10

Consider:

It is pleasant to look at.

So pleasant that you do not want to let it wander out of your sight.

What would be a word for pleasant to look at?

Something that's pleasant to my eyes... as said by @Mysti Sinha - eyesome.

closed as off-topic by ermanen, tchrist, Drew, Chenmunka, Edwin Ashworth Mar 8 '15 at 17:33

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  • 7
    You can consider picturesque but it is usually used for places. For people, there are words like attractive, beautiful etc. Please clarify your context and include your research. – ermanen Mar 5 '15 at 17:43
  • 4
    Right. When I read the title, I immediately thought "what's wrong with beautiful?" Also I wonder why none of the answers mentions this. – Mr Lister Mar 6 '15 at 6:58

14 Answers 14

23

You could call it captivating. Merriam-Webster defines captivate as "to attract and hold the attention of (someone) by being interesting, pretty, etc."

  • It's pretty good, but it's also a very strong one. It sort of means that you cannot help but to look at it. Not just and not necessarily pleasant though. An accident could be captivating. – Archimedix Mar 8 '15 at 1:41
  • 1
    OP is looking for something that means "so pleasant that you do not want to let it wander out of your sight," so it seems like a strong word is called for. – Nicole Mar 8 '15 at 4:11
20

If you need a word, this adjective is archaic and it is:

eyesome - (archaic, often poetic) visually attractive. (MW)

There are also less-archaic terms:

sightly - Pleasing to see; visually appealing. (TFD)

eye candy - A person who is or people considered highly attractive to look at. (TFD)

Examples:

It is pleasant to look at. (sightly)

He is pleasant to look at. (eye candy)

  • 8
    'Eyesome' doesn't sound too idiomatic. 'Pulchritudinous' now ... – Edwin Ashworth Mar 5 '15 at 18:41
  • what is TFD and MW? – juanpastas Mar 6 '15 at 23:17
  • oh I see The Free Dictionary and Merrian Webster – juanpastas Mar 6 '15 at 23:19
  • 3
    eyesome was Dictionary.com's word of the day yesterday. The definition provided was "pleasant to look at"--word-for-word identical to the definition requested by the OP. – imallett Mar 7 '15 at 0:03
  • Er.....you might want to mention that "eye-candy" is probably demeaning in some contexts. – Kyle Strand Mar 8 '15 at 10:14
19

comely - pleasing in appearance; attractive; fair

  • 1
    But only for a woman, according to MW. – Stephie Mar 5 '15 at 22:48
  • 2
    Not according to M-W Unabridged... – Gnawme Mar 5 '15 at 23:09
  • There's got to be a good joke there. – Kyle Strand Mar 8 '15 at 10:13
15

"Appealing" is "pleasant to look at" summarized in one word.

12

Why not simply beautiful? (pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically)

  • 3
    Why not? To me it's an overused, therefore common word with a diluted meaning. It also fails to carry any connotation of compulsion or steering of behaviour, as in "you do not want to let it wander out of your sight." A sunset, a flower arrangement, or a passerby might be beautiful; while a rare viewer might pause, stare, and/or become slackjawed, this is unusual. Certainly others will casually note the beauty but move on immediately. – Anguish Languish Mar 8 '15 at 3:21
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    @AnguishLanguish beautifully put. – Kyle Strand Mar 8 '15 at 10:15
10

"Handsome" has exactly the meaning you require:

adjective

  1. having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking: "a handsome man; a handsome woman."

  2. having pleasing proportions, relationships, or arrangements, as of shapes, forms, or colors; attractive:

... but seems to be quite an old-fashioned word these days. It might be useful to you depending on the context.

  • "What a handsome table!" I like this. – GEdgar Mar 6 '15 at 15:00
8

While not strictly limited to physical appearance, consider winsome

Attractive or appealing in appearance or character: a winsome smile

Oxford Dictionaries Online

  • 3
    Best of all, readers not familiar with this rather archaic word will simply read it as "full of win". :-) – R.. Mar 7 '15 at 3:46
8

Anything wrong with plain old 'pretty'?

  • 3
    pretty has a connotation of pureness, cute or maybe feminine, innocence, or cleanliness, at least for me. – Archimedix Mar 8 '15 at 1:45
6

One of these might do:

fetching - pleasant or attractive.

attractive - pleasing or appealing.

... but neither quite carries the strong connotation of irresistibility (not wanting it out of sight) that was requested.

4

Mesmerize
: to hold the attention of (someone) entirely : to interest or amaze (someone) so much that nothing else is seen or noticed

transitive verb
1 : to subject to mesmerism; also : hypnotize
2 : spellbind

[ Merriam-Webster online ]

Therefore, mesmerizing, spellbinding, and maybe, at the risk of falling asleep, hypnotic; more so about the impact of what is "delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace" upon the eye of the beholder so to speak.

  • 2
    The very special flavour of mesmerizing is in the phrase so much that nothing else is seen or noticed. And that's not what PO asked for. – Alfe Mar 6 '15 at 15:04
  • Also thought of awesome in its original sense, but there's a modern hurdle of sorts with that indeed and the spin is a bit different i.e. fear. Awe-inspiring is most likely too strong, awesome too weak, in awe not an adjective, awed the verb. See also this etc. – user98955 Mar 7 '15 at 0:45
  • You mix objective facts with subjective appearances while language does honour that distinction. »Mesmerizing« may be objectively analog to »beautiful« (i. e. when the reaction of the subject is of no concern to that objective property) but subjectively »beautiful« leaves the affected individual with more freedom concerning the reactions than »mesmerizing«. It is not in all contexts that this distinction is unimportant. – Alfe Mar 9 '15 at 1:09
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    I would just add that 'mesmerizing' also implies a reduction of the freedom of reaction for the beholder (and that might not be intended, at least it isn't by the words of the question). Otherwise your answer is a valuable contribution, so no problem with it. – Alfe Mar 9 '15 at 9:26
  • 1
    @Alfe I understand. I will upvote your comment to achieve that. Imho someone can indeed be mesmerized against his will so to speak; someone can also be mesmerized by beauty - or something else too. One can cause the other but not necessarily. In so many words I don't think that beauty implies captivation per se. Thank you! – user98955 Mar 10 '15 at 0:21
2

The phrase "aesthetically pleasing", though not a single word, denotes an object that is pleasant to look at in a generic visual sense without all the connotations of physical attractiveness, comeliness, etc. that some of the other suggestions carry.

That said, I do think there is a slight connotation of "artistic beauty" in the phrase.

  • I would like to add that for me, something can be aesthetically pleasing without having artistic beauty. However I'm not sure I could quantify the distinction, as for me, aesthetics are not very quantifiable. – L0j1k Mar 6 '15 at 22:24
1

Wholesome, Lush, perhaps salubrious? Though the last is used mainly for a product, it could be said being with someone is healthful or health-giving whether it is for companionship or just eye-candy on the arm, thus the connection would be salubrious. And modern lingo may lead to such quaint items as bitchin' or (as a feminine descriptor) leslie.

1

"fine"

can be applied to attractive partner, glassware, textiles, precious metals, paintings, sculptures, architecture, etc

-1

Another one is "Eyeful," which means someone/something that is visually stunning. However, it is a noun and is considered informal (according to the New Oxford American Dictionary).

Usage: The vase was quite an eyeful.

  • 6
    I see that the dictionary doesn't mention it explicitly, but in my experience calling something an "eyeful" is not necessarily a compliment; it marks something as unusual in a way that draws attention, but it doesn't have to be in a way that is attractive or pleasing. – Hellion Mar 5 '15 at 19:52
  • There are various adjectives that can be used to reflect it as positive. It mainly requires context. – ColonelHedgehog Mar 5 '15 at 19:55
  • Then you need to present such an example. I think it has strictly negative connotations. – curiousdannii Mar 6 '15 at 22:13
  • @curiousdannii Not strictly negative. I got quite an eyeful when I walked into the bathroom and saw the model my wife had befriended during fashion week stepping out of the shower. When my wife came home, I got quite an earful about it too. Highly context-dependent. – HopelessN00b Mar 8 '15 at 2:41

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