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Beauty definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BEAU'TY, n. bu'ty.
1. An assemblage of graces, or an assemblage of properties in the form of the person or any other object, which pleases the eye. In the person, due proportion or symmetry of parts constitutes the most essential property to which we annex the term beauty. In the face, the regularity and symmetry of the features, the color of the skin, the expression of the eye, are among the principal properties which constitute beauty. But as it is hardly possible to define all the properties which constitute beauty, we may observe in general, that beauty consists in whatever pleases the eye of the beholder, whether in the human body, in a tree, in a landscape, or in any other object.
Beauty is intrinsic, and perceived by the eye at first view, or relative, to perceive which the aid of the understanding and reflection is requisite. Thus, the beauty of a machine is not perceived, till we understand its uses, and adaptation to its purpose. This is called the beauty of utility. By any easy transition, the word beauty is used to express what is pleasing to the other senses, or to the understanding. Thus we say, the beauty of a thought, of a remark, of sound, etc.
So beauty, armed with virtue, bows the soul
With a commanding, but a sweet control.
2. A particular grace, feature or ornament; any particular thing which is beautiful and pleasing; as the beauties of nature.
3. A particular excellence, or a part which surpasses in excellence that with which it is united; as the beauties of an author.
4. A beautiful person, In scripture, the chief dignity or ornament. 1 Samuel 1.
5. In the arts, symmetry of parts; harmony; justness of composition.
6. Joy and gladness. Isaiah 61. Order, prosperity,peace,holiness, Ezek 26.
BEAU'TY, v.t. bu'ty. To adorn; to beautify or embellish. Obs.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: the qualities that give pleasure to the senses [ant: ugliness]
2: a very attractive or seductive looking woman [syn: smasher, stunner, knockout, beauty, ravisher, sweetheart, peach, lulu, looker, mantrap, dish]
3: an outstanding example of its kind; "his roses were beauties"; "when I make a mistake it's a beaut" [syn: beauty, beaut]

Merriam Webster's

noun (plural beauties) Etymology: Middle English beaute, bealte, from Anglo-French, from bel, beau beautiful, from Latin bellus pretty; akin to Latin bonus good — more at bounty Date: 14th century 1. the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit ; loveliness 2. a beautiful person or thing; especially a beautiful woman 3. a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality 4. a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance <that mistake was a beauty> 5. bottom 9

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a combination of qualities such as shape, colour, etc., that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight. b a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense (the beauty of the argument). 2 colloq. a an excellent specimen (what a beauty!). b an attractive feature; an advantage (that's the beauty of it!). 3 a beautiful woman. Phrases and idioms: beauty is only skin-deep a pleasing appearance is not a guide to character. beauty parlour (or salon) an establishment in which massage, manicure, hairdressing, make-up, etc., are offered to women. beauty queen the woman judged most beautiful in a competition. beauty sleep sleep before midnight, supposed to be health-giving. beauty spot 1 a place known for its beauty. 2 a small natural or artificial mark such as a mole on the face, considered to enhance another feature. beauty treatment cosmetic treatment received in a beauty parlour. Etymology: ME f. AF beuté, OF bealté, beauté, ult. f. L (as BEAU)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Beauty Beau"ty, n.; pl. Beauties . [OE. beaute, beute, OF. beaut['e], biaut['e], Pr. beltat, F. beaut['e], fr. an assumed LL. bellitas, from L. bellus pretty. See Beau.] 1. An assemblage or graces or properties pleasing to the eye, the ear, the intellect, the [ae]sthetic faculty, or the moral sense. Beauty consists of a certain composition of color and figure, causing delight in the beholder. --Locke. The production of beauty by a multiplicity of symmetrical parts uniting in a consistent whole. --Wordsworth. The old definition of beauty, in the Roman school, was, ``multitude in unity;'' and there is no doubt that such is the principle of beauty. --Coleridge. 2. A particular grace, feature, ornament, or excellence; anything beautiful; as, the beauties of nature. 3. A beautiful person, esp. a beautiful woman. All the admired beauties of Verona. --Shak. 4. Prevailing style or taste; rage; fashion. [Obs.] She stained her hair yellow, which was then the beauty. --Jer. Taylor. Beauty spot, a patch or spot placed on the face with intent to heighten beauty by contrast.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(beauties) Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English. 1. Beauty is the state or quality of being beautiful. ...an area of outstanding natural beauty... Everyone admired her elegance and her beauty. N-UNCOUNT 2. A beauty is a beautiful woman. (JOURNALISM) She is known as a great beauty. N-COUNT 3. You can say that something is a beauty when you think it is very good. (INFORMAL) The pass was a real beauty, but the shot was poor. N-COUNT 4. The beauties of something are its attractive qualities or features. (LITERARY) He was beginning to enjoy the beauties of nature. N-COUNT: usu pl, with supp 5. Beauty is used to describe people, products, and activities that are concerned with making women look beautiful. Additional beauty treatments can be booked in advance. ADJ: ADJ n 6. If you say that a particular feature is the beauty of something, you mean that this feature is what makes the thing so good. There would be no effect on animals–that's the beauty of such water-based materials. = advantage N-COUNT: usu the N of n

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

bu'-ti: The space allotted to this topic allows liberty only for the statement of two problems to students of the Bible. They should give distinct attention to the interblending of aesthetics with ethics in the Scripture. They should observe the extent and meaning of aesthetics in Nature.

1. Aesthetics in Scripture:

That the Bible is an ethical book is evident. Righteousness in all the relations of man as a moral being is the key to its inspiration, the guiding light to correct understanding of its utterance. But it is everywhere inspired and writ in an atmosphere of aesthetics. Study will bring out this fact from Genesis to Revelation. The first pair make their appearance in a garden where grew "every tree that is pleasant to the sight" (Ge 2:9), and the last vision for the race is an abode in a city whose gates are of pearl and streets of gold (Re 21:21). Such is the imagery that from beginning to end is pictured as the home of ethics--at first in its untried innocence and at last in its stalwart righteousness. The problem will be to observe the intermingling of these two elements--the beautiful and the good--in the whole Scripture range. A few texts will set before us this kinship and then the Bible student can detect it as he reads. "One thing have I asked of Yahweh, that will I seek after: That I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of Yahweh, And to inquire in his temple" (Ps 27:4).

"For all the gods of the peoples are idols; But Yahweh made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him: Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary" (Ps 96:5,6). If we catch the spirit set forth in such and similar Psalms, we can use it as a magnetic needle to detect its like wherever we shall read: and we shall find that like in abundance. It is only necessary to turn to the directions given for making the Ark of the Covenant and its encircling tabernacle, and the decorations of the priests that were to minister in the worship of Yahweh in the ceremonies described, as given in Ex 25 ff, to see that every resource of Israel was brought to bear to render ark and tabernacle and their service beautiful. One will find in a concordance half a column of references under the word "Ark" and a column and a half under the word "Tabernacle." By looking up these references one can realize how much care was spent to give and preserve to these aids to worship the attractiveness of beauty.

In 1Ch 15 and 16 we have an account of David's bringing in the Ark of the Covenant into his own city to rest in a tent he had provided for it. On this occasion a demonstration was made with all the aesthetics of which the music of that day was capable. "And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren the singers, with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding aloud and lifting up the voice with joy." And David himself gave to the celebration the aesthetics of one of the noblest of his psalms (1Ch 16:8-36).

It is almost idle to refer to Solomon and his temple (1Ki 6 ff; 2Ch 3 ff). It is a common understanding that the civilization of Solomon's day was drawn upon to its utmost in every department of aesthetics, in the building of that house for Yahweh and in the appointments for the worship there to be conducted. Beauty of form and color and harmony of sound were then and there integrated--made one--with worship in holiness. The propriety of that association has been seen and felt through the ages.

There is beauty in speech. It is a fact that the supreme classics in the literature of the tongues of two of the dominant nations of the earth, the English and the German, are translations of the Bible. There is no explanation of such fact except that the original justified the translations. You can read indifferently from one translation to the other and catch the same aesthetic gleam. Nobility and poetry of thought lay in what was to be translated. Here is proof that cannot be gainsaid that the Scripture authors sought the aid of aesthetics as garb for the ethics they taught. So they wrote in poetry. So they used allegory, illustration, figure, metaphor that would charm and hold. The parables of Jesus are examples of this method of clothing thought. They do their ethical work because they have swept into it figure and imagery from familiar aesthetic perceptions. "The sower went forth to sow" (Mt 13:3). That is a glad sight--always has been and always will be. That is why a picture of "The Sower" hangs on the walls of a Christian home. Just the painting--and every beholder remembers the parable and cannot forget its ethics. The intensity of thought concentrated upon ethics in the New Testament has drawn away attention from the partnership between these two principles in religion. But it is there, and we shall see it when once we look for it.

It is something to which we do not wake up till late in life--to wit, the measurelessness of the provision in Nature for beauty. Common consent awards beauty to the rainbow.

2. Aesthetics in Nature:

Reflect that every drop of water in the ocean, or in the hydrated rocks, or in the vapor floating over Saturn, has in it the possibility of rainbow coloring. In fact all matter has color of which the rainbow is only specimen. Any element incandescent has a spectrum partially coincident with that of water and ranging above and below it in the infinite capacity it has to start ether undulations. As apparently the larger part of the matter of the universe is incandescent, we can see that the field for expression in color is infinite. No one but the infinite God can see it all.

If we come down to this plain, plodding earth, cultivation of aesthetic sense will bring out beauty everywhere, from the grandeur of mountain scenery to aesthetic curves and colors revealed only by the microscope. We say the butterfly is finish beautiful. But the larva from which it is derived often carries as much beauty in mottling of color and of the fineness of of spine and mandible. Looking across the scale in this way the evidence of theism from beauty itself becomes convincing. Beauty becomes a messenger of and from God--as Iris was to the Greek and the rainbow to the Hebrew (Ec 3:11).

This from Amiel's Journal Intime, I, 233, sets forth the radical, inexpugnable position of beauty in Nature and in philosophy thereof correctly interpretative: "To the materialist philosopher the beautiful is a mere accident, and therefore rare. To the spiritualist philosopher the beautiful is the rule, the law, the universal foundation of things, to which every form returns as soon as the force of accident is withdrawn."

As we accustom ourselves to make larger and larger synthesis in the department of aesthetics, what diapason of theistic message may we not hear? Beauty wherever and however expressed is a medium of revelation. It is a bush ever burning, never consumed. Before it "put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." That beauty should be--to that intent, for that end, from everlasting hath wrought the Ancient of Days.

C. Caverno

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Elegance, grace, symmetry. 2. Comeliness, seemliness, fairness, loveliness, attractiveness. 3. Fine part, special grace, particular excellence, beautiful trait, feature, or characteristic, attraction, charm. 4. Beautiful woman, belle.

Moby Thesaurus

Miss America, advantage, asset, attraction, attractiveness, balance, bathing beauty, beau ideal, beaut, beauty contest winner, beauty queen, belle, bunny, charmer, concinnity, cover girl, dazzler, dream, dreamboat, enchantress, equilibrium, euphony, eye-opener, eyeful, good-looker, great beauty, handsomeness, harmony, knockout, lady fair, looker, loveliness, lovely, measure, measuredness, model, order, orderedness, paragon, peach, pinup, pinup girl, proportion, pulchritude, pussycat, raving beauty, reigning beauty, rhythm, sex kitten, slick chick, strength, stunner, sweetness, symmetry, toast



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