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elegant

[el-i-guh nt] /ˈɛl ɪ gənt/
adjective
1.
tastefully fine or luxurious in dress, style, design, etc.:
elegant furnishings.
2.
gracefully refined and dignified, as in tastes, habits, or literary style:
an elegant young gentleman; an elegant prosodist.
3.
graceful in form or movement:
an elegant wave of the hand.
4.
appropriate to refined taste:
a man devoted to elegant pursuits.
5.
excellent; fine; superior:
an absolutely elegant wine.
6.
(of scientific, technical, or mathematical theories, solutions, etc.) gracefully concise and simple; admirably succinct.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin ēlegant- (stem of ēlegāns) tasteful, choice, equivalent to ēleg- (akin to ēlig- select; see elect) + -ant- -ant; orig. present participle of lost v.
Related forms
elegantly, adverb
hyperelegant, adjective
hyperelegantly, adverb
overelegant, adjective
overelegantly, adverb
superelegant, adjective
superelegantly, adverb
unelegant, adjective
unelegantly, adverb
Can be confused
elegant, eloquent.
Synonyms
1. See fine1 . 2. polished, courtly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un elegant

elegant

/ˈɛlɪɡənt/
adjective
1.
tasteful in dress, style, or design
2.
dignified and graceful in appearance, behaviour, etc
3.
cleverly simple; ingenious: an elegant solution to a problem
Derived Forms
elegantly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ēlegāns tasteful, related to ēligere to select; see elect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for un elegant

elegant

adj.

late 15c., from Middle French élégant (15c.), from Latin elegantem (nominative elegans) "choice, fine, tasteful," collateral form of present participle of eligere "select with care, choose." Elegans was originally a term of reproach, "dainty, fastidious;" the notion of "tastefully refined" emerged in classical Latin. Related: Elegantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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