elegant

(redirected from elegances)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

elegant

(From Mathematics) Combining simplicity, power, and a certain ineffable grace of design. Higher praise than "clever", "winning" or even cuspy.

The French aviator, adventurer, and author Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery, probably best known for his classic children's book "The Little Prince", was also an aircraft designer. He gave us perhaps the best definition of engineering elegance when he said "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
References in classic literature ?
She was here shown successively into three large bed-chambers, with their dressing-rooms, most completely and handsomely fitted up; everything that money and taste could do, to give comfort and elegance to apartments, had been bestowed on these; and, being furnished within the last five years, they were perfect in all that would be generally pleasing, and wanting in all that could give pleasure to Catherine.
Such elegance of manner, so many graces of deportment, such powers of conversation, could never pass unnoticed.
"I cannot admit it," said Sergey Ivanovitch, with his habitual clearness, precision of expression, and elegance of phrase.
The writers of the reigns of Anne and George I called their period the Augustan Age, because they flattered themselves that with them English life and literature had reached a culminating period of civilization and elegance corresponding to that which existed at Rome under the Emperor Augustus.