Can nice used with a person be about his/her look? Can I use a nice woman and mean (sexually) attractive, like in a beautiful woman? Or is it always only about their behaviour and kindness, when used about people?

And more specific: can a nice woman be ugly? :)

nice, adj

  • giving pleasure or joy : good and enjoyable
  • attractive or of good quality
  • kind, polite, and friendly

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nice

  • It can be short for "looking nice", of course. "How do you think she looks?" "Nice!" But maybe that's pushing it a bit.
    – Mr Lister
    Jul 13 '14 at 21:48
  • 3
    The usual sense when applied to a person is as a character / demeanour descriptor (see Cobuild (2) ). However, context can make the appearance-descriptor sense obvious, as in 'Oooh – she's nice! Jul 13 '14 at 22:06
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    No, it's not always only about behavior and kindness. When wanting to eliminate ambiguity, some might use nice-looking to clarify, but even that can mean either well dressed or sexually attractive (or both, or something else, such as well-groomed).
    – J.R.
    Jul 14 '14 at 0:24

So says the dictionary.

However, for practical purposes, to say that someone is "nice", sometimes (of course depending on the context) may be just an euphemism to say that he/she is not attractive :-)


  • 1
    Something like when you say "your dress is interesting" to avoid a more unpleasant answer :) Jul 13 '14 at 23:40

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