adjective, love·li·er, love·li·est.

noun, plural love·lies.

Informal. a beautiful woman, especially a show girl.
any person or thing that is pleasing, highly satisfying, or the like: Every car in the new line is a lovely.


Nonstandard. very well; splendidly.

Origin of lovely

before 900; Middle English luvelich, Old English luflīc amiable. See love, -ly
Related formslove·li·ly, adverblove·li·ness, noun

Synonym study

1, 2. See beautiful. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lovelily

Historical Examples of lovelily

  • I didn't feel at all cold on the lion's back, and in the garden it was lovelily warm.

    The Carved Lions

    Mrs. Molesworth

  • Lucretia had none of the sweet feminine habits which betray so lovelily the whereabout of women.

    Lucretia, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for lovelily


adjective -lier or -liest

very attractive or beautiful
highly pleasing or enjoyablea lovely time
loving and attentive
inspiring love; lovable

noun plural -lies

slang a lovely woman
Derived Formsloveliness, noun
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 lovelily

early 14c., from lovely + -ly (2).



Old English luflic "affectionate, loveable;" see love (n.) + -ly (1). The modern sense of "lovable on account of beauty, attractive" is from c.1300, "applied indiscriminately to all pleasing material objects, from a piece of plum-cake to a Gothic cathedral" [George P. Marsh, "The Origin and History of the English Language," 1862].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper