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From Middle English comly, cumly, cumlich, from Old English cymlīċ, cȳmlīċ (compare Old English cȳme (“fine, exquisite”), from Proto-Germanic *kūmiz (“delicate”)), from Proto-Germanic *kūmalīkaz (“pitiful, dear”). Cognate with Middle Dutch komlick, komelick, Middle High German komelīh, gomelīh.
comely (comparative comelier or more comely, superlative comeliest or most comely)
- (dated, of a person) Pleasing or attractive to the eye.
- a comely woman
- Synonym: pulchritudinous
- Antonym: (of a person) homely
- 1544 (date written; published 1571), Roger Ascham, Toxophilus, the Schole, or Partitions, of Shooting. […], London: […] Thomas Marshe, →OCLC; republished in The English Works of Roger Ascham, […], London: […] R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley, […], and J[ohn] Newbery, […], 1761, →OCLC, book 2, page 162:
- In ſhootinge at the prickes, haſtye and quicke drawinge is neyther ſure nor yet comely.
- 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: […] [Comus], London: […] [Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, […], published 1637, →OCLC; reprinted as Comus: […] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, →OCLC:
- Not once perceive their foul disfigurement / But boast themselves more comely than before.
- 1662 November 19 (Gregorian calendar); first published 1692, Robert South, “A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral-Church of St. Paul’s, November the 9th, 1662 [Julian calendar]”, in Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, 6th edition, volume I, London: […] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, […], published 1727, →OCLC, page 55:
- He that is comely, when old and decrepit, ſurely was very beautiful, when he was young.
- 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], and John Barber […], →OCLC, book II (Pleasure), page 448:
- Then had I come, preventing Sheba's Queen, / To ſee the comelieſt of the Sons of Men; […]
- 1918 September–November, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Land That Time Forgot”, in The Blue Book Magazine, Chicago, Ill.: Story-press Corp., →OCLC; republished as chapter IX, in Hugo Gernsback, editor, Amazing Stories, volume 1, New York, N.Y.: Experimenter Publishing, 1927, →OCLC:
- The chief's name was To-jo, and his household consisted of seven females and himself. These women were much more comely, or rather less hideous than those of Tsa's people; one of them, even, was almost pretty, being less hairy and having a rather nice skin, with high coloring.
- (archaic) Suitable or becoming; proper; agreeable.
- c. 1608–1609 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene vi]:
- This is a happier and more comely time / Than when these fellows ran about the streets, / Crying confusion.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Psalms 147:1:
- It is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
pleasing or attractive to the eye
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms inherited from Old English
- English terms derived from Old English
- English terms inherited from Proto-Germanic
- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/ʌmli/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English adjectives
- English dated terms
- English terms with usage examples
- English terms with quotations
- English terms with archaic senses