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(1)   Pleasing in appearance especially by reason of conformity to ideals of form and proportion
"A fine-looking woman"
"A good-looking man"
"Better-looking than her sister"
"Very pretty but not so extraordinarily handsome"- Thackeray
"Our southern women are well-favored"- Lillian Hellman
(2)   Given or giving freely
"Was a big tipper"
"The bounteous goodness of God"
"Bountiful compliments"
"A freehanded host"
"A handsome allowance"
"Saturday's child is loving and giving"
"A liberal backer of the arts"
"A munificent gift"
"Her fond and openhanded grandfather"


From hand + -some. It at first meant dexterous; compare Dutch handzaam, dexterous, ready, limber, manageable, and English handy.


  1. Dexterous; skillful; handy; ready; convenient; -- applied to things as persons.
    • That they [engines of war] be both easy to be carried and handsome to be moved and turned about. - Robynson (Utopia)
    • For a thief it is so handsome as it may seem it was first invented for him. - Edmund Spenser
  2. Agreeable to the eye or to correct taste; having a pleasing appearance or expression; attractive; having symmetry and dignity; comely.
    Examples: a handsome man; a handsome garment, house, tree, horse.
  3. Striking, impressive and elegantly proportioned, though not typically beautiful.
  4. Suitable or fit in action; marked with propriety and ease; graceful; becoming; appropriate.
    Examples: a handsome style, etc.
    • Easiness and handsome address in writing. - Felton
  5. Evincing a becoming generosity or nobleness of character; liberal; generous.
    • Handsome is as handsome does. - Old Proverb
  6. Ample; moderately large.
    • He . . . accumulated a handsome sum of money. - V. Knox