- The definition of homely is looking plain or unattractive.
A woman wearing large glasses and clothes that fit badly is an example of homely.
- of the home; domestic
- characteristic of or suitable for home or home life; simple and unpretentious or plain and everyday: homely virtues
- not elegant or polished; crude
- not good-looking or handsome; plain or unattractive
Origin of homelyMiddle English homli
- Not attractive or good-looking: a homely child.
- Lacking elegance or refinement: homely furniture.
- Of a simple or unpretentious nature; plain: homely truths.
- Characteristic of the home or of home life: homely skills.
(comparative homelier, superlative homeliest)
- Lacking in beauty or elegance, plain in appearance, physically unattractive.
- Characteristic of or belonging to home; domestic. [from early 14th c.]
- (UK dialectal) On intimate or friendly terms with (someone); familiar; at home (with a person); intimate.
- (UK dialectal, of animals) Domestic; tame.
- (UK dialectal) Personal; private.
- (UK dialectal) Friendly; kind; gracious; cordial.
- Simple; plain; familiar; unelaborate; unadorned. [from late 14th c.]
- a homely garment; homely fare; homely manners
From Middle English homly, hoomly, hamely (“domestic, familiar, plain”), from Old English *hāmlīc (“of the home, domestic”), from Proto-Germanic *haimalīkaz (“of or characteristic of home”), equivalent to home + -ly. Cognate with Scots hamely (“familiar, personal, private”), West Frisian heimelik, Dutch heimelijk (“secret, secretive, clandestine”), German heimlich (“secret, secretive, clandestine, undercover”), Danish hemmelig (“secret”), Swedish hemlig (“secret, concealed, privy, covert”), Faroese heimligur (“homelike, homey”), Icelandic heimlegur (“homely; worldly”).