Is it okay to refer to a girl as being `homely’?

If she is not much to look at, then you can call her `homely’. When you refer to a girl as being homely, what you are suggesting is that she is rather plain or ugly. The word can be used with animals as well.

*Her daughters are very intelligent, but rather homely.

When you refer to a chair as being `homely’, what you mean is that it is not elegant to look at, but comfortable to sit on.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – April 10, 2006

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