From Middle English comly, cumly, cumlich, from Old English cymlīċ, cȳmlīċ (compare Old English cȳme (“fine, exquisite”), from Proto-Germanic *kūmiz (“delicate”)), from Proto-Germanic *kūmalīkaz (“pitiful, dear”). Cognate with Middle Dutch komlick, komelick, Middle High German komelīh, gomelīh.
- (dated, of a person) Pleasing or attractive to the eye.
- 1571, Roger Ascham, Toxophilus, the Schole, or Partitions, of Shooting. Contayned in II Bookes. […], imprinted at London, […]: By Thomas Marshe, OCLC 932903701; republished in The English Works of Roger Ascham, […], London: Printed for R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley, […], and J[ohn] Newbery, […], 1761, OCLC 642424485, book 2, page 162:
- In ſhootinge at the prickes, haſtye and quicke drawinge is neyther ſure nor yet comely.
- (Can we date this quote?) South
- He that is comely when old and decrepit, surely was very beautiful when he was young.
- (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
- Not once perceive their foul disfigurement / But boast themselves more comely than before.
- 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter IX, in The Land That Time Forgot:
- The chief's name was To-jo, and his household consisted of seven females and himself. These women were much more comely, or rather less hideous than those of Tsa's people; one of them, even, was almost pretty, being less hairy and having a rather nice skin, with high coloring.
- (archaic) Suitable or becoming; proper; agreeable.