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lovely

[luhv-lee]
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adjective, love·li·er, love·li·est.
  1. charmingly or exquisitely beautiful: a lovely flower.
  2. having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye, as a person or a face.
  3. delightful; highly pleasing: to have a lovely time.
  4. of a great moral or spiritual beauty: a lovely character.
noun, plural love·lies.
  1. Informal. a beautiful woman, especially a show girl.
  2. any person or thing that is pleasing, highly satisfying, or the like: Every car in the new line is a lovely.
adverb
  1. Nonstandard. very well; splendidly.

Origin of lovely

before 900; Middle English luvelich, Old English luflīc amiable. See love, -ly
Related formslove·li·ly, adverblove·li·ness, noun

Synonym study

1, 2. See beautiful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lovelier

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I do think that a white crown makes her lovelier than she was before.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • And no day specially made for so happy an event could have been lovelier.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • She vanished, a little fluttered, lovelier than ever in her mixture of confusion and timidity.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini

  • There isn't a lovelier sight on God's earth than a well-dressed Englishwoman.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • Could not her old favourite Botticelli have supplied him with a lovelier type?

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair


British Dictionary definitions for lovelier

lovely

adjective -lier or -liest
  1. very attractive or beautiful
  2. highly pleasing or enjoyablea lovely time
  3. loving and attentive
  4. inspiring love; lovable
noun plural -lies
  1. slang a lovely woman
Derived Formsloveliness, noun
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 lovelier

lovely

adj.

Old English luflic "affectionate, loveable;" see love (n.) + -ly (1). The modern sense of "lovable on account of beauty, attractive" is from c.1300, "applied indiscriminately to all pleasing material objects, from a piece of plum-cake to a Gothic cathedral" [George P. Marsh, "The Origin and History of the English Language," 1862].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper