handsome

[ 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.

Origin of handsome

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

SYNONYMS FOR handsome

ANTONYMS FOR handsome

1 ugly.
4, 5 small, miserly.

OTHER WORDS FROM handsome

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

synonym study for handsome

1. See beautiful.

historical usage of handsome

Handsome has not gone through as many changes in meaning as nice has, but it has gone through enough. Handsome has only a few related words outside English. In West Frisian, the language most closely related to English and spoken in the northern Netherlands, hānsum means “easy to manage or control, convenient,” as do Dutch handzaam and German handsam.
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for handsomest

British Dictionary definitions for handsomest

handsome
/ (ˈhændsəm) /

adjective

noun

Southwest English a term of endearment for a beloved person, esp in my handsome

Derived forms of handsome

handsomely, 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