The Meaning of Beautifull


Beautifull is an adjective that means having qualities that delight the senses or the mind: a beautiful sunset, a well-dressed woman, a beautiful painting. It is closely related to the word beauty, and has the same meaning as its suffix -ful (meaning full of). It should not be confused with handsome, pretty, or lovely, which have similar meanings.

The notion of beauty is deeply rooted in the history of Western philosophy, art, and religion. The ancient Greeks conceived of beauty in terms of harmony, proportion, and symmetry. The Renaissance reworked these ideas, and also introduced new elements like eroticism and spirituality into the concept. In the eighteenth century, philosophers such as Hume and Kant were influenced by these developments. They argued that something important is lost when beauty is treated as merely a subjective state; it ceases to be a paramount value, or even to be recognizable as a value at all, across persons and cultures.

Until the eighteenth century, most philosophical accounts of beauty treated it as an objective quality. For example, Augustine in De Veritate Religione asks whether things are beautiful because they give delight or because they are pleasant to the eye; he emphatically opts for the first. Plato in the Symposium and Plotinus in the Enneads connect beauty with love and desire; they locate beauty in the realm of the Forms, and the beauty of particular objects in their participation in that form.

After the eighteenth century, a number of philosophers began to treat beauty as a subjective phenomenon. In the 1990s, this trend accelerated with both art criticism and feminist-oriented reconstruals or reappropriations of the concept (see Hickey 1993).

The word beautiful is related to other words in English that describe appearance, including comely, seemly, attractive, fair, beauteous, and stunning. Each of these is a synonym for beautiful, though beautiful often implies a greater intensity of pleasing appearance: a comely face, a seemly smile, a fair complexion, a delicate and androgynous figure. Pretty suggests moderate beauty, especially in that which is small or feminine: a pretty blouse; a pretty girl.

Almost anything can be called beautiful, as long as it gives pleasure to the senses. The brown spotted grass frog may be unattractive to some, but to the biologist who spends all day studying them, it may be beautiful. This is because beauty is in the eye of the beholder; as the saying goes, it’s all in the perspective.