adjective, come·li·er, come·li·est.

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 formscome·li·ly, adverbcome·li·ness, nounun·come·ly, adjective

Synonyms for comely

Antonyms for comely Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for comeliness

Historical Examples of comeliness

  • A standard which covers just the very rudiments of proportion and comeliness.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • And I saw under the worth and the comeliness of the man the humble reality of things.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • I am jealous of their honour and concerned for the dignity and comeliness of their service.

    Some Reminiscences

    Joseph Conrad

  • Is there any comeliness in a witch, that a man should desire her?

    The Arrow-Maker

    Mary Austin

  • It was old-fashioned 44 now, though once of proper cut and comeliness.

British Dictionary definitions for comeliness


adjective -lier or -liest

good-looking; attractive
Derived Formscomeliness, noun

Word Origin for comely

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

Word Origin and History for comeliness



"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