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2017 Word of the Year

handsome

[han-suh m] /ˈhæn səm/
adjective, handsomer, handsomest.
1.
having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking:
a handsome man; a handsome woman.
2.
having pleasing proportions, relationships, or arrangements, as of shapes, forms, or colors; attractive:
a handsome house; a handsome interior.
3.
exhibiting skill, taste, and refinement; well-made:
a handsome story; handsome furniture.
4.
considerable, ample, or liberal in amount:
a handsome fortune.
5.
gracious; generous; flattering:
a handsome compliment; a handsome recommendation.
6.
adroit and appealing; graceful:
a handsome speech.
Origin of handsome
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English handsom easy to handle (see hand, -some1); cognate with Dutch handzaam tractable
Related forms
handsomeish, adjective
handsomeness, noun
superhandsome, adjective
Synonyms
4. large, generous, munificent.
Antonyms
1. ugly. 4, 5. small, miserly.
Synonym Study
1. See beautiful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for handsome
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He worships every handsome woman, who will allow herself to be polluted by his incense.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • And there was big, handsome, Eddie Arledge, whose father had treated him shabbily.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • If he had engaged himself to a handsome schoolmistress, it was his fancy, and he could afford it.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • He was handsome and possessed a most intelligent and expressive countenance.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Miss Glynne and her sister were known as "the handsome Miss Glynnes."

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
British Dictionary definitions for handsome

handsome

/ˈhændsəm/
adjective
1.
(of a man) good-looking, esp in having regular, pleasing, and well-defined features
2.
(of a woman) fine-looking in a dignified way
3.
well-proportioned, stately, or comely: a handsome room
4.
liberal or ample: a handsome allowance
5.
gracious or generous: a handsome action
6.
(Southwest English) pleasant: handsome weather
noun
7.
(Southwest English) a term of endearment for a beloved person, esp in my handsome
Derived Forms
handsomely, adverb
handsomeness, noun
Word Origin
C15: handsom easily handled; compare Dutch handzaam; see hand, -some1
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 handsome
adj.

c.1400, handsom "easy to handle, ready at hand," from hand (n.) + -some (1). Sense extended to "fair size, considerable" (1570s), then "having fine form, good-looking" (1580s). Meaning "generous" (in handsome reward, etc.) first recorded 1680s.

[Americans] use the word "handsome" much more extensively than we do: saying that Webster made a handsome speech in the Senate: that a lady talks handsomely, (eloquently:) that a book sells handsomely. A gentleman asked me on the Catskill Mountain, whether I thought the sun handsomer there than at New York. [Harriet Martineau, "Society in America," 1837]
Related: Handsomeness.

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

handsome

Related Terms

high* wide* and handsome

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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Nearby words for handsome

Word Value for handsome

14
15
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