That quality of a mathematical proof, scientific theory, poem, piano performance, or other work of science or art, usually not specifiable, but absolutely recognizable to any reasonably competant practitioner in the field.

El"e*gance (?), El"e*gan*cy (?), n. [L. elegantia, fr. elegans, -antis, elegant: cf. F. 'el'egance.]


The state or quality of being elegant; beauty as resulting from choice qualities and the complete absence of what deforms or impresses unpleasantly; grace given by art or practice; fine polish; refinement; -- said of manners, language, style, form, architecture, etc.

That grace that elegance affords. Drayton.

The endearing elegance of female friendship. Johnson.

A trait of native elegance, seldom seen in the masculine character after childhood or early youth, was shown in the General's fondness for the sight and fragrance of flowers. Hawthorne.


That which is elegant; that which is tasteful and highly attractive.

The beautiful wildness of nature, without the nicer elegancies of art. Spectator.

Syn. -- Elegance, Grace. Elegance implies something of a select style of beauty, which is usually produced by art, skill, or training; as, elegance of manners, composition, handwriting, etc.; elegant furniture; an elegant house, etc. Grace, as the word is here used, refers to bodily movements, and is a lower order of beauty. It may be a natural gift; thus, the manners of a peasant girl may be graceful, but can hardly be called elegant.


© Webster 1913.

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