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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for uncomely
Historical Examples
  • The works of Dædalus are described by Pausanias as rude and uncomely in aspect.

  • Her words were full of pathos; her uncomely face was not beautified by the sorrow in it.

    The Soul of a People H. Fielding
  • On the west are ranges of distant hills, low but not uncomely.

    Angling Sketches Andrew Lang
  • She was uncomely to any eyes but mine, and I would not subject her to unkind criticism.

    When Grandmamma Was New Marion Harland
  • Thus Justin Martyr speaks of his appearance as ignoble and uncomely.

    The Catacombs of Rome William Henry Withrow
  • Before, indeed, I deemed him uncomely, but now he seems like to the gods.

    Stories of the Old world Alfred John Church
  • Had it not been for the maid herself I know not what uncomely thing I might have done.

  • The door was then opened, and Marion swirled in with an uncomely bravery.

    Ringan Gilhaize John Galt
  • In a well-cut, well-made gown hers would have been no uncomely presence.

    Shirley Charlotte Bront
  • I am not wont to shun the truth: But yet I think the reason you could give Were too uncomely.

    One-Act Plays Various
British Dictionary definitions for uncomely


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 uncomely



"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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