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[kuhm-lee] /ˈkʌm li/
adjective, comelier, comeliest.
pleasing in appearance; attractive; fair:
a comely face.
proper; seemly; becoming:
comely behavior.
Origin of comely
before 1000; Middle English cumli, Old English cȳmlīc lovely, equivalent to cȳme exquisite (cognate with Middle High German kūme weak, tender, German kaum (adv.) with difficulty, Old High German kūmo) + -līc -ly
Related forms
comelily, adverb
comeliness, noun
uncomely, adjective
1. pretty, handsome, beautiful, good-looking, personable.
1. unattractive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for comeliness
Historical Examples
  • O Laka, give grace to the feet of Pohaku; and to her bracelets and anklets; comeliness to the figure and skirt of Luukia.

    Unwritten Literature of Hawaii Nathaniel Bright Emerson
  • Is there any comeliness in a witch, that a man should desire her?

    The Arrow-Maker Mary Austin
  • And he scowled at my mother, for her comeliness; and yet looked under his eyelids as if he liked her for it.

    Lorna Doone R. D. Blackmore
  • It was old-fashioned 44 now, though once of proper cut and comeliness.

  • The Colchester had been a rough, flat-bottomed craft, with neither shape nor comeliness about her.

    All Adrift Oliver Optic
  • A standard which covers just the very rudiments of proportion and comeliness.

    Another Sheaf John Galsworthy
  • She was little, plump, beautifully formed and with a face of more than passing comeliness.

  • To her, for all his comeliness, he was loathsome as a leper, terrible as a beast of prey.

    Sarchedon G. J. (George John) Whyte-Melville
  • They were equally beautiful, and the fame of their comeliness had gone widely abroad.

  • There was no comeliness in it, but it was less desolate than when overgrown with weed.

    Alone Marion Harland
British Dictionary definitions for comeliness


adjective -lier, -liest
good-looking; attractive
Derived Forms
comeliness, noun
Word Origin
Old English cӯmlīc beautiful; related to Old High German cūmi frail, Middle High German komlīche suitably
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 comeliness



"beautiful, handsome," c.1400, probably from Old English cymlic "lovely, splendid, finely made," from cyme "exquisite, glorious, delicate," from West Germanic *kumi- "delicate, feeble" (cf. Old High German chumo "with difficulty," chumig "weak, delicate;" German kaum "hardly, scarcely"). Or perhaps the modern word is from Middle English bicumelic (c.1200) "suitable, exquisite," literally "becomely" (cf. becoming).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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