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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English comly, cumly, cumlich, from Old English cymlīc, 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.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkʌmli/
  • (file)


comely (comparative comelier or more comely, superlative comeliest or most comely)

  1. (dated, of a person) Pleasing or attractive to the eye.
    • South
      He that is comely when old and decrepit, surely was very beautiful when he was young.
    • Milton
      Not once perceive their foul disfigurement / But boast themselves more comely than before.
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter IX, in The Land That Time Forgot:
      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.
    • Jan 23, 2013, Ian Pope, Modern Longbow Design & Toxophilus Longbow Design Refined by Ascham: A Voice from the Past
      It should be whipped at the ends, comely in appearance.
  2. (archaic) Suitable or becoming; proper; agreeable.
    • Shakespeare
      This is a happier and more comely time / Than when these fellows ran about the streets, / Crying confusion.
    • Bible, Psalms cxlvii. 1
      It is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.



Derived terms[edit]