homely

homeliness, n.
/hohm"lee/, adj., homelier, homeliest.
1. lacking in physical attractiveness; not beautiful; unattractive: a homely child.
2. not having elegance, refinement, or cultivation.
3. proper or suited to the home or to ordinary domestic life; plain; unpretentious: homely food.
4. commonly seen or known.
[1300-50; ME homly. See HOME, -LY]
Syn. 1, 2, 3. SIMPLE, HOMELY (HOMEY), HOMELIKE, PLAIN imply absence of adornment or embellishment. Something that is SIMPLE is not elaborate or complex: a simple kind of dress. In the United States, HOMELY usually suggests absence of natural beauty: an unattractive person almost homely enough to be called ugly. In England, the word suggests a wholesome simplicity without artificial refinement or elegance; since it characterizes that which is comfortable and attractive, it is equivalent to HOMEY: a homely cottage.
HOMELIKE also emphasizes comfort and attractiveness, but it conveys less strongly than does HOMEY a sense of intimate security: a homelike interior, arrangement, atmosphere. Something that is PLAIN has little or no adornment: expensive but plain clothing.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Homely — Home ly, a. [Compar. {Homelier}; superl. {Homeliest}.] [From {Home}, n.] 1. Belonging to, or having the characteristics of, home; domestic; familiar; intimate. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] With all these men I was right homely, and communed with,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • homely — The connotations of this word as applied to a person (usually a woman) are favourable in BrE, in which it means ‘simple, unpretentious’ and disparaging in AmE, in which it means ‘unattractive, dowdy’: • Homely and welcoming, owners Doug and Karen …   Modern English usage

  • Homely — Home ly, adv. Plainly; rudely; coarsely; as, homely dressed. [R.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • homely — [adj1] ordinary, comfortable comfy, cozy, domestic, everyday, familiar, friendly, homelike, homespun, homey, inelaborate, informal, modest, natural, plain, simple, snug, unaffected, unassuming, unostentatious, unpretentious, welcoming; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • homely — [hōm′lē] adj. homelier, homeliest [ME homli] 1. Obs. a) of the home; domestic b) HOMELIKE 2. a) characteristic of or suitable for home or home life; simple and unpretentious or plain and everyday …   English World dictionary

  • homely — index familiar (customary), inelegant, nondescript, ordinary Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • homely — (adj.) late 14c., of or belonging to home or household, domestic, from M.E. hom home (see HOME (Cf. home) (n.)) + LY (Cf. ly) (2). Sense of plain, unadorned, simple is late 14c., and extension to having a plain appearance, ugly, crude took place… …   Etymology dictionary

  • homely — *plain, simple, unpretentious Analogous words: *familiar, intimate, close: *usual, wonted, customary, habitual: ill favored, *ugly Antonyms: comely, bonny …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • homely — ► ADJECTIVE (homelier, homeliest) 1) Brit. simple but comfortable. 2) unsophisticated. 3) N. Amer. unattractive. DERIVATIVES homeliness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • homely — [[t]ho͟ʊmli[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED (approval) If you describe a room or house as homely, you like it because you feel comfortable and relaxed there. [mainly BRIT] I wanted a homely room but I wanted it to look smart, too... We try and provide a very… …   English dictionary

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