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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English lovely, luvelich, lufli, from Old English luflīc ‎(amiable, loving, lovable), equivalent to love +‎ -ly.


lovely ‎(comparative lovelier, superlative loveliest)

  1. Beautiful; charming; very pleasing in form, looks, tone, or manner.
    It's a lovely day and the sun is shining.
    The music box plays a lovely melody.
    The castle garden enchants visitors with its lovely blooms.
    • Robert of Brunne
      Not one so fair of face, of speech so lovely.
  2. Very nice, wonderful.
    It would be lovely to have a little more money to spend.
  3. (obsolete) Inspiring love or friendship; amiable.
    • Shakespeare
      a most lovely gentlemanlike man
  4. (obsolete) Loving, filled with love.
    • Chaucer
      Many a lovely look on them he cast.
    • Shakespeare
      a lovely kiss
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
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lovely ‎(plural lovelies)

  1. An attractive, lovely person, especially a (professional) beauty.
    a calendar depicting young lovelies in bikinis
  2. Term of fond address.
    Goodbye, my lovely.
  3. A lovely object.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English lovely, loflik, from Old English loflīc ‎(fit to be praised, laudable), equivalent to lofe +‎ -ly. Cognate with Dutch loffelijk ‎(laudable, praiseworthy), German löblich ‎(commendable, laudable, praiseworthy), Swedish lovlig ‎(permissible). More at lofe, love.


lovely ‎(comparative lovelier or more lovely, superlative loveliest or most lovely)

  1. Worthy to be praised.