[ han-suhm ]
/ ˈhæn səm /

adjective, hand·som·er, hand·som·est.

having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking: a handsome man; a handsome woman.
having pleasing proportions, relationships, or arrangements, as of shapes, forms, or colors; attractive: a handsome house; a handsome interior.
exhibiting skill, taste, and refinement; well-made: a handsome story; handsome furniture.
considerable, ample, or liberal in amount: a handsome fortune.
gracious; generous; flattering: a handsome compliment; a handsome recommendation.
adroit and appealing; graceful: a handsome speech.

Nearby words

  1. handsfree,
  2. handshake,
  3. handshaker,
  4. handshaking,
  5. handshape,
  6. handsome is as handsome does,
  7. handsomely,
  8. handspike,
  9. handspring,
  10. handstand

Origin of handsome

1350–1400; Middle English handsom easy to handle (see hand, -some1); cognate with Dutch handzaam tractable

Related formshand·some·ish, adjectivehand·some·ness, nounsu·per·hand·some, adjective

Synonym study

1. See beautiful.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for handsome

British Dictionary definitions for handsome


/ (ˈhændsəm) /



Southwest English a term of endearment for a beloved person, esp in my handsome
Derived Formshandsomely, adverbhandsomeness, noun

Word Origin for handsome

C15: handsom easily handled; compare Dutch handzaam; see hand, -some 1

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 handsome


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper