Tuesday, February 24, 2009

100 Most Beautiful Words in English !!!

I was directed to this site http://www.alphadictionary.com sometime back and was quite interested by its contents.
I have copy pasted it a post on 100 most beautiful words in English (very subjective, of course) Personally, I will pick chiaroscuro, cynosure, halcyon and elixir as my favorites from this list. What is yours ?

Here are the 100 most beautiful words in English. How do we know? Dr. Goodword (Dr. Robert Beard) has been defining words and writing poetry for 40 years. For five years he wrote the daily word sent our as the Word of the Day at yourDictionary and since 2004 he has been writing the Good Word at alphaDictionary.

Over the years he has collected these words, with the help of the word colloquium at the alphaDictionary Alpha Agora. Now, here the most beautiful words in sounds and meaning are for you to enjoy.

Stay tuned: in a month or two you will be able to purchase the entire list, fully defined and explained by Dr. Goodword in his next book, The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English, published by Lexiteria and available at Amazon.com. Click the linked words for examples of rought drafts of the fully defined words.
1 adroit Dexterous, agile.
2 adumbrate To very gently suggest.
3 aestivate To summer, to spend the summer.
4 ailurophile A cat-lover.
5 beatific Befitting an angel or saint.
6 beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
7 blandiloquent Beautiful and flattering.
8 caliginous Dark and misty.
9 champagne An effervescent wine.
10 chatoyant Like a cat's eye.
11 chiaroscuro The arrangement of dark and light elements in a picture.
12 cockle A heart-shaped bivalve or a garden flower.
13 colporteur A book peddlar.
14 conflate To blend together, to combine different things.
15 cynosure A focal point of admiration.
16 desuetude Disuse.
17 diaphanous Filmy.
18 diffuse Spread out, not focused or concentrated.
19 dulcet Sweet, sugary.
20 ebullient Bubbling with enthusiasm.
21 effervescent Bubbly.
22 efflorescence Flowering, the opening of buds or a bloom.
23 elixir A good potion.
24 emollient A softener.
25 encomium A spoken or written work in praise of someone.
26 ephemeral Short-lived.
27 epicure A person who enjoys fine living, especially food and drink.
28 epiphany A sudden revelation.
29 erstwhile At one time, for a time.
30 eschew To reject or avoid.
31 esculent Edible.
32 esoteric Understood only by a small group of specialists.
33 ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
34 etiolate White from no contact with light.
35 evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
36 exuberant Enthusiastic, excited.
37 felicitous Pleasing.
38 fescue A variety of grass favored for pastures.
39 foudroyant Dazzling.
40 fragile Very, very delicate.
41 fugacioius Running, escaping.
42 gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
43 glamour Beauty.
44 gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider's silk.
45 halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
46 hymeneal Having to do with a wedding.
47 imbricate To overlap to form a regular pattern.
48 imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
49 imbue To infuse, instill.
50 incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
51 ingenue A naïve young woman.
52 inglenook The place beside the fireplace.
53 inspissate To thicken.
54 inure To jade.
55 jejune Dull; childish.
56 lagniappe A gift given to a customer for their patronage.
57 lagoon A small gulf or inlet in the sea.
58 languor Listlessness, inactivity.
59 lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
60 laughter The response to something funny.
61 lilt To move musically or lively, to have a lively sound.
62 lithe Slender and flexible.
63 loquacious Talkative.
64 luxuriant Thick, lavish.
65 mellifluous Sweet-sounding.
66 missive A message or letter.
67 moiety One of two equal parts, a half.
68 mondegreen A misanalyzed phrase.
69 nebulous Foggy.
70 niveous Snowy, snow-like.
71 obsequious Fawning, subservience.
72 odalisque A concubine in a harem.
73 oeuvre A work.
74 offing That part of the sea between the horizon and the offshore.
75 onomatopoeia The creation of words by imitating sound.
76 paean A formal expression of praise.
77 palimpsest A manuscript written over one or more earlier ones.
78 panacea A complete solution for all problems.
79 panoply A complete set.
80 pastiche A mixture of art work (art or music) from various sources.
81 peccadillo A peculiarity.
82 pelagic Related to the sea or ocean.
83 penumbra A half-shadow, the edge of a shadow.
84 peregrination Wandering, travels.
85 petrichor The smell of earth after a rain.
86 plethora A great excess, overabundance.
87 porcelain A fine white clay pottery.
88 potamophilous Loving rivers.
89 propinquity A nearness, similarity, or kinship.
90 Pyrrhic Victorious despite heavy losses.
91 quintessential The ultimate, the essence of the essence.
92 redolent Sweet-smelling.
93 rhapsody A beautiful musical piece.
94 riparian Having to do with the bank of a river or other body of water.
95 ripple A small, circular wave emanating from a central point.
96 scintillate To sparkle with brilliant light.
97 sempiternal Forever and ever.
98 seraglio Housing for a harem.
99 serendipity Finding something while looking for something else.
100 surreptitious Sneaky.

101 sussurous Producing a hushing sound, like flowing water.
102 symbiosis Interdependence of two different species.
103 syzygy The direct opposition of two heavenly bodies.
104 talisman A symbolic object believed to have magical powers.
105 terpsichorean Related to dance.
106 tintinnabulation Ringing.
107 umbrageous Shady.
108 vestige A small fragment.
109 whisper Speaking without vibrating the vocal folds.
110 zyzzyva A kind of beetle.


Mavin said...


I find quite a few of them from that list.

5, 12, 22, 28, 42, 61, 65, 80 and 99

Krishnan said...

Thanks Mavin, mellifluous and serendipity ah, yes, lovely words indeed.

Gopinath's "Artickles" said...

Great post, Krishnan. You know how much I love this subject! Thanks for sharing this great find. Will go through this at leisure some time later and post another comment after i do!

Krishnan said...

Sure Gopi, I know you are hopelessly in love with English :-). Your humor quotient is amazing.

Arvind Mishra said...

Beautiful collection -read 25 today only ! Rest next ! Thanks !

Krishnan said...

Thanks a lot Arvind.