adj. hand·som·er, hand·som·est
a. Pleasing in form or appearance, especially having strong or distinguished features: a handsome man; a woman with a handsome face.
b. Having stately or attractive proportions or appearance; impressive: a handsome manor; a sleek, handsome car. See Synonyms at beautiful.
2. Large in amount or measure; generous or considerable: a handsome reward; won by a handsome margin.
3. Marked by or requiring skill or dexterity: did some handsome maneuvers on the skating rink.
4. Appropriate or fitting: a handsome location for the new school.
[Middle English handsom, handy : hand, hand (from Old English) + -som, n. suff.; see -SOME1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.