Friday, June 24, 2011

The Most Beautiful Words In the English Language

 Here is the compilation of the most beautiful words in English. How do we know we have the most beautiful? They were chosen by Robert Beard, who has been making dictionaries, creating word lists, and writing poetry for 40 years.
Dr. Beard gathered a collection of the loveliest words in the English language, carefully researched and written up in a book designed to help increase the beauty of our conversations and our understanding of how and why we speak in the ways we do.
I am not sure as to what criteria was used by Dr. Beard to have a high regard for a word. I would hazard a guess that it has to do with emotional reactions to the sound or meaning of a word. The words were chosen just by themselves and not in their usage in the context of a phrase. Needless to say, words, no matter how elegant, when used inappropriately in a sentence or a phrase become senseless and ridiculous.
The words chosen by Dr. Beard, used well, will decorate and make elegant your articles, essays, blogs, term papers, memos, love letters-even conversations with those we love.
  Most Beautiful Words In The English Language
adroit Dexterous, agile.
adumbrate To very gently suggest, to make shadowy or obscure
aestivate To summer, to spend the summer, to be in a state of dormancy
ailurophile A cat-lover.
assemblage A gathering.
beatific Befitting an angel or saint.
beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
blandiloquent Beautiful and flattering.
caliginous Dark and misty.
champagne An effervescent wine.
chatoyant Like a cat's eye.
chiaroscuro The arrangement of dark and light elements in a picture.
cockle A heart-shaped bivalve or a garden flower.
colporteur A book peddlar.
conflate To blend together, to combine different things.
cynosure A focal point of admiration.
becoming Attractive.
brood To think alone.
bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
comely Attractive.
dalliance A brief love affair.
demesne Dominion, territory.
demure Shy and reserved.
denouement The resolution of a mystery.
desuetude Disuse.
diaphanous Filmy.
diffuse Spread out, not focused or concentrated.
dulcet Sweet, sugary.
ebullient Bubbling with enthusiasm.
effervescent Bubbly.
efflorescence Flowering, the opening of buds or a bloom.
desultory Slow, sluggish.
dissemble Deceive.
ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
elixir A good potion.
emollient A softener.
encomium A spoken or written work in praise of someone.
ephemeral Short-lived.
epicure A person who enjoys fine living, especially food and drink.
epiphany A sudden revelation.
erstwhile At one time, for a time.
eschew To reject or avoid.
esculent Edible.
esoteric Understood only by a small group of specialists.
ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
etiolate White from no contact with light.
evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
exuberant Enthusiastic, excited.
eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.
embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
evocative Suggestive.
felicitous Pleasing.
fescue A variety of grass favored for pastures.
foudroyant Dazzling.
fragile Very, very delicate.
felicity Pleasantness.
fetching Pretty.
forbearance Withholding response to provocation.
fugacious Fleeting.
furtive Shifty, sneaky.
gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
glamour Beauty.
gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.
halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
hymeneal Having to do with a wedding.
harbinger Messenger with news of the future.
imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
imbue To infuse, instill.
incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
ingénue A naïve young woman.
inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.
insouciance Blithe nonchalance.
inspissate To thicken.
inure To jade.
jejune Dull; childish.
labyrinthine Twisting and turning.
lagniappe A gift given to a customer for their patronage.
lagoon A small gulf or inlet in the sea.
languor Listlessness, inactivity.
lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
laughter The response to something funny.
leisure Free time.
lissome Slender and graceful.
lilt To move musically or lively, to have a lively sound.
lithe Slender and flexible.
loquacious Talkative.
love Deep affection.
luxuriant Thick, lavish.
mellifluous Sweet-sounding.
missive A message or letter.
moiety One of two equal parts, a half.
mondegreen A misanalyzed phrase.
A slip of the ear.
murmurous Murmuring.
nebulous Foggy.
nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
niveous Snowy, snow-like.
obsequious Fawning, subservience.
odalisque A concubine in a harem.
oeuvre A work.
offing That part of the sea between the horizon and the offshore.
onomatopoeia The creation of words by imitating sound.
opulent Lush, luxuriant.
paean A formal expression of praise.
palimpsest A manuscript written over one or more earlier ones.
panacea A complete solution for all problems.
panoply A complete set.
pastiche A mixture of art work (art or music) from various sources.
peccadillo A peculiarity.
pelagic Related to the sea or ocean.
penumbra A half-shadow, the edge of a shadow.
peregrination Wandering, travels.
petrichor The smell of earth after a rain.
plethora A great excess, overabundance.
porcelain A fine white clay pottery.
potamophilous Loving rivers.
propinquity A nearness, similarity, or kinship.
pyrrhic Victorious despite heavy losses.
quintessential The ultimate, the essence of the essence, most essential.
ratatouille A spicy French stew.
ravel To knit or unknit.
redolent Sweet-smelling.
rhapsody A beautiful musical piece.
riparian Having to do with the bank of a river or other body of water.
ripple A small, circular wave emanating from a central point.
scintilla A spark or very small thing.
scintillate To sparkle with brilliant light.
sempiternal Forever and ever.
seraglio Housing for a harem.
serendipity Finding something while looking for something else.
summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
surreptitious Sneaky.
sussurous Producing a hushing sound, like flowing water.
symbiosis Interdependence of two different species.
syzygy The direct opposition of two heavenly bodies.
talisman A symbolic object believed to have magical powers.
terpsichorean Related to dance.
tintinnabulation Ringing.
umbrageous Shady.
umbrella Protection from sun or rain.
untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.
vestige A small fragment.
vestigial In trace amounts.
wafture Waving.
wherewithal The means.
whisper Speaking without vibrating the vocal folds.
woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.
zyzzyva A kind of beetle.

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