If you’re looking for “another word for beautiful”, you’ve come to the right place!
Now, a lot of words in English mean “beautiful”. You can tell someone they’re cute, pretty, elegant, handsome… So many synonyms for the same word, and new ones popping up and fading out all the time (like “looking fly” or “on fleek” as a couple of examples).
Yet, I don’t know about you, but I get a bit bored using the same words all the time. That’s part of the appeal of learning so many languages. You can learn how to express yourself in new ways, and many languages have unique words that aren’t translatable. I love that.
There’s definitely no shortage of words for “beautiful” in different languages from around the world. Here I’m sharing how to express beauty in 15 languages, so you can impress your love (or child, or mom, or pet…) with the perfect word to capture the moment!
Beautiful in Spanish – Hermosa / Hermoso
In Spanish, you say hermosa or hermoso when you want to call someone “beautiful” or “gorgeous.” But there are tons of ways to tell someone they’re beautiful in Spanish. Another word for beautiful is bello/bella (“lovely”), and similar words like guapo/guapa (“handsome”) or bonito/bonita (“pretty”) are often used. Words ending in “o” are masculine, and “a” are feminine. Make sure to use the correct ending based on who you’re talking to, or what gender the noun is that you’re describing. These are the most common ways to say “beautiful” in Spanish, with hermosa being on the formal side.
You could even have a bit of fun and describe someone as “tasty” or “dreamy” like cheese with estar como un queso.
Beautiful in French – Beau / Belle
As with Spanish, French has genders for words. So “beautiful” in French is either beau for a man or belle for a woman (or masculine/feminine noun). To simplify it, you could say magnifique (“magnificent”), which is used to describe something or someone as very beautiful or striking. Flatter your significant other with Tu es absolument magnifique (“You look absolutely stunning.”)
You could also tell someone they are joli (masculine) or jolie (feminine, “pretty”).
Beautiful in Italian – Bellissimo / Bellissima
Italian continues the theme of gender-based words here! (You'll see this in a lot of languages.) You can describe someone as “very beautiful” or “gorgeous” by using bellissimo for masculine objects or men. Use bellissima for feminine objects or women.
For “pretty” or “lovely”, it’s the same as in Spanish. Bello for men, and bella for women. In the Romance languages, it’s not unusual to describe men with the same words as women. Still, it’s more common to use bella for a woman, and less common to hear bello for a man.
You could also say someone is attraente, or “attractive”. This word is gender-neutral, so you don’t have to worry about what gender you pair it with.
Beautiful in German – Schön
You can use schön to tell someone they’re “lovely” or “beautiful”. But it’s also common to say it with more intensity: wunderschön, or “very beautiful”. Du bist wunderschön means “you’re very beautiful!”
You can also tell someone they’re “pretty” with hübsch, or “cute” or “sweet” with süßes. Plus, German is full of fun, cute nicknames to express your adoration… Like schatzi (“little treasure”), which is what my wife Lauren and I named our puppy. (Although she’s not such a little puppy anymore!)
Beautiful in Portuguese – Bonito / Bonita
Portuguese words for beautiful are similar to Italian and Spanish. Like in Spanish, bonito and bonita means “beautiful” or “pretty” for masculine and feminine nouns respectively. You can also say belíssimo for “stunning”… almost the same as Italian.
Other words you can use are belo for “lovely”, formoso for “handsome”, and gracioso for “gorgeous”. As with other Romance languages, you’ll need to follow gender rules here too, with “o” being the masculine ending for adjectives, and “a” being feminine.
Beautiful in Irish Gaelic – Go Hálainn
This is also spelt as álainn when used to describe something as beautiful. For instance, “beautiful woman” is bean álainn, but “The woman is beautiful” is Tá an bhean go hálainn. A small difference, but something worth noting.
Another word for beautiful is taibhseach, which is more like “gorgeous” or “stunning”. You could also say galánta to describe someone as an elegant beauty.
Beautiful in Dutch – Mooi
To tell someone they look beautiful in Dutch, you can say mooi, which means both “beautiful” and “handsome”. But typically for men, you would use knap for “handsome” instead.
Other ways you can express someone or something’s beauty: schoon (“clean” and “beautiful”), heerlijk (“lovely”), fraai (“fine” or “handsome”), or fijn (“nice” or “elegant”). If someone asks how they look, you can say Gewoon mooi!, “Simply beautiful!” Or change mooi to its superlative form – Mooiste! (“Most beautiful!”)
Beautiful in Esperanto – Bela
Esperanto is an incredibly easy language to learn since it’s a constructed language meant to bring people together from across the world. So you’ll notice a lot of words in Esperanto are similar to others on the list, or English words.
Bela is a catch-all Esperanto word for many similar words in English and does not change based on gender. It means “beautiful”, “pretty”, and “lovely”. You could also say eleganta for – you guessed it – “elegant”, or glamorosa for “glamorous”.
If you want to get more of a feel for this language, you can also check out my bela wife, Lauren, during her Esperanto language mission.
Beautiful in American Sign Language
For “beautiful” in ASL, you can check out this short video that gives a great demonstration:
An easy way to remember it: the whole face is so beautiful, it pops… It sticks out from the crowd, it’s very striking. You start with your thumb pointing at your chin and roll your fingers around the front of your face.
Beautiful in Greek – πανεμορφη (Panemorfo)
You can say πανέμορφο (panemorfo) to say “beautiful” or “exquisite”, but when describing something or someone as beautiful, you use όμορφο (ómorfo). So to say “beautiful girl”, you would say όμορφη κορίτσι (omorfi korítsi).
You can also describe men as όμορφος (omorfos), or use ωραίος (oraíos, “good-looking” or “nice”). In Greek, the endings change based on gender, but it’s a bit different than the other languages we’ve looked at. So here, “os” is the masculine form, “i” is feminine, and “o” is neutral.
Beautiful in Russian – красивое (Krasivoye)
Like many of the other languages, “beautiful” in Russian changes based on what you’re describing. красивое (krasivoye) is gender neutral. To say, “beautiful” to a woman, you would use красивая (krasivaya), and to a man, красивый (krasivyy).
Милая (milaya) means “pretty” and it’s used affectionately, almost like “sweet girl”. You could describe someone as “charming” with очаровательная (ocharovatel'naya). Both of these are in the feminine form, so make sure to change them if you’re describing a neutral or masculine noun or a man. You would usually use these words for women, though.
Beautiful in Mandarin Chinese – 美丽 (Měilì)
In Chinese, the single character 美 means beautiful. But it's almost always combined with 丽 to form “beautiful”, 美丽 (Měilì), to describe things. 美 on its own is a more intense, lasting beauty, while 美丽 is more common to describe beauty in day-to-day life.
Besides 美丽, you can also use 漂亮 (piào liàng), which translates closer to “pretty”. It’s used to describe objects, people, scenery… anything, really. The two characters mean “elegant” and “bright”, but 优雅 (yōuyǎ) is the more accurate translation for describing someone as elegant.
Beautiful in Japanese – 美しい (Utsukushii)
Since Japanese takes some of its characters (kanji) from China, you’ll notice that the first character is the same as 美丽 from Chinese – although the reading is different. 美しい (utsukushii) means “beautiful,” but it’s a bit “intense” to say to other people in Japanese. So, there are many variations. Often, you’ll hear beautiful described as “clean” with 綺麗な (kirei na). You’ll hear 素敵な (suteki na, “lovely”) used more commonly in place of beautiful, especially when describing beautiful clothes or a beautiful woman.
And girls are usually called 可愛い (kawaii, “cute”) or 美少女 (bishoujo, “beautiful girl”). Especially glamorous boys (think the boy band type or the hero in girls manga) would be 美少年 (bishounen, “beautiful youth”). But most girls use かっこいい (kakkoii, “cool” or “good-looking”) to describe an attractive guy.
Beautiful in Korean – 아름답다 (Areumdapda)
In Korean, there are two main words for “beautiful” – 아름답다 (areumdapda, “beautiful”) and 예쁘다 (yeppeuda, “pretty”). While you can use both to describe most anything of beauty, 아름답다 is a bit like the Japanese 美しい. It’s usually too strong to use with people, especially to compliment young women. So 예쁘다 is more common when talking about people, while 아름답다 is best for things like scenery.
Of course, there are varying levels of formality in Korean. But if you want to tell someone you’re very close to (like your significant other) that they’re looking very nice today, you say 예뻐 (yeppeo) or 이뻐 (ippeo). They both mean pretty, but 이뻐 is more slangy. 아름다워 (areumdawo) is the more informal version of 아름답다, but it’s still not used often for people… even your girlfriend.
Beautiful in Arabic – جميلة (Jamila)
In Arabic, you can use جميلة (jamila) to tell a woman she’s beautiful, or جميل (jamil) for a man. You can also say وسيم (wasim) to describe a man as “handsome” or “good-looking”. ملفت للانتباه (mulifat lilaintibah) can be used for either a man or a woman to say “attractive”. If someone’s glamorous or alluring, you can use فاتن (fatan).
Besides keeping an eye out for the gender of the words, you’ll also notice these Arabic words change quite a bit based on the region it’s spoken in as well.
Abundance of Beauty
Now you can compliment someone on their beauty in 15 different languages! You can surprise your significant other by calling them beautiful, stunning, elegant, handsome, lovely, or attractive in all these languages… or you can practise with your pet. I mean, I think mine is pretty 可愛い (kawaii, “cute”).
Just make sure before you go saying any of these to strangers, you understand the cultural nuance (like I mentioned with Japanese and Korean!).
What are your favourite words to say “beautiful”? Do you prefer words like “pretty”, “gorgeous” or “handsome”? Do you know how to express it in any other languages? Share your thoughts in the comments.
And finally... One of the best ways to learn a new language is with podcasts. Read more about how to use podcasts to learn a language.