Dictionary » H » Handsome

Handsome

Handsome

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. (Spenser)

2. Agreeable to the eye or to correct taste; having a pleasing appearance or expression; attractive; having symmetry and dignity; comely; expressing more than pretty, and less than beautiful; as, a handsome man or woman; a handsome garment, house, tree, horse.

3. Suitable or fit in action; marked with propriety and ease; graceful; becoming; appropriate; as, a handsome style, etc. Easiness and handsome address in writing. (Felton)

4. Evincing a becoming generosity or nobleness of character; liberal; generous. Handsome is as handsome does. (old Proverb)

5. Ample; moderately large. He . . . Accumulated a handsome sum of money. (v. Knox) to do the handsome thing, to act liberally.

Synonym: handsome, Pretty.

Pretty applies to things comparatively small, which please by their delicacy and grace; as, a pretty girl, a pretty flower, a pretty cottage. Handsome rises higher, and is applied to objects on a larger scale. We admire what is handsome, we are pleased with what is pretty. The word is connected with hand, and has thus acquired the idea of training, cultivation, symmetry, and proportion, which enters so largely into our conception of handsome. Thus Drayton makes mention of handsome players, meaning those, who are well trained; and hence we speak of a man's having a handsome address, which is the result of culture; of a handsome horse or dog, which implies well proportioned limbs; of a handsome face, to which, among other qualities, the idea of proportion and a graceful contour are essential; of a handsome tree, and a handsome house or villa. So, from this idea of proportion or suitableness, we have, with a different application, the expressions, a handsome fortune, a handsome offer.

Origin: hand _ -some. It at first meant, dexterous; cf. D. Handzaam dexterous, ready, limber, manageable, and E. Handy.


Please contribute to this project, if you have more information about this term feel free to edit this page



Results from our forum


Re: Peacock

... and interesting parallels in human populations, where a measure of 'attractiveness' is not always based purely on phenotypic expression (the most handsome males don't always make the best choice of long term partner - and it's likely that a whole range of different metrics are subconsciously employed ...

See entire post
by animartco
Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Peacock
Replies: 3
Views: 1720

Peacock

... and interesting parallels in human populations, where a measure of 'attractiveness' is not always based purely on phenotypic expression (the most handsome males don't always make the best choice of long term partner - and it's likely that a whole range of different metrics are subconsciously employed ...

See entire post
by jebus197
Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Peacock
Replies: 3
Views: 1720

Re:

... that can proudly graze the plains and avoid all predators and then he makes bad-legged, corss-eyed ones that are there just to be eaten by fit and handsome predators. And again, there are predators that have malformations and mutations and cannot hunt properly. They die of hunger and why? Because ...

See entire post
by biohazard
Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:40 pm
 
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Alas the creationists are right though...
Replies: 15
Views: 22899

Why are flowers "beautiful"?

... I think my feminine modesty should kick in at this point! Suffice it to say that whereas artists are more than happy to depict beautiful women and handsome men, they don't tend to focus in on the 'bits'.... :) (Right, definitely time for me to bow out of this one!)

See entire post
by Julie5
Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Why are flowers "beautiful"?
Replies: 112
Views: 47263

Re:

If you kept breeding your humans (e.g. tall handsome offspring would have children with other tall handsome people and short ugly ones would mate with short ugly ones), you'd eventually end up having a tall handsome breed and an ugly short breed ...

See entire post
by f24u7
Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Genetics
Topic: Question about sexes and gene
Replies: 16
Views: 10742
View all matching forum results

This page was last modified 21:16, 3 October 2005. This page has been accessed 4,006 times. 
What links here | Related changes | Permanent link