I am trying to find a proper word for describing a visual concept.

At the moment the closest description is "understated sexuality", but maybe there is another word to describe a woman that is beautiful, attractive, sexy, confident and at the same time modest?

"Majestic or glorious" (Eilia 2015) "are too lavish, I need something different." (maxlaks 2015)


You can't throw a bunch of adjectives together and expect English to cough up some magic word. It might happen, but then again, it might not.

If you want to focus on her beauty, use

beautiful, attractive, appealing, charming

If you want to focus on her appearance, you could try

classy, elegant, sophisticated... or even resplendent (depending on the case)

For confidence, try

poised, self-assured

Modesty, in some senses, goes against confidence, but you can use

self-effacing, unpretentious

For understated sexuality in particular, I'm partial to


(of people or their behaviour) attractive and showing a good sense of style

or, in extreme cases


Attractive or gratifying physically, especially sexually:


PS - In my humble opinion as a reader, I like writers to describe girls with as many specific adjectives as possible, rather than be too laconic about it. Even your description in the post would mean more to a girl than any single word could.


How about winsome:


Attractive or appealing in a fresh, innocent way

  • 1
    Very good suggestion, but does this term carry also the connotation of being sexy? – user66974 May 15 '15 at 10:15
  • And does it also suggest confidence? Winsomeness is often found holding hands with shyness. – TRomano May 15 '15 at 12:12
  • When I think of women I would describe as winsome, I may not think of them as being "sexy" per se, but certainly very attractive. Bear in mind too, "sexy" can mean many things to many people. – Paul Griffin May 15 '15 at 12:18

I like chic:

adjective (chicer, chicest)

Elegantly and stylishly fashionable:

The connotation of stylish welcomes a deeper appreciation than most people offer to the elegant woman the OP describes:

1856, as a noun, "style, artistic skill,"
from French chic, 19c. in "stylishness" sense, originally "subtlety" (16c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps [Klein] related to German Schick "tact, skill,"
from Middle Low German schikken "arrange appropriately," or
Middle High German schicken "to arrange, set in order;"...



Winsome is a good old English word for that:

adjective 1. sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging: a winsome smile.

an elegant demure and a winsome smile describes many a lass in English books.

  • Hi John, welcome to ELU! Winsome is a pretty fitting word. Could you provide the source of the definition you gave? – Adam May 15 '15 at 3:39
  • I'm no longer sure of the source.... I generally use Cambridge or Oxford dictionaries. Next time I'll cite the reference. – John O'Shaughnessy Jun 6 '15 at 17:31

Someone fitting exactly that description (yeah, she’s currently reading over my shoulder) seems to find a way to fascinate me every day, so it might just be that all those qualities add up to make her “fascinating.”


I'd say the person has a wholesome beauty.



1.) Extremely beautiful or attractive; enchanting; entrancing.

protected by tchrist May 16 '15 at 9:34

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