The appreciation of beauty is something deeply rooted in Arab culture.
Like many other cultures, Arab cultures are sources of many art forms, and Middle Eastern people have an appreciation for beauty in their surroundings.
But Arabic-speaking people are also particularly vocal about describing beauty and expressing it to others.
Learning how to say beautiful in Arabic is essential. Whether you’re flirting with someone, complimenting someone’s personality, or pointing out good weather, you’ll need to know exactly how to speak of beauty in Arabic and which words suit the situation best.
In fact, one of the most common words for beautiful in Arabic, jamiil, is also a common name — for men.
Read next: 11 Romantic Ways to Say I Love You in Arabic
Beautiful in Arabic at a Glance
Beautiful / Cute
Moon / Beautiful
inta wasiim أنت وسيم
minawwar ed-donya kolaha منور الدنيا كلها
You light up the whole world
inti mozzah انتِ مزة
Cute, sweet, funny
How to Say beautiful in Arabic (Something vs. Someone)
Before we jump into the different ways you can say beautiful in Arabic, we wanted to make a quick note about the importance of using the correct word for the situation.
Keep in mind that not all phrases that can be used to call someone beautiful are fit to describe physical objects or ideas. In English, we can call someone handsome, but we would rarely use handsome to describe a flower. This is the same way in Arabic.
For instance, in Arabic, you can say el-jaw jamil الجو جميل, meaning the weather is beautiful. But, you can’t say el-jaw wasiim الجو وسيم — this is the equivalent of calling the weather handsome.
We’ll explain the exact use of each word in the article below!.
All the Ways to Say Beautiful in Arabic
Below are all the ways of saying beautiful in Arabic, along with contextual notes and ideas for how to use them.
The word jamiil جميل is the most commonly used word to say beautiful in Arabic. You can use jamiil for both people and inanimate objects.
Jamiil is MSA and is thrown around casually whether you’re describing a person’s appearance, personality, or even a delicious meal you’re devouring.
You use jamiil جميل when describing masculine nouns and jamiilah جميله when describing feminine nouns (both including people).
For emphasis, in Egyptian, it is common to use ‘awi أوي, which means “very”. So, if someone says enta gamiil ‘awi انت جميل اوي (to a male) know they’re almost in awe of how beautiful you are. (Note Egyptians pronounce “j” as a “g”, so jamiil becomes gamiil.)
The equivalent for “very” in the Levantine dialect is ktiir كتير, so you’d say inta jamiilah ktiir to a female to tell them they’re beautiful.
While Helw حلو is actually an MSA word that means “sweet”, it’s used in spoken dialects to describe someone or something beautiful in Arabic.
The word Helw حلو is the masculine form and Helwah حلوه is the feminine form.
As in the case of jamiil, you can also add emphasis by adding the word awi أوي or ktiir كتير at the end — so if you wanted to say very beautiful (in Egyptian) you would say Helwah awi حلوه أوي.
The word ‘amar قمر translates to “the moon”, and the word itself is one of the most beautiful words in Arabic. Fittingly, it’s also used commonly in spoken Arabic to call someone beautiful.
Using the word ‘amar قمر to say “beautiful” is very common in Egyptian Arabic, who tend to be very effusive in expressing beauty.
Fun fact: You can also use ‘amar arba’tashar قمر اربعتاشر’, which translates to the moon of the 14th. In the Islamic Calendar, the 14th of the month is when the moon is at its fullest.
It’s used for emphasizing how perfect someone looks, like a complete moon. However, it is only used to describe people and not objects.
Enta wasiim أنت وسيم
The phrase enta wasiim أنت وسيم translates to “you’re handsome”. It’s generally only used when talking about people and specifically males.
This phrase is MSA, but is also often used in spoken Arabic.
Munawwar ed-dinya kolaha منور الدنيا كلها
This is a phrase used in Egyptian Arabic. It means “you light up the whole world”.
This phrase is commonly used to compliment someone as soon as you see them, inferring that it was dark before their arrival.
As munawwar it’s used to refer to a male, you can adjust it to compliment a female by saying munawwarah منورة.
But note that men often do compliment men with this phrase, and that can me more socially acceptable than greeting a female so effusively.
It works as both a greeting and a compliment on someone’s appearance or general presence. It’s a warm greeting that’s guaranteed to make your guest feel giddy and welcome!
Enti mozza انتِ مزة
We all know that calling someone “hot” is very different than calling them beautiful. Calling someone hot in Arabic only exists in Arabic slang, much as it does in English (or any language).
“You’re hot” in Egyptian Arabic is enty mozza انتِ مزة and is generally used when describing women. Be careful about the context in which you use this.
But be careful to not say mowza موزه as that means banana, which is quite a different thing to call someone!
The word mahDoom مهضوم or mahDooma مهضومه (when referring to women) is a Levantine Arabic word that means cute, sweet, and funny. This word is mostly used to talk about the personality of someone rather than their appearance.
In MSA, mahDoom مهضوم means digestible, which can be a bit of a head-scratcher when you try to think of how this could signify cuteness, but the idea is that the person is very pleasant and “easily digested” as opposed to someone who might be a little heavier on the stomach.
The word ghazaal غزال literally translates to “deer”. This is related to the word “gazelle” in English.
You use ghazaal to compliment someone’s physique. When addressing a female, it becomes ghazaalah غزاله.
Who doesn’t appreciate a good compliment? Certainly not anyone in the Arab world.
Now that you know how to say beautiful in Arabic, go put it into good use. Compliment someone’s appearance, flirt with a loved one or simply comment on all the beauty that surrounds us in your everyday life.
Something to remember is that people in middle eastern cultures are not just effusive towards people of the opposite sex. In fact, that can be taboo quite often. So people also compliment people of the same sex and nothing is meant by it other than friendly praise.
If there’s something that we can learn from the Arab world, it’s that no matter how mundane your life can seem, there’s always beauty all around, we just need to keep our eyes open!