c. 1200, "rose-colored, having a pink hue," of a color, from rose (n.1) + -y (2), probably modeled on Old French rose. By 1580s as "resembling a rose" in some sense, especially "fragrant." From 1590s of healthy complexions. The meaning "promising" is by 1887. Similar formation in Middle Dutch rosich, Dutch rozig, German rosig. The Homeric rosy-fingered was in "Faerie Queene" (1590). For figurative senses, see rose-colored.