adjective, hand·som·er, hand·som·est.
Origin of handsome
Related formshand·some·ish, adjectivehand·some·ness, nounsu·per·hand·some, adjective
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.
Examples from the Web for handsomest
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.
The elder girl went off, still grumbling; with her she took the handsomest silver bottle she could find in the house.Tales of Passed Times|Charles Perrault
Abdullah was considered to be the handsomest youth in Makkah.The Life of Mohammad|Etienne Dinet
She was heard to say, "That is the handsomest man I have ever seen in my life."A California Girl|Edward Eldridge
It is the handsomest street in Rome, and is lined by several fine blocks of buildings.Rambles in Rome|S. Russell Forbes
To Sophy, the newcomer was simply the handsomest young man she had ever seen in her life.The Hillman|E. Phillips Oppenheim