adjective, hand·som·er, hand·som·est.
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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
Example sentences from the Web for handsome
Neither did Cary Grant, who was the greatest male movie star of all-time, and certainly one of the handsomest.
It could be that the handsomest nominees almost always deliver inferior performances.
I saw her seven years ago at Covent Garden, and she was the handsomest thing I ever looked at.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
Some of the finest and handsomest articles of the bedstead in the city, are at the establishment of Mr. Boyd.
It is not one of the largest and handsomest, although it is one of the sacred towns, and is visited by many pilgrims.
The handsomest parts of the imperial palace are the universally admired and magnificent audience saloon and the mosque.
The modern part of Edinburgh was begun at the close of last century, and the handsomest streets are of a quite recent date.Friend Mac Donald|Max O'Rell