n. pl. beau·ties
1. A quality or combination of qualities that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is often associated with properties such as harmony of form or color, proportion, authenticity, and originality.
2. One that is beautiful, especially a beautiful woman.
3. A quality or feature that is most effective, gratifying, or telling: The beauty of the venture is that we stand to lose nothing.
4. An outstanding or conspicuous example: The golf shot was a beauty, stopping a foot from the hole.
[Middle English beaute, from Old French biaute, from Vulgar Latin *bellitās, from Latin bellus, pretty; see deu-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.