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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Beauty


BEAU'TY, noun 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. 2 Samuel 1:19.

5. In the arts, symmetry of parts; harmony; justness of composition.

6. Joy and gladness. Isaiah 61:3. Order, prosperity, peace, holiness, Ezekiel 26:1.

BEAU'TY, verb transitive bu'ty. To adorn; to beautify or embellish. obsolete