elegance


elegance
elegance, grace, dignity are comparable only when they denote an impressive beauty of form, appearance, or behavior.
Elegance is used in reference to persons chiefly when their grooming, their clothes, and the way they wear them are specifically considered; it then often implies fashionableness and good taste, but it stresses perfection of detail and exquisiteness or, sometimes, overexquisiteness (as in materials, lines, and ornamentation)
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the elegance in dress of a Beau Brummell

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When used in reference to such things as the furnishings of a home, the details of a dinner, or a literary style, the term also implies the perfection and propriety in detail that indicate excellence of taste, a nice selective instinct, and often a restrained luxuriousness
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a very pretty sitting room, lately fitted up with greater elegance and lightness than the apartments below— Austen

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a cultivated man should express himself by tongue or pen with some accuracy and eleganceEliot

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Grace is more commonly applied to what is inward and native than to what is outward and acquired, especially when used in reference to persons; it always suggests a quality or a harmonious combination of qualities that gives aesthetic pleasure through a natural or simple beauty such as is shown in suppleness or rhythm of movement, in clean-flowing lines or contours, or in spontaneity and felicitousness of manner, mood, expression, or style
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a behavior so full of grace and sweetness, such easy motions, with an air so majestic, yet free from stiffness or affectation— Montagu

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the effect upon the observer of this exquisite little edifice ... was of an unparagoned lightness and graceMackenzie

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she took the congratulations of her rivals and of the rest of the company with the simplicity that was her crowning graceWharton

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Dignity applies to what compels respect and honor. The term often suggests stateliness, majesty, and elevation of character or style as the compelling cause
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the qualifications which frequently invest the facade of a prison with far more dignity than is found in the facade of a palace double its size— Hardy

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there was a dignity in his Client, an impressiveness in his speech, that silenced remonstrating Reason— Meredith

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those who are just beginning to appreciate the idea of lending greater dignity to the worship of Almighty God— Mackenzie

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Very frequently in modern use the term suggests the compulsion of intrinsic worth or merit apart from any superficial characteristics that give it external beauty
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the dignity of work

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the dignity of motherhood

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it matters not how trivial the occupation, if the man or woman be wholly given to it, there will be a natural compelling dignity in the figure— Binyon

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Analogous words: beautifulness or beauty, handsomeness, comeliness (see corresponding adjectives at BEAUTIFUL): fastidiousness, niceness or nicety, daintiness (see corresponding adjectives at NICE): perfection, *excellence: *taste (sense 2)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • élégance — [ elegɑ̃s ] n. f. • fin XIVe; lat. elegantia 1 ♦ Qualité esthétique qu on reconnaît à certaines formes naturelles ou créées par l homme dont la perfection est faite de grâce et de simplicité. Élégance des formes, des proportions. L élégance d un… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Elégance — Paris Rechtsform GmbH Gründung 1938 Sitz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • élégance — ÉLÉGANCE. s. f. Choix de mots et de tours, d où résultent la grâce et la facilité du langàge. Parler avec élégance. Sans élégance. Élégance sans affectation. L élégance du style. f♛/b] On appelle aussi Élégance, Un certain goût fin et délicat qui …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Elegance — El e*gance, Elegancy El e*gan*cy, n. [L. elegantia, fr. elegans, antis, elegant: cf. F. [ e]l[ e]gance.] 1. The state or quality of being elegant; beauty as resulting from choice qualities and the complete absence of what deforms or impresses… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elegance — Elegance. s. f. Ornement, politesse de langage. Parler avec elegance, sans elegance. elegance sans affectation …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • elegance — n. pl. elegancies [el′ə gəns] n. [Fr élégance < L elegantia] 1. the quality of being elegant; specif., a) dignified richness and grace, as of design b) polished fastidiousness or refined grace, as in manners c) clever aptness and simplicity …   English World dictionary

  • elegance — c.1500, “tastefulness, correctness, harmoniousness, refinement,” of speech or prose, from M.Fr. élégance, from L. elegantia taste, propriety, refinement, from elegantem (see ELEGANT (Cf. elegant)). Earlier form was elegancy (early 15c.).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • elegance — Elegance, Elegantia. Parler sans elegance, Horride dicere, siue inculte …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • elegance — index propriety (correctness) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • elegance — [n] cultivated beauty, taste breeding, charm, class, courtliness, cultivation, culture, delicacy, dignity, discernment, distinction, exquisiteness, felicity, gentility, good taste, grace, gracefulness, grandeur, hauteur, lushness, luxury,… …   New thesaurus


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