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90s Slang You Should Know


[han-suh m] /ˈhæn səm/
adjective, handsomer, handsomest.
having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking:
a handsome man; a handsome woman.
having pleasing proportions, relationships, or arrangements, as of shapes, forms, or colors; attractive:
a handsome house; a handsome interior.
exhibiting skill, taste, and refinement; well-made:
a handsome story; handsome furniture.
considerable, ample, or liberal in amount:
a handsome fortune.
gracious; generous; flattering:
a handsome compliment; a handsome recommendation.
adroit and appealing; graceful:
a handsome speech.
Origin of handsome
1350-1400; Middle English handsom easy to handle (see hand, -some1); cognate with Dutch handzaam tractable
Related forms
handsomeish, adjective
handsomeness, noun
superhandsome, adjective
4. large, generous, munificent.
1. ugly. 4, 5. small, miserly.
Synonym Study
1. See beautiful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for handsomer
Historical Examples
  • There seemed to be nothing changed about him except that he was a handsomer man than she had supposed him.

    The Gay Rebellion Robert W. Chambers
  • "I don't think any one can be handsomer than madame," says Jane.

    Floyd Grandon's Honor Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • The handsomer they were, the more dangerously charming, the better Miss Hutchinson would be pleased.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • I loved him because he was handsomer, cleverer and smarter than any other boy.

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • Nothing could be handsomer than this saloon, with its fittings and decorations.

    A Day's Tour Percy Fitzgerald
  • Some may think, in that respect, the English or the Americans handsomer.

    Appearances Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
  • The rooms were handsome,––handsomer and larger, even, than the rooms she had dreamed of; but perhaps none the better for that.

  • She wished that her husband was handsomer, more successful, more dictatorial.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • The child on becoming man was handsomer and handsomer, "and so lively and spirited that it seemed to all a marvel."

    A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
  • Allan was handsomer unquestionably, though that had hardly been necessary.

    The Rose Garden Husband Margaret Widdemer
British Dictionary definitions for handsomer


(of a man) good-looking, esp in having regular, pleasing, and well-defined features
(of a woman) fine-looking in a dignified way
well-proportioned, stately, or comely: a handsome room
liberal or ample: a handsome allowance
gracious or generous: a handsome action
(Southwest English) pleasant: handsome weather
(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 handsomer



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 handsomer


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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