Breaking Down Beautiful: Synonyms and Beyond

By , Staff Writer
synonyms for beautiful
    synonyms for beautiful
    Landscape: Ciprian Miresan / EyeEm / Getty , woman: Kyle Monk / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license

Are you looking for words and phrases that are similar to the term beautiful? Just as there are many types of beauty, there are numerous ways to convey one's opinion that someone or something is beautiful. From beautiful synonyms and phrases to idioms and collocations, you'll be amazed at all of the alternatives to the word beautiful.

What Does Beautiful Mean?

The word beautiful is an adjective that can be used to express that a person or object has qualities associated with beauty. Something that has beauty is beyond just being attractive. Something that is beautiful is excellent or outstanding in appearance. Beautiful is beyond good or okay. It refers to a high level of sensory or aesthetic appeal. Beautiful is translated into English via Google more often than any other word.


Common Synonyms for Beautiful

There are quite a few synonyms for the word beautiful, some of which are fairly common. These words can be substituted for beauty in everyday conversation or writing, though they don't all convey the same connotative meaning. Consider the nuance of each word when making your choice.

  • alluring - sensual attraction; implies a physical appeal
  • beguiling - bewitching beauty; being attractive in a sensual way
  • breathtaking - a high degree of beauty; attractiveness so extreme that one who sees it might catch their breath in awe
  • captivating - beauty that is so enchanting as to cause the person to be the center of attention
  • elegant - classic, understated beauty
  • enthralling - so beautiful as to be mesmerizing; loveliness from which you can't look away
  • exquisite - flawless beauty that reaches the pinnacle of perfection
  • gorgeous - bold, unquestionable good looks
  • lovely - elegant and graceful while also attractive in appearance
  • magnificent - over-the-top, grand beauty
  • radiant - glowing with beauty
  • ravishing - exceptionally beautiful
  • striking - beautiful in an unusual, memorable way
  • stunning - indescribable beauty; an unexpected level of beauty

There are, of course, many other words that can be substituted for beautiful, as evidenced by YourDictionary's list of nearly 120 synonyms for beauty, with more than 40 terms classified as common synonyms. Which one is our favorite? YourDictionary readers by far seem to prefer "lovely" (based on upvotes).


Unusual Synonyms for Beautiful

There are also some beautiful synonyms that are more unusual, or even unique. YourDictionary's synonym list includes more than 50. Since these words aren't commonly used, people might need to look them up. For that reason, it's generally better to reserve these uncommon synonyms for writings such as love letters and poems rather than direct conversations.

  • arresting - eye-catching beauty
  • beauteous - filled with beauty
  • comely - very attractively pleasant to view
  • bonny - beautiful in appearance
  • prepossessing - being perceived favorable due to attractiveness
  • pulchritudinous - breathtakingly beautiful
  • resplendent - impressive, bold beauty
  • splendiferous - beyond mere beauty
  • winsome - attractive and appealing

Printable List of Synonyms for Beautiful

Explore a variety of synonyms for beautiful with a printable list you can save or download.

synonyms for beautiful

Synonyms for Beautiful worksheet

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Synonyms for Different Types of Beauty

The word beautiful can be used to mean many different things, some of which require context-specific terminology. No matter what you're describing, you're sure to find an appropriate synonym for beautiful. Go beyond basic synonyms, adjusting your word choice based on what you are describing.

  • architectural beauty - magnificent, groundbreaking
  • a beautiful soul - inner beauty, sensitive nature, kind and gentle, empathic
  • beautiful art - inspired, moving, sublime, or other descriptive words to critique art
  • beautiful decor - tasteful, incredible, fashionable
  • beautiful music - harmonious, mellifluous or other descriptive words for music
  • the beauty of nature - awe-inspiring, magnificent, nature in all its glory

Slang Words for Beautiful

There are a few slang terms that are somewhat similar to the word beautiful. Use these words with caution. They should only be used with people you already know on a personal level and who will find their use appealing or amusing. Otherwise, using these terms could be viewed as offensive.

  • babe-licous - very physically or sexually attractive
  • beautimous - a combination of beautiful and gorgeous
  • bootiful - a playful way of saying beautiful
  • bootylicious - a curvy, sensual beauty
  • fine - stunningly attractive; must be said with a strong inflection so it isn't interpreted as "acceptable" or "okay"
  • foxy - 70s throwback term; strong, sexy and beautiful
  • hot - attractive in a sexy way
  • knockout - extremely attractive in an impressive way
  • on fleek - perfect; flawless

Common Collocations With Beautiful

When looking for yet another way to say beautiful, a collocation, or word combination, may be the perfect choice for expressing your meaning. Rather than substituting another term for beautiful, creating a collocation involves adding on a word that is commonly paired with the original word. This can result in a word pair that conveys a precise meaning.

word combinations with beautiful
    beautiful word combinations animation
    1) 486298437 2) Francesco Riccardo Iacomino 3) Simon Lew / EyeEm 4) WIN-Initiative 5) kali9 / E+ 6) FotografiaBasica / E+
    Used under Getty Images license
  • amazingly beautiful
  • breathtakingly beautiful
  • extremely beautiful
  • hauntingly beautiful
  • incredibly beautiful
  • naturally beautiful
  • somewhat beautiful
  • stunningly beautiful
  • timeless beauty
  • understated beauty
  • very beautiful

Beautiful Expressed via Similes

Similies are a type of figurative language that draws a comparison using like or as. This technique is often used to clarify meaning or provide context when expressing that a person or object is beautiful.

  • as beautiful as a summer's day
  • as beautiful as the moon
  • as beautiful as precious jewels
  • as lovely as a rose
  • as pretty as a picture
  • beautiful like the first light of sunrise
  • beautiful like the sun breaking through days of rain
Idioms That Convey the Meaning of Beautiful

Idioms are common expressions that convey meaning that is different from the actual meaning of the words that make up the phrase. Idioms should not be interpreted literally.

  • a sight for sore eyes - so attractive that it would make the viewer's eyes feel better if they were pained
  • dressed to kill - a person has taken great care to dress in a gorgeous outfit that is perfectly coordinated and accessorized
  • drop dead gorgeous - someone is so beautiful that they could cause your heart to beat out of control
  • easy on the eyes - someone's appearance is very pleasing to peruse
  • looks to die for - a person would give anything to be as beautiful as you
  • look like a million dollars - someone or something is very attractive in appearance, in an upscale way
  • takes my breath away - startling beauty such that might be shocking or stunning to the viewer

Another Way to Say Most Beautiful

Sometimes you want to go beyond just the word beautiful to find a way to express that a person, item or occurrence is above all others when it comes to being beautiful. In that case, what you need are alternatives to the phrase most beautiful.

  • fairest of them all
  • incomparable beauty
  • perfection in human form
  • pinnacle of beauty
  • unequaled beauty
  • unrivaled loveliness
  • unsurpassed beauty

Synonyms to Describe a Beautiful Woman

Rather than using a simple synonym, a phrase may be a better choice when you're looking to describe a particular person as beautiful. Since men are usually described as handsome rather than beautiful, chances are you'd be looking for phrases to describe a beautiful girl or woman more so than a man or boy.

  • enchantress
  • a real looker
  • belle of the ball
  • gorgeous girl
  • lovely lady
  • lovely to behold
  • raving beauty

Making Appropriate Word Choices

When deciding whether or how to use beautiful, a synonym or another word or phrase with a similar meaning, appropriateness is an important consideration. Use the chart to get an idea of when the word beautiful (or an appropriate synonym) could be appropriate, versus when such a term would be inappropriate.


Is Beautiful Appropriate?


Complimenting a female date on her appearance


You look beautiful this evening.

Commenting on the photo of a friend’s baby


Your baby is just beautiful!

Admiring someone’s car


Your car is beautiful!

Looking at someone’s wedding photos


Your wedding was absolutely beautiful.

Describing a moving poem


What a beautiful poem!

Describing your mother or sister’s appearance.


My mother/sister is beautiful.

Describing your father or brother’s appearance


My father/brother is very handsome.

Explaining how a job interview went


The job interview went very well.

Complimenting a research paper you proofed for a friend


What a well-written research paper.

Giving feedback to a colleague on their resume


Your resume’s format is outstanding.

Complimenting your boss on his or her apparel


Your suit is very professional-looking.

Expressing appreciation for a kind action


What a thoughtful gesture.

Sort of Similar Words vs. Beautiful

The English language has a number of words that are similar to beautiful, without being quite close enough to be considered true synonyms. Depending on the audience and your intent, an "almost synonym" might be a better option.

cute handbag versus beautiful handbag
    cute handbag versus beautiful handbag
    cute: Westend61 / Getty , beautiful: pixelfit / E+ / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license

Beautiful vs. Pretty

Is it better to say pretty or beautiful? It depends on what you wish to say. The word pretty describes a level of attractiveness that doesn't quite rise to the level of beauty.

  • What a pretty girl. This would be suitable if you mean the girl is attractive, good-looking or otherwise appealing in appearance.
  • What a beautiful girl. You would use this term if the word pretty isn't strong enough to describe how attractive you find the individual.

Nice vs. Beautiful

Should you describe a dress as nice or beautiful? The answer lies with what meaning you want to convey.

  • That's a nice dress. This statement would indicate that the dress is well-made, isn't ugly, fits well, is suitable, and you like it.
  • That's a beautiful dress. This statement would convey that you think the dress is very attractive, has visual appeal, is lovely, and you love how it looks.

Good-Looking vs. Beautiful

Should you say that someone is good-looking or beautiful? It depends on what you actually want to say.

  • The new girl in my class is really good-looking. This would imply that she is attractive in a wholesome way.
  • The new girl in my class is really beautiful. This would suggest that she is extremely attractive, in a lovely way.

Cute vs. Beautiful

Is something cute or is it beautiful? Is it something you find to be fun and casual way, or is it upscale and elegant?

  • This handbag is really cute; I think I'll buy it. This would apply to something like a casual crossover purse or tote that you'd use regularly.
  • This handbag is so beautiful; I think I'll buy it. This would be appropriate for a sleek or elegant handbag.

Example Sentences to Say You're Beautiful

Sometimes a complete sentence provides the best tool for letting someone know that you think they're beautiful. These sample sentences are best-suited for personal contacts, such as your girlfriend or spouse. Some may be suitable for family or close friends, but not for coworkers or others with whom you interact in an official capacity.

  • Everyone here is in awe of how amazing you look.
  • Exquisite doesn't begin to describe your loveliness.
  • I am captivated by your beauty.
  • To me, you are beautiful.
  • You are radiant this evening.
  • You are resplendent in your beauty.
  • You are the most beautiful woman in the room.
  • You look incredibly lovely this evening.
  • Your beauty is timeless.

What Defines Beauty to You?

It's important to remember that beauty doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. If you love cold weather, you may find recently fallen snow to be beautiful. Someone who dislikes winter, however, may not find it appealing at all. The same goes for people. Someone whose appearance you find beautiful, ravishing, elegant, striking, or breathtaking might not necessarily appeal to another person.

You may want to expand your search for another way to say beautiful to include words that describe just what it is about the person that you perceive as beautiful. It's important to focus on your own sense of beauty when choosing words or phrases to use.

  • What physical characteristics does a person have that you see as beautiful? Does she have soft, inviting curves? An athletic build? A ballerina's figure?
  • Beauty isn't just about appearance. What attributes does the person have that contribute to beauty? Is she attentive, a good listener, or empathetic?
  • What about her personality traits? Is the individual adventurous, analytical, collaborative, or outgoing? What traits contribute to you seeing her as beautiful?
  • Character traits also impact whether someone is viewed as beautiful. Does her loyalty, honesty, directness, or tactfulness lead you to see her as lovely.

Reflect on those you perceive as beautiful to identify specifically what factors impact your belief that they are beautiful. Use that information to personalize the way you convey your appreciation for their beauty. Use this list of romantic words and ways to describe someone for inspiration.

Beyond Basic Beautiful Synonyms

When you start looking beyond the basic synonyms for beauty, it quickly becomes clear that there are many other ways to say beautiful in the English language. Of course, who says you have to stick to one language? Why not go even further beyond synonyms to discover 100 ways to say beautiful in different languages. Expand your vocabulary even further by exploring these ways to express love in words. Then, explore some beautiful quotes.