a thing of beauty


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a thing of beauty

cliché Something for which one feels deep-seated appreciation or affinity, not necessarily just at an aesthetic level. Taking a sip of hot, freshly brewed coffee as the sun rises—I tell you, it's a thing of beauty. As an editor, a semicolon used correctly is a thing of real beauty to me. Have you been to the botanical garden in the spring before? Their collection of tulips is a thing of beauty.
See also: beauty, of, thing
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

thing of beauty (is a joy forever), a

True loveliness (is a lasting quality). The complete thought is a line from John Keats’s great poem, “Endymion” (1818), and continues, “Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” The thought is hardly original, but the expression caught on. In the twentieth century it began to be shortened and used simply to describe something lovely, often ironically. Eric Partridge mentioned a play on it made by “flappers,” fashionable young women of the post–World War I era: “A thing of beauty is a boy forever.” Today one is apt to say it of, for example, an elaborately decorated cake.
See also: beauty, joy, of, thing
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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