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having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind:
a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
excellent of its kind:
a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.
the concept of beauty (usually preceded by the).
(used with a plural verb) beautiful things or people collectively (usually preceded by the):
the good and the beautiful.
the ideal of beauty (usually preceded by the):
to strive to attain the beautiful.
wonderful; fantastic:
You got two front-row seats? Beautiful!
extraordinary; incredible: used ironically:
Your car broke down in the middle of the freeway? Beautiful!
possessing beauty; aesthetically pleasing
highly enjoyable; very pleasant: the party was beautiful

mid-15c., from beauty + -ful. The beautiful people “the fashionable set” first attested 1964 in (where else?) “Vogue” (it also was the title of a 1941 play by U.S. dramatist William Saroyan). House Beautiful is from “Pilgrim’s Progress,” where it is a proper name of a place. Related: Beautifully.


An exclamation of approval and gratification (mid-1800s+)


A good-looking woman •Used in direct address: Where’ve you been all my life, beautiful? (1920s+)


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  • Beautifying

    to make or become beautiful. Historical Examples Decoration is the science and art of beautifying objects and rendering them more pleasing to the eye. Scientific American Supplement, No. 598, June 18, 1887 Various She will do her own beautifying work, and everybody will know her sign. My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year John Henry […]

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