Friday, February 13, 2009

100 Beautiful Words


Dr. Goodword (Dr. Robert Beard) of AlphaDictionary.com, offers a list of the "The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English"; except he couldn't keep it to 100, it went to 110!  I admit, I don't use most of these words, routinely if ever.  How about you?  Do you have a Beautiful Word you love?

The List
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 na├»ve 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 - An inclination or preference.
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.
BONUS WORDS
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.

One of my favorite beautiful words is one you can spell frontwards or backwards and get the same result.  BOB.  What's on your list?

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