Scot, Austral, and NZ) you beauty
Word Origin
C13: from Old French biauté, from biau beautiful; see beau
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
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Word Origin and History for beauty

early 14c., "physical attractiveness," also "goodness, courtesy," from Anglo-French beute, Old French biauté "beauty, seductiveness, beautiful person" (12c., Modern French beauté), earlier beltet, from Vulgar Latin bellitatem (nominative bellitas) "state of being handsome," from Latin bellus "pretty, handsome, charming," in classical Latin used especially of women and children, or ironically or insultingly of men, perhaps from PIE *dw-en-elo-, diminutive of root *deu- "to do, perform, show favor, revere" (see bene-). Famously defined by Stendhal as la promesse de bonheur "the promise of happiness."

[I]t takes the one hundred men in ten million who understand beauty, which isn't imitation or an improvement on the beautiful as already understood by the common herd, twenty or thirty years to convince the twenty thousand next most sensitive souls after their own that this new beauty is truly beautiful. [Stendhal, "Life of Henry Brulard"]
Replaced Old English wlite. Concrete meaning "a beautiful woman" is first recorded late 14c. Beauty sleep "sleep before midnight" is attested by 1850. Beauty spot is from 1650s. Beauty parlor is from 1894.
The sudden death of a young woman a little over a week ago in a down-town "beauty parlor" has served to direct public attention to those institutions and their methods. In this case, it seems, the operator painted on or injected into the patron's facial blemish a 4-per-cent cocaine solution and then applied an electrode, the sponge of which was saturated with carbolized water. ["The Western Druggist," October 1894]
Beauté du diable (literally "devil's beauty") is used as a French phrase in English from 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for beauty



Excellent; superior; great: I thought the guy was beauty (1970s+ Canadian)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with beauty


In addition to the idiom beginning with beauty also see: that's the beauty of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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