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

Related Words for loveliness

attractiveness, comeliness, charm, beauty, fairness

Examples from the Web for loveliness

Contemporary Examples of loveliness

Historical Examples of loveliness

  • His keen eyes had perceived Mary Turner's graces of form, her loveliness of face.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • All loveliness, all grace, all majesty are there; but we cannot see, cannot conceive—come away!

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • Nothing could exceed in loveliness the situation of this lake.

  • At night, in his dreams, she returns, but never for a season may he look on her face of loveliness.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • But if the loveliness of her character should have purified his, and drawn and bound his soul to hers?

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for loveliness


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 loveliness

mid-14c., "lovableness," from lovely + -ness.



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