elegant


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.

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 ?
See here, now," he added, drawing an elegant velvet case out of his pocket, and opening it, "here's a present I got for you in New York.
A magnificent Court now began to assemble, and at the same time several elegant carriages filled with ladies in magnificent dresses drove up.
As to the dinner-service, it was elegant, and in perfect taste.
had followed me into the room, elegant, fatal, correct and severe in a white tie and large shirt- front.
I soon perceived that tho' Lovely and Elegant in her Person and tho' Easy and Polite in her Address, she was of that inferior order of Beings with regard to Delicate Feeling, tender Sentiments, and refined Sensibility, of which Augusta was one.
Our coach rattled out of the city, and at a short distance from its outskirts passed over a bridge of elegant construction, but somewhat too slight, as I imagined, to sustain any considerable weight.
She was now lying on the faded sofa of the pretty little drawing-room, the once elegant furniture of which had been gradually growing shabby, under the influence of four summers and two children; and, on Anne's appearing, greeted her with--
It is, however, a truly elegant city (very superior to New York), and I have spent a great deal of time in visiting the various monuments and palaces.
I was by no means prepared for such an event, nor can I now account for her ladyship's conduct; Langford appeared so exactly the place for her in every respect, as well from the elegant and expensive style of living there, as from her particular attachment to Mr.
Philip reminded him of his acquaintance with Hayward, and was entertained to see that Lawson was slightly awed by Hayward's elegant clothes and grand manner.
She had changed her gown for a house dress as fresh and elegant as the other.
What that mental attitude was capable of, in the way of an elegant, yet plain-spoken, and life-like delineation of men's moods and manners, as also in the way of determining those moods and manners themselves to all that was lively, unaffected, and harmonious, can be seen nowhere better than in Mr.