Etymology
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handsome (adj.)

c. 1400, handsom "easy to handle, ready at hand," from hand (n.) + -some (1). Sense extended to "fit, appropriate" (1550s, implied in handsomely), then "having fine form, good-looking, agreeable to the eye" (1580s). Meaning "generous, on a liberal scale" (of rewards, etc.) first recorded 1680s.

[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]

Bartlett (1848) quotes Webster (the lexicographer) on this colloquial American use of handsome: "In general, when applied to things, it imports that the form is agreeable to the eye, or to the taste; and when applied to manner, it conveys the idea of suitableness or propriety with grace." Related: Handsomeness. For sense development, compare pretty (adj.), fair (adj.). Similar formation in Dutch 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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handsomely (adv.)
1540s, "conveniently," from handsome + -ly (2). Meaning "attractively" is from 1610s; "liberally, generously" from 1735.
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handmaid (n.)
"female servant," c. 1300, from hand (n.) in the sense in close at hand + maid. Compare Old English handþegn "personal attendant" and the original sense of handsome.
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braw (adj.)

"handsome, worthy, excellent," a Scottish English formation and pronunciation of brave.

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Kenneth 
masc. proper name, Scottish, from Gaelic Caioneach, literally "handsome, comely."
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beau (n.)
"attendant suitor of a lady," 1720, from French beau "the beautiful," noun use of an adjective, from Old French bel "beautiful, handsome, fair, genuine, real" (11c.), from Latin bellus "handsome, fine, pretty, agreeable" (see belle). Meaning "man who attends excessively to dress, etiquette, etc.; a fop; a dandy" is from 1680s, short for French beau garçon "pretty boy" (1660s). Plural is beaus or beaux. Beau Brummel, arbiter of men's fashion in Regency London, was George B. Brummel, gentleman (1778-1840).
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Formosa 
old name of Taiwan, given by the Portuguese, from Portuguese Formosa insula "beautiful island." The adjective is from the fem. of Latin formosus "beautiful, handsome, finely formed," from forma "form, shape" (see form (n.)). Related: Formosan (1640s).
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embellish (v.)
mid-14c., "to render beautiful," from Old French embelliss-, stem of embellir "make beautiful, ornament," from assimilated form of en- (see en- (1)) + bel "beautiful," from Latin bellus "handsome, pretty, fine" (see belle). Meaning "dress up (a narration) with fictitious matter" is from mid-15c. Related: Embellished; embellishing.
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tall (adj.)
"high in stature," 1520s, probably from Middle English tal "handsome, good-looking; valiant; lively in speech; large, big; humble, meek," from Old English getæl "prompt, active," from Germanic *(ge)-tala- (source also of Old High German gi-zal "quick," Gothic un-tals "indocile"). Main modern sense "being of more than average height (and slim in proportion to height)" probably evolved out of earlier meanings "brave, valiant, seemly, proper" (c. 1400), "attractive, handsome" (late 14c.).

Sense evolution is "remarkable" [OED], but adjectives applied to persons can wander far in meaning (such as pretty, buxom, German klein "small, little," which in Middle High German meant the same as its English cognate clean (adj.)). Meaning "having a (defined) height," whether lofty or not is from 1580s. Meaning "exaggerated" (as in tall tale) is American English colloquial attested by 1846. Phrase tall, dark, and handsome is recorded from 1906. Related: Tallness.
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rhododendron (n.)

shrub much cultivated for its profuse, handsome flowers, also noted for its leathery evergreen leaves, 1660s, from French rhododendron and directly from Latin rhododendron, from Greek rhododendron, etymologically "rose-tree," from rhodon "rose" (see rose (n.1)) + dendron "tree" (from PIE *der-drew-, from root *deru- "to be firm, solid, steadfast," also forming words for "wood, tree").

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