• IPA: /ˈhæn.səm/ or occasionally IPAchar /ˈhænd.səm/~IPAchar /ˈhænt.səm/


  1. (of people, things, etc) Having a good appearance; good-looking.
    a handsome garment, house, tree, or horse
    • 1916, On H.R. 4683, site for post-office building at Chicago, Ill, page 117:
      On the opposite side of the street, on the corner, is the city hall, a very handsome building of brick and stone.
    • 2006, Richard Leviton, The Gods in Their Cities, iUniverse (ISBN 9780595827121), page 44:
      Often, human mortals describe their visits to the Tuatha's [places] in similar terms: they were great bright places, occupied by exceedingly handsome men and women, that sported wonderful crystal chairs, inexhaustible supplies of mead or ale ...
    1. (of a man or boy) Visually attractive; pleasant looking, good-looking. attention en
      a handsome man
    2. (of a woman) Striking, impressive and elegantly proportioned, though not typically beautiful.
      • 1662, Samuel Pepys
        I saw, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure.
  2. Good, appealing, appropriate.
    1. (of weather) Fine, clear and bright.
      • 1808, John Pinkerton, A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World, page 513:
        Sunday, the sixth, we heaved up our sheet-anchor again, the day beginning with little wind, and continued handsome weather till eight at night, when the wind came to S. S. W. and it fell a snowing.
      • 1911, Farm Chemicals, page 60:
        The story goes that James Whitcomb Riley, the poet, on a beautiful spring day, in making his way from his home to his office, was accosted by numerous friends on the way who were exclaiming most extravagantly on the beauty of the day. It was "Good morning, Mr. Riley, a fine day;" "Good morning, Mr. Riley, [...] a handsome day;" [...].
    2. Suitable or fit in action; marked with propriety and ease; appropriate.
      a handsome style, etc.
      • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, Volume I, Chapter 2
        For a few days, every morning visit in Highbury included some mention of the handsome letter Mrs. Weston had received. “I suppose you have heard of the handsome letter Mr. Frank Churchill has written to Mrs. Weston? I understand it was a very handsome letter, indeed. Mr. Woodhouse told me of it. Mr. Woodhouse saw the letter, and he says he never saw such a handsome letter in his life.”
  3. Generous or noble in character.
    Handsome is as handsome does.
  4. Ample; moderately large.
    a handsome salary
  5. (obsolete, said of things and people) Dexterous; skillful.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

handsome (handsomes, present participle handsoming; past and past participle handsomed)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To render handsome.

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