• synonyms


See more synonyms for comely on Thesaurus.com
adjective, come·li·er, come·li·est.
  1. pleasing in appearance; attractive; fair: a comely face.
  2. proper; seemly; becoming: comely behavior.
Show More

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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com


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

Examples from the Web for comely

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her comely face was slightly flushed, doubtless with the exercise of walking.

  • Of all the sons of the plain, the bravest, and the most comely, was Edwin.


    William Godwin

  • His face was comely as a damsel's, his eyes blue and his hair golden.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Assuredly he will die of it—and he so young, Peppino, and so comely to behold!


    Raphael Sabatini

  • No one could get on terms with those fresh and comely young monsters!


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for comely


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. good-looking; attractive
Show More
Derived Formscomeliness, 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

Word Origin and History for comely


"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).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper