beauty

[ byoo-tee ]
/ ˈbyu ti /

noun, plural beau·ties.

Origin of beauty

1225–75; Middle English be(a)ute < Old French beaute; replacing Middle English bealte < Old French beltet < Vulgar Latin *bellitāt- (stem of *bellitās), equivalent to Latin bell(us) fine + -itāt- -ity
Related formsnon·beau·ty, noun, plural non·beau·ties.

Word story

English beauty comes from Middle English beaute, beaulte, from Anglo-French bealte, ultimately from an unrecorded Vulgar Latin noun bellitās (stem bellitāt-), a derivative of the Latin adjective bellus “pretty, handsome, charming, fine, pleasant, nice,” which is related to Latin bonus “good, virtuous.”
The progression of the various senses is: “(especially of a woman) physical attractiveness, grace, charm” (early 14th century); “(general) moral or intellectual excellence” (late 14th century); “(of a physical object) pleasing to the sight” and “a pleasing or beautiful quality” (both from the 15th century).
The colloquial, sometimes ironic sense, especially in the shortened noun beaut, “someone or something extraordinary, remarkable, or amazing,” was originally an Americanism dating to the first half of the 19th century.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beauty

British Dictionary definitions for beauty

beauty

/ (ˈbjuːtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and please the mind
a very attractive and well-formed girl or woman
informal an outstanding example of its kindthe horse is a beauty
informal an advantageous featureone beauty of the job is the short hours
informal, old-fashioned a light-hearted and affectionate term of addresshello, my old beauty!

interjection

(NZ ˈbjuːdɪ) an expression of approval or agreementAlso (Scot, Austral, and NZ): you beauty

Word Origin for beauty

C13: from Old French biauté, from biau beautiful; see beau
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 beauty

beauty


n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with beauty

beauty


In addition to the idiom beginning with beauty

  • beauty is only skin deep

also see:

  • that's the beauty of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.