beauty


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

(I've) got to go home and get my beauty sleep

humorous I need to leave so I can go to sleep. "Beauty sleep" is sleep that will presumably help one to look refreshed and attractive. Well, I've got to go home and get my beauty sleep. It was lovely to see you, as always.
See also: and, beauty, get, go, home, sleep

a thing of beauty is a joy forever

Something beautiful will give pleasure long after it ceases to exist. This phrase is taken from John Keats' poem Endymion. Thoughts of blooming flowers sustain me through the cold winter months. Truly, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.
See also: beauty, forever, joy, of, thing

age before beauty

A humorous way to tell someone to go ahead of one, meant as a playful insult. Chuck held the door open for Tim, motioned for him to go ahead, and said, "Age before beauty."
See also: age, beauty, before

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

An approximation of beauty will differ greatly between different people. You may not like my new jacket, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't think Annabelle's boyfriend is that attractive, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
See also: beauty, beholder, eye, of

beauty is only skin deep

Physical attractiveness does not equate to substance or character. Of course that gorgeous model didn't tip you—beauty is only skin deep, after all.
See also: beauty, deep, skin

beauty mark

A small, dark facial mole (or an artificial one, created with cosmetic makeup) that may be considered a mark of attractiveness. I have always wished that I had Marilyn Monroe's beauty mark on my lip.
See also: beauty, mark

beauty queen

A woman who has won, or looks as if she could win, a beauty pageant. When that beauty queen walked in, everyone's heads turned.
See also: beauty, queen

beauty sleep

Sleep that helps one to look refreshed and attractive. Usually said humorously. Can you guys be quiet down there? I'm trying to get my beauty sleep! You look tired, Joe. What's the matter, didn't get your beauty sleep last night?
See also: beauty, sleep

beauty spot

A small, dark facial mole (or an artificial one, created with cosmetic makeup) that may be considered a mark of attractiveness. I have always wished that I had Marilyn Monroe's beauty spot on my lip.
See also: beauty, spot

bevy of beauties

A group of physically attractive women. Of course the cool guy with the motorcycle is surrounded by a bevy of beauties.
See also: beauty, of

get (one's) beauty sleep

To get sleep that helps one to look refreshed and attractive. Usually said humorously. Can you guys be quiet down there? I'm trying to get my beauty sleep! You look tired, Joe. What's the matter, didn't get your beauty sleep last night?
See also: beauty, get, sleep

not going to win any beauty contests

Not especially beautiful or attractive. Sometimes used as a facetious or sarcastic way of calling someone or something ugly. I know I'm not going to win any beauty contests, but I don't think I'm so ugly that no one would want to be with me. A: "What do you think of their new house?" B: "Well, it isn't going to win any beauty contests, that's for sure."
See also: any, beauty, contest, going, not, win

that's the beauty of (something)

That's the benefit or positive effect of something; that is what's appealing or satisfying about something. A: "I'm feeling a lot better after taking those few days off." B: "Well, that's the beauty of getting the rest that you need." That's the beauty of games like these—you can play them anywhere, anytime, with anyone.
See also: beauty, of

the beauty of (something)

The positive effects of something. A: "I'm finally feeling better after resting for a few days." B: "Well, that's the beauty of sleep."
See also: beauty, of

age before beauty

a jocular and slightly rude way of encouraging someone to go ahead of oneself; a comical, teasing, and slightly grudging way of indicating that someone else should or can go first. "No, no. Please, you take the next available seat," smiled Tom. "Age before beauty, you know."
See also: age, beauty, before

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Prov. Different people have different ideas about what is beautiful. Bob: I can't believe Ted bought that ugly old car. Fred: He loves it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Jill: Have you seen Mary's pictures of her new baby? He looks pretty ugly, to my eyes. Jane: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
See also: beauty, beholder, eye, of

Beauty is only skin-deep.

Prov. A person who looks beautiful may not have a pleasing personality; a person's good looks may not last. Fred: I hope Nancy will go out with me. She's so beautiful! Jane: I hate to disappoint you, but in Nancy's case, beauty is definitely only skin-deep. Don't be so proud of your pretty face. Beauty is only skin-deep.
See also: beauty

bevy of beauties

Cliché a group of very attractive women, as found in a beauty contest. A whole bevy of beauties waltzed past the old man, but he didn't even notice.
See also: beauty, of

(I've) got to go home and get my beauty sleep.

Fig. a phrase announcing one's need to depart because it is late. (See also (I) have to shove off for other possible variations.) Sue: Leaving so early? John: I've got to go home and get my beauty sleep. Jane: I've got to go home and get my beauty sleep. Fred: Well, you look to me like you've had enough. Jane: Why, thank you.
See also: and, beauty, get, go, home, sleep

not going to win any beauty contests

Fig. homely; ugly. Fred isn't going to win any beauty contests, but he's smart and considerate and he does well at his job. This old truck of mine is not going to win any beauty contests, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
See also: any, beauty, contest, going, not, win

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Prov. Beautiful things give pleasure that lasts even longer than the beautiful things themselves. (This is a line from John Keats's poem "Endymion." Also a thing of beauty and a joy forever, used to describe something beautiful in lofty terms, often ironically.) Jill: I don't understand why someone would pay millions of dollars to have some old painting. Jane: Because a thing of beauty is a joy forever.
See also: beauty, forever, joy, of, thing

beauty is only skin deep

External attractiveness has no relation to goodness or essential quality. This maxim was first stated by Sir Thomas Overbury in his poem "A Wife" (1613): "All the carnall beauty of my wife is but skin-deep."
See also: beauty, deep, skin

that's the beauty of

This is the most satisfactory feature of, as in And our vacations fall at the same time; that's the beauty of working in different law practices . [Mid-1700s]
See also: beauty, of

the beauty of

See also: beauty, of

ˌbeauty is in the ˌeye of the beˈholder

(saying) what one person thinks is beautiful may not seem beautiful to somebody else: Personally I don’t think her husband is very attractive, but they say beauty’s in the eye of the beholder, don’t they?
Behold is an old word meaning ‘to see’.
See also: beauty, beholder, eye, of

beauty is only skin-ˈdeep

(saying) physical appearance is no guide to a person’s character: My mother always used to say that beauty is only skin-deep. What’s really important is the sort of person you are.
See also: beauty

the beauty of something/of doing something

the advantage of something/of doing something: The beauty of a small car is that it makes it so much easier to find a parking space.One of the beauties of living here is that it’s so peaceful.
See also: beauty, of, something

get your ˈbeauty sleep

(humorous) go to bed early so that you wake up feeling healthy and looking attractive: Look how late it is! I won’t get my beauty sleep tonight.
See also: beauty, get, sleep

beauty sleep

n. sleep; the sleep one requires. (Usually mentioned by nonbeautiful men as a joke.) You really need some beauty sleep. Why don’t you try a week of it and see if that works?
See also: beauty, sleep

age before beauty

Defer to the older person. This phrase is traditionally used when inviting another individual to pass through a doorway before one. Eric Partridge described it as a mock courtesy uttered by a young woman to an older man. Currently it is used only ironically or sarcastically. According to an old story, it was said rather snidely by Clare Boothe Luce when ushering Dorothy Parker through a doorway, and Parker replied, “Pearls before swine.” A related cliché is after you, Alphonse—no, after you, Gaston, repeated a number of times (in Britain, after you, Claude—no, after you, Cecil). The American version is based on a comic strip by Frederick Burr Opper, Alphonse and Gaston, which was popular in the early 1900s, and pokes fun at exaggerated politeness.
See also: age, beauty, before

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

What one person considers ugly may seem beautiful to another. The idea is very old and was stated in various ways from the sixteenth century on. Shakespeare’s version is close to the modern: “Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye” (Love’s Labour’s Lost, 2.1). Possibly the first exact statement of the cliché in print was in Margaret Hungerford’s Molly Bawn (1878).
See also: beauty, beholder, eye, of

beauty is (only) skin-deep

A lovely appearance has no relation to more profound good qualities. “All the carnall beauty of my wife is but skin-deep,” wrote Sir Thomas Overbury (ca. 1613). Of course this observation was hardly new, having been made by many ancient poets long before (Virgil wrote, O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori, “O my pretty boy, trust not too much in your looks”). Although only skin deep, observed William Cobbett (Advice to Young Men, 1829), “It [beauty] is very agreeable for all that,” whereas H. H. Munro (Saki) punned “I always say beauty is only sin deep” (Reginald’s Choir Treat, 1904).
See also: beauty

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
References in classic literature ?
(Beauty Smith's eyes lighted up at this, and he licked his thin lips with an eager tongue).
Then it was that Beauty Smith had talk with him again about the sale of White Fang; but this time the price offered was in bottles, not dollars, and Grey Beaver's ears were more eager to hear.
"You ketch um dog," were Beauty Smith's words to Grey Beaver.
- on Earth we plight Our faith to one love - and one moon adore - The birth-place of young Beauty had no more.
And rays from God shot down that meteor chain And hallow'd all the beauty twice again, Save when, between th' Empyrean and that ring, Some eager spirit flapp'd his dusky wing.
Beauty, whose revelation to man we now celebrate, welcome as the sun wherever it pleases to shine, which pleases everybody with it and with themselves, seems sufficient to itself.
The ancients called beauty the flowering of virtue.
For the Disinherited Knight passed the gallery close to that of the Prince, in which the Lady Alicia was seated in the full pride of triumphant beauty, and, pacing forwards as slowly as he had hitherto rode swiftly around the lists, he seemed to exercise his right of examining the numerous fair faces which adorned that splendid circle.
The trumpets instantly sounded, while the heralds proclaimed the Lady Rowena the Queen of Beauty and of Love for the ensuing day, menacing with suitable penalties those who should be disobedient to her authority.
Much less satisfactory but still fascinating are the longer poems, narrative or philosophical, such as the early 'Alastor,' a vague allegory of a poet's quest for the beautiful through a gorgeous and incoherent succession of romantic wildernesses; the 'Hymn to Intellectual Beauty'; 'Julian and Maddalo,' in which Shelley and Byron (Maddalo) are portrayed; and 'Epipsychidion,' an ecstatic poem on the love which is spiritual sympathy.
Its theme, and indeed the theme of all Keats' poetry, may be said to be found in its famous first line--'A thing of beauty is a joy forever.' The remaining three years of Keats' life were mostly tragic.
Poe's beauty and talent the young couple had a sorry struggle for existence.
Many of his famous poetic productions were inspired by her beauty and charm.
What I finally perceived was that his poem came through him from the heart of Italian life, such as it was in his time, and that whatever it teaches, his poem expresses that life, in all its splendor and squalor, its beauty and deformity, its love and its hate.
Criticism may torment this sense or that sense out of it, but at the end of the ends the "Divine Comedy" will stand for the patriotism of medieval Italy, as far as its ethics is concerned, and for a profound and lofty ideal of beauty, as far as its aesthetics is concerned.