Difference Wiki

Handsome vs. Smart: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on November 24, 2023
Handsome refers to physical attractiveness, while Smart denotes intelligence or cleverness.

Key Differences

Handsome and Smart are two descriptors that often apply to people, but they convey different types of admiration. Handsome typically refers to someone's physical appearance suggesting they are pleasing to look at, while Smart alludes to someone's intellectual capacity or wit.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023
A person described as handsome might have symmetrical features, a pleasant countenance, or a striking presence. This term is often used in the context of physical beauty. Conversely, a smart individual is often recognized for their quick thinking, knowledge, or problem-solving abilities.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023
While handsome is mainly associated with aesthetic appeal, it can sometimes be used more broadly, implying a sense of dignity or nobility. For instance, a "handsome gesture" is a gracious or generous act. On the other hand, smart can also refer to being well-dressed or stylish, but its primary connotation remains tied to intelligence.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023
It's possible for someone to be both handsome and smart, and the two attributes aren't mutually exclusive. However, societal stereotypes sometimes unjustly presume otherwise, suggesting someone might be only one or the other.
Sara Rehman
Nov 24, 2023
In essence, while both terms are compliments, handsome highlights physical attributes, and smart emphasizes cognitive ones.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Primary Association

Physical attractiveness or beauty.
Intelligence or cleverness.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Secondary Meaning

Generosity or nobility (e.g., a handsome gesture).
Well-dressed or stylish.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Gender Connotations

Often used for men but can apply to any gender.
Gender-neutral.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Contextual Use

"He is a handsome man."
"She gave a smart answer."
Janet White
Nov 24, 2023

Opposites

Plain or unattractive.
Dull or slow-witted.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 24, 2023
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Handsome and Smart Definitions

Handsome

Pleasing in appearance; good-looking.
The actor was considered very handsome by many.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Smart

Showing intelligence or quick thinking.
She made a smart decision in a difficult situation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

Handsome

Considerable or ample in size or amount.
She received a handsome salary for her work.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Smart

Painful or sharp.
The slap left a smart on his cheek.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Handsome

Strikingly impressive in effect or extent.
The play had a handsome success.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Smart

Energetic or brisk.
She set a smart pace during the marathon.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

Handsome

Marked by graciousness or generosity.
It was a handsome gesture to donate to the cause.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

Smart

Having or showing intelligence; bright.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Exhibiting noble or dignified appearance.
The old building had a handsome façade.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023

Smart

Canny and shrewd in dealings with others
A smart negotiator.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Pleasing in form or appearance, especially having strong or distinguished features
A handsome man.
A woman with a handsome face.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Amusingly clever; witty
A smart quip.
A lively, smart conversation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Having stately or attractive proportions or appearance; impressive
A handsome manor.
A sleek, handsome car.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Impertinent; insolent
That's enough of your smart talk.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Large in amount or measure; generous or considerable
A handsome reward.
Won by a handsome margin.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Energetic or quick in movement
A smart pace.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Marked by or requiring skill or dexterity
Did some handsome maneuvers on the skating rink.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Fashionable; elegant
A smart suit.
A smart restaurant.
The smart set.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Appropriate or fitting
A handsome location for the new school.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Capable of making adjustments that resemble those resulting from human decisions, chiefly by means of electronic sensors and computer technology
Smart missiles.
Smart machines.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Having a pleasing appearance, good-looking, attractive, particularly
That is one handsome tree you've got there.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

To cause a sharp, usually superficial, stinging pain
The slap delivered to my face smarted.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Attractively manly, having a pleasing face and overall effect.
I was tripping over his own feet coming in out of the surf.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

To be the location of such a pain
The incision on my leg smarts.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Statuesque, beautiful in a masculine or otherwise imposing way.
She was either handsome or her uniform created a flattering effect but—being very nearsighted—he couldn't tell from this distance.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

To feel such a pain.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Good, appealing, appropriate.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

To suffer acutely, as from mental distress, wounded feelings, or remorse
"No creature smarts so little as a fool" (Alexander Pope).
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

(of weather) Fine, clear and bright.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Sharp pain or anguish
The smart of the wound.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Suitable or fit in action; marked with propriety and ease; appropriate.
A handsome style
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Smarts(Slang) Intelligence; expertise
A reporter with a lot of smarts.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Generous or noble in character.
Handsome is as handsome does.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

(intransitive) To hurt or sting.
After being hit with a pitch, the batter exclaimed "Ouch, my arm smarts!"
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Ample; moderately large.
A handsome salary
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

(transitive) To cause a smart or sting in.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Dexterous; skillful.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

(intransitive) To feel a pungent pain of mind; to feel sharp pain or grief; be punished severely; to feel the sting of evil.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

To render handsome.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Exhibiting social ability or cleverness.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Dexterous; skillful; handy; ready; convenient; - applied to things as persons.
That they [engines of war] be both easy to be carried and handsome to be moved and turned about.
For a thief it is so handsome as it may seem it was first invented for him.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

(informal) Exhibiting intellectual knowledge, such as that found in books.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Agreeable to the eye or to correct taste; having a pleasing appearance or expression; attractive; having symmetry and dignity; comely; - expressing more than pretty, and less than beautiful; as, a handsome man or woman; a handsome garment, house, tree, horse.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Equipped with intelligent behaviour (digital/computer technology).
Smart car
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Suitable or fit in action; marked with propriety and ease; graceful; becoming; appropriate; as, a handsome style, etc.
Easiness and handsome address in writing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Good-looking; well dressed; fine; fashionable.
A smart outfit
You look smart in that business suit.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Evincing a becoming generosity or nobleness of character; liberal; generous.
Handsome is as handsome does.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Cleverly shrewd and humorous in a way that may be rude and disrespectful.
He became tired of his daughter's sarcasm and smart remarks.
Don't get smart with me!
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Ample; moderately large.
He . . . accumulated a handsome sum of money.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Sudden and intense.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

To render handsome.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Causing sharp pain; stinging.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Pleasing in appearance especially by reason of conformity to ideals of form and proportion;
A fine-looking woman
A good-looking man
Better-looking than her sister
Very pretty but not so extraordinarily handsome
Our southern women are well-favored
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Sharp; keen; poignant.
A smart pain
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Handsome

Given or giving freely;
Was a big tipper
The bounteous goodness of God
Bountiful compliments
A freehanded host
A handsome allowance
Saturday's child is loving and giving
A liberal backer of the arts
A munificent gift
Her fond and openhanded grandfather
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Intense in feeling; painful. Used usually with the adverb intensifier right.
He raised his voice, and it hurt her feelings right smart.
That cast on his leg chaffs him right smart.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

(archaic) Efficient; vigorous; brilliant.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

(archaic) Pretentious; showy; spruce.
A smart gown
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

(archaic) Brisk; fresh.
A smart breeze
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

A sharp, quick, lively pain; a sting.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Mental pain or suffering; grief; affliction.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Smart-money.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

A dandy; one who is smart in dress; one who is brisk, vivacious, or clever.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

To feel a lively, pungent local pain; - said of some part of the body as the seat of irritation; as, my finger smarts; these wounds smart.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

To feel a pungent pain of mind; to feel sharp pain or grief; to suffer; to feel the sting of evil; as, the team is still smarting from its loss of the championship.
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

To cause a smart in.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Quick, pungent, lively pain; a pricking local pain, as the pain from puncture by nettles.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Severe, pungent pain of mind; pungent grief; as, the smart of affliction.
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart.
Counsel mitigates the greatest smart.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

A fellow who affects smartness, briskness, and vivacity; a dandy.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Smart money (see below).
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Causing a smart; pungent; pricking; as, a smart stroke or taste.
How smart lash that speech doth give my conscience.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Keen; severe; poignant; as, smart pain.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Vigorous; sharp; severe.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Accomplishing, or able to accomplish, results quickly; active; sharp; clever.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Efficient; vigorous; brilliant.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Marked by acuteness or shrewdness; quick in suggestion or reply; vivacious; witty; as, a smart reply; a smart saying.
Who, for the poor renown of being smartWould leave a sting within a brother's heart?
A sentence or two, . . . which I thought very smart.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Pretentious; showy; spruce; as, a smart gown.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Brisk; fresh; as, a smart breeze.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

A kind of pain such as that caused by a wound or a burn or a sore
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Be the source of pain
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Showing mental alertness and calculation and resourcefulness
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Elegant and stylish;
Chic elegance
A smart new dress
A suit of voguish cut
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Characterized by quickness and ease in learning;
Some children are brighter in one subject than another
Smart children talk earlier than the average
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Improperly forward or bold;
Don't be fresh with me
Impertinent of a child to lecture a grownup
An impudent boy given to insulting strangers
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Marked by smartness in dress and manners;
A dapper young man
A jaunty red hat
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 08, 2023

Smart

Stylish or elegant in appearance.
He wore a smart suit to the interview.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Smart

Technologically advanced.
My smart refrigerator can order groceries online.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

FAQs

Can a device be smart?

Yes, devices like phones and appliances can be "smart," meaning technologically advanced.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Can a woman be described as handsome?

Yes, "handsome" can refer to a woman with distinguished or striking features.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Does being smart mean always having the right answer?

No, being smart can also mean the ability to think critically or adapt to situations.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Can an act or gesture be handsome?

Yes, a gracious or generous act can be called a "handsome gesture."
Sara Rehman
Nov 24, 2023

Can objects be described as handsome?

Yes, objects like cars or buildings can be called "handsome" to denote aesthetic appeal.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Is smart just about academic intelligence?

No, "smart" can refer to practical intelligence, wit, or quick thinking, not just academics.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Is the term handsome outdated?

While its usage has evolved, "handsome" remains a relevant term in modern language.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Can "smart" mean painful?

Yes, in some contexts, "smart" can describe a sharp or stinging pain.
Sara Rehman
Nov 24, 2023

Does handsome have any connotations beyond looks?

Yes, it can also suggest generosity, like a "handsome gesture," or ample size, like a "handsome sum."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Is being handsome only about facial features?

No, it can refer to overall physical presence, including stature and style.
Harlon Moss
Nov 24, 2023

Can smart refer to appearance?

Yes, "smart" can describe someone who is well-dressed or stylish.
Janet White
Nov 24, 2023

Is handsome always a compliment?

Typically, yes, but context matters; it can be neutral or even negative in specific settings.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Can objects be described as smart?

Yes, particularly in tech, objects like watches and TVs can be "smart," indicating advanced features or connectivity.
Sara Rehman
Nov 24, 2023

What's a synonym for smart?

Intelligent, clever, or astute are synonyms for smart.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Are handsome and smart mutually exclusive?

No, a person can be both handsome and smart.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 24, 2023

What's the opposite of smart?

Depending on context, "dull" or "slow-witted" could be opposites.
Harlon Moss
Nov 24, 2023

Can animals be described as smart?

Absolutely, many animals like dolphins and dogs are often described as smart due to their learning abilities.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Does handsome have any cultural variations in meaning?

Beauty standards vary by culture, so what's considered "handsome" can differ around the world.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

What's a lesser-known synonym for handsome?

"Comely" is an older term that also means pleasing in appearance.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 24, 2023

Can smart describe a taste?

Rarely in modern usage, but "smart" can describe a sharp or tangy taste.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 24, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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