(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”).