Origin of handsome
historical usage of handsome
In the English of the mid-15th century, when this word was first recorded (as hondsom ), it meant “easy to handle” (obsolete now); by the mid-16th century handsome developed the senses “convenient, handy, suitable” (also obsolete) and “courteous, gracious,” and then “generous, noble, magnanimous.” Here we see the development from a meaning closely related to hands to one that simply implies their existence (behind the generosity).
The sense “(of a person) having an attractive appearance” dates from the late 16th century; the sense of “fairly large, considerable (as of an amount of money)” also dates from the latter half of the 16th century.
OTHER WORDS FROM handsomehand·some·ish, adjectivehand·some·ness, nounsu·per·hand·some, adjective
Words nearby handsome
WHEN TO USE
What are other ways to say handsome?
Someone who is handsome is attractive with a well-proportioned appearance that is suggestive of health and strength. How does handsome compare with lovely, beautiful, and pretty? Learn more on Thesaurus.com.
How to use handsome in a sentence
He is, of course, incredibly handsome, and also Irish, traits that go a long way toward attaining “object of desire” status no matter what.The fabulous Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar recalls a bygone age of wackadoodle comedy|Alissa Wilkinson|February 12, 2021|Vox
Carrie claims to be a simple gal despite, at one point, owning $40,000 worth of shoes and thriving on drama, and that’s how she ended up with emotionally unavailable, debatably handsome, wealthy Big, who thinks he can cook.
We were kicking around ideas about what happens to the geeks when John Daley gets tall and incredibly handsome, and suddenly the popular kids want to hang out with him more.
The restaurant comes to the rescue with handsome wraps for a mere $12.
On that night, I met this kind, handsome, southern gentleman who would love me like I’ve never been loved.‘Power’ Star Naturi Naughton Got Engaged For Christmas|Charli Penn|January 1, 2021|Essence.com
I think everybody would like to be handsome and good at karate.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS|Marlow Stern|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The handsome Alexander Gilkes is one of the best-connected tastemakers on the art scene.William, Kate, and Jay Z’s Favorite Art Star: Alexander Gilkes' World of Rock Stars and Royalty|Tim Teeman|December 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Mark Reay is a handsome model-turned-photographer who is homeless, living in a secret ‘nest’ on top of an apartment building.
Creator Takeuchi has described the handsome, older (than Sailor Moon) boy as her favorite character in the series.‘Sailor Moon’ Is an Oasis for Superheroes Who Can Save the Universe in Heels|Rich Goldstein|November 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Why aren't you as handsome and/or Canadian as Justin Bieber?Justin Bieber Isn’t Even 21, Yet Makes More Money Than Meryl Streep|Amy Zimmerman|November 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In such conditions many kinds which do not flourish very freely in the open garden, grow into handsome specimens.
Of course, most specimens are probably taken up in the summer when the handsome foliage attracts the eye.
I heard her say to one of the servants once that my father had been lost on a yacht, and that he was oh, ever such a handsome man.Rosemary in Search of a Father|C. N. Williamson
This is certainly handsome, and I acknowledge the courtesy, though I shall not accept the invitation.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
At the age of forty-five Monte Irvin was not ill-looking, and, indeed, was sometimes spoken of as handsome.Dope|Sax Rohmer