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handsome (adj.)

15世纪 , handsom "易于处理,随手可得",出自 hand (n.)+ -some (1)。意义扩展为"合适、适当"(1550年代,隐含在 handsomely ),然后是"有精美的形体,好看,顺眼"(1580年代)。意为"慷慨,在自由的规模上"(奖励等),最早记录于1680年代。

[Americans] use the word "handsome" much more extensively than we do: saying that Webster made a handsome speech in the Senate: that a lady talks handsomely, (eloquently:) that a book sells handsomely. A gentleman asked me on the Catskill Mountain, whether I thought the sun handsomer there than at New York. [Harriet Martineau, "Society in America," 1837]

巴特利特(1848)引用韦伯斯特(词典编纂者)对这一美国通俗用法的 handsome :"一般来说,当应用于事物时,它导入的是形式对眼睛,或对品味的同意;而当应用于方式时,它传达的是适合或恰当与优雅的概念。"相关链接: Handsomeness 。感官的发展,可参考 pretty (副词)、 fair (副词)。荷兰语中类似的形成 handzaam "tractable,serviceable"。

Handsome is founded upon the notion of proportion, symmetry, as the result of cultivation or work; a handsome figure is strictly one that has been developed by attention to physical laws into the right proportions. It is less spiritual than beautiful ; a handsome face is not necessarily a beautiful face. [Century Dictionary, 1895]

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Definitions of handsome from WordNet

handsome (adj.)
pleasing in appearance especially by reason of conformity to ideals of form and proportion; "very pretty but not so extraordinarily handsome"- Thackeray; "our southern women are well-favored"- Lillian Hellman;
Synonyms: fine-looking / good-looking / better-looking / well-favored / well-favoured
handsome (adj.)
given or giving freely;
a handsome allowance
Synonyms: big / bighearted / bounteous / bountiful / freehanded / giving / liberal / openhanded
From wordnet.princeton.edu