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comely

[kuhm-lee]
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adjective, come·li·er, come·li·est.
  1. pleasing in appearance; attractive; fair: a comely face.
  2. proper; seemly; becoming: comely behavior.
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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

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1. pretty, handsome, beautiful, good-looking, personable.

Antonyms

1. unattractive.
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.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

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

    Love-at-Arms

    Raphael Sabatini

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

    Love-at-Arms

    Raphael Sabatini

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

    Chance

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for comely

comely

adjective -lier or -liest
  1. good-looking; attractive
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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

adj.

"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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper