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

  • n. The concept of perfect beauty.
  • n. An idealized type or model: the beau ideal of a high-ranking army officer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Nonstandard spelling of beau idéal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A conception or image of consummate beauty, moral or physical, formed in the mind, free from all the deformities, defects, and blemishes seen in actual existence; an ideal or faultless standard or model.
  • n. See Beau ideal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A mental conception or image of any object, moral or physical, in its perfect typical form, free from all the deformities, defects, and blemishes accompanying its actual existence; a model of excellence in the mind or fancy; ideal excellence.

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

  • n. an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept


French beau idéal, perfect ideal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • In Azíz and Azízah (ii. 291) we have the beau ideal of a loving woman: the writer’s object was to represent a “softy” who had the luck to win the love of a beautiful and clever cousin and the mad folly to break her heart.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Here is Pope Leo XIII, in his Encyclical of 1890 -- and please remember that Leo XIII was the beau ideal of our capitalist statesmen and editors, as wise and kind and gentle-souled a pope as ever roasted a heretic.

    The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation

  • I regard the second speech against Rullus as the ne plus ultra, the very beau ideal of a political harangue to the people on the side of order and good government.

    The Life of Cicero

  • The Morrisons had begun speaking to me again, and were very civil in public - it was represented as being a sudden love-match, of course, between the dashing hussar and the beautiful provincial, so they had to pretend I was their beau ideal of a son-in-law.


  • I cast my/nota-bene/eyes over the man: - a large portly figure, belonging to the rotund school, the very beau ideal of an old Abbot, with countenance full of twinkling intelligence: and gregarious good humour, having a high metallic tone of voice, and a whisking suddenness of movement, accompanied by

    New Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle


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