Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by or exhibiting refined, tasteful beauty of manner, form, or style. See Synonyms at delicate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characterised by or exhibiting elegance.
  • adj. Characterised by minimalism and intuitiveness while preserving exactness and precision.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Very choice, and hence, pleasing to good taste; characterized by grace, propriety, and refinement, and the absence of every thing offensive; exciting admiration and approbation by symmetry, completeness, freedom from blemish, and the like; graceful; tasteful and highly attractive
  • adj. Exercising a nice choice; discriminating beauty or sensitive to beauty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having good or fine taste; nice in taste; fastidious; sensible to beauty or propriety; discriminating beauty from deformity or imperfection: said of persons.
  • Polished; polite; refined; graceful: said of persons: as, an elegant lady or gentleman.
  • Characterized by or pertaining to good taste; indicating a refined propriety of taste: as, elegant manners.
  • Expressed with taste and neatness; correct and polished in expression or arrangement: as, an elegant style of composition; elegant speech.
  • Pleasing to the eye by grace of form or delicacy of color; characterized by exquisiteness of design or fine taste; free from coarseness, blemish, or other defect; refined: as, an elegant figure; an elegant vase; an elegant structure.
  • Pleasing to the mind, as exhibiting fine perception of what is required; calculated to effect its purpose with exceeding accuracy, delicacy, and neatness; exquisitely ingenious or appropriate: as, an elegant modification of a philosophical instrument; an elegant algebraical formula or mathematical demonstration; an elegant chess problem.
  • Synonyms Elegant, Graceful, tasteful, courtly. Elegant implies that anything of an artificial character to which it is applied is the result of training and cultivation through the study of models or ideals of grace; graceful implies less of consciousness, and suggests often a natural gift. A rustic, uneducated girl may be naturally graceful, but not elegant. We speak of elegant manners, composition, furniture, taste, but of a graceful tree, fawn, child; the playful movements of a kitten may be graceful. See beautiful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. displaying effortless beauty and simplicity in movement or execution
  • adj. suggesting taste, ease, and wealth
  • adj. refined and tasteful in appearance or behavior or style

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ēlegāns, ēlegant-, present participle of *ēlegāre, variant of ēligere, to select; see elect.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French elegant, ultimately from Latin elegans. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Sorry for any testiness in my response, GHibbs. Please keep on posting!

    November 7, 2011

  • *curtsies*

    November 7, 2011

  • My what elegant dung, ruzuzu.

    November 7, 2011

  • classy

    November 7, 2011

  • Yes--especially if the card is from Chase Bank.

    November 6, 2011

  • You take away its debonair card?

    November 6, 2011

  • Some of my favorite jokes are about elegance. How do you stop a charging elegant?*

    *This joke would also work for sophisticates or aristocrats.

    November 6, 2011

  • Perhaps she or he meant “an elephant” (and speaks as a first language one lacking articles).

    November 6, 2011

  • Apparently not. There is something rather sad about GHibbs's postings.

    November 6, 2011

  • Oh, for goodness sake, dear GHibbs. Do you not know the difference between a noun and an adjective?

    November 6, 2011

  • My original post was an implied question to which you have collectively given an answer that is 'no', thank you.
    "In as much as the word includes the ideas of the 'processes and results of' being pleasing to the eye, it also seems to have a use as a singular noun. 'She is elegant!'"

    November 6, 2011