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  1. having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
  2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
  3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.
  1. the concept of beauty (usually preceded by the).
  2. (used with a plural verb) beautiful things or people collectively (usually preceded by the): the good and the beautiful.
  3. the ideal of beauty (usually preceded by the): to strive to attain the beautiful.
  1. wonderful; fantastic: You got two front-row seats? Beautiful!
  2. extraordinary; incredible: used ironically: Your car broke down in the middle of the freeway? Beautiful!

Origin of beautiful

First recorded in 1520–30; beauty + -ful
Related formsbeau·ti·ful·ly, adverbbeau·ti·ful·ness, nounun·beau·ti·ful, adjectiveun·beau·ti·ful·ly, adverb

Synonyms for beautiful

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Synonym study

1. Beautiful, handsome, lovely, pretty refer to a pleasing appearance. A person or thing that is beautiful has perfection of form, color, etc., or noble and spiritual qualities: a beautiful landscape, a beautiful woman. Handsome often implies stateliness or pleasing proportion and symmetry: a handsome man. That which is lovely is beautiful but in a warm and endearing way: a lovely smile. Pretty implies a moderate but noticeable beauty, especially in that which is small or of minor importance: a pretty child.

Antonyms for beautiful

1. ugly. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for beautiful

Contemporary Examples of beautiful

Historical Examples of beautiful

  • What is the use of a beautiful face, if one must be shut up in her own apartment for ever?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It was a beautiful cameo of Alcibiades, with the quiver and bow of Eros.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It was motionless as marble; but never had she seen anything so beautiful, and so unearthly.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Aspasia will tell you I have been a beautiful but idle dreamer all my life.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • That's where our big West is, over that way—isn't it fresh and green and beautiful?

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for beautiful


  1. possessing beauty; aesthetically pleasing
  2. highly enjoyable; very pleasantthe party was beautiful
Derived Formsbeautifulness, 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 beautiful

mid-15c., from beauty + -ful. The beautiful people "the fashionable set" first attested 1964 in (where else?) "Vogue" (it also was the title of a 1941 play by U.S. dramatist William Saroyan). House Beautiful is from "Pilgrim's Progress," where it is a proper name of a place. Related: Beautifully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper