The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English

Ailurophile A cat-lover.
Assemblage A gathering.
Becoming Attractive.
Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
Brood To think alone.
Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.
Comely Attractive.
Conflate To blend together.
Cynosure A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Demesne Dominion, territory.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Denouement The resolution of a mystery.
Desuetude Disuse.
Desultory Slow, sluggish.
Diaphanous Filmy.
Dissemble Deceive.
Dulcet Sweet, sugary.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Effervescent Bubbly.
Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.
Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Elixir A good potion.
Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
Emollient A softener.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Epiphany A sudden revelation.
Erstwhile At one time, for a time.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative Suggestive.
Fetching Pretty.
Felicity Pleasantness.
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.
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.
Inure To become jaded.
Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.
Lagniappe A special kind of gift.
Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
Leisure Free time.
Lilt To move musically or lively.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Lithe Slender and flexible.
Love Deep affection.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Moiety One of two equal parts.
Mondegreen A slip of the ear.
Murmurous Murmuring.
Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.
Opulent Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panacea A solution for all problems
Panoply A complete set.
Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.
Penumbra A half-shadow.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora A large quantity.
Propinquity An inclination.
Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential Most essential.
Ratatouille A spicy French stew.
Ravel To knit or unknit.
Redolent Fragrant.
Riparian By the bank of a stream.
Ripple A very small wave.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.
Susurrous Whispering, hissing.
Talisman A good luck charm.
Tintinnabulation Tinkling.
Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.
Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.
Vestigial In trace amounts.
Wafture Waving.
Wherewithal The means.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.


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This blog is Zoe's way to spread the joy of finding and learning interesting bits about English. Join her and learn something new every time.

28 responses to “The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English”

  1. pksengupta1940 says :

    I fail to see why Susquehanna is included here

    Regards P K Sengupta

    Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 04:01:21 +0000 To:

  2. anashebarton says :

    Reblogged this on Adventures with Anashe! and commented:
    Love these words!

  3. Henry says :

    I love this list. Some of my own personal favorites are:

    Magniloquent (fitting, wouldn’t you say?)

    I am bookmarking this so I can look back on it whenever I want ❤

  4. mike says :

    Not only is Bungalow not an English word, it does not mean ‘a small cozy cottage’, but ‘a single story house’ instead.

  5. stuartaken says :

    Reblogged this on Stuart Aken and commented:
    I don’t agree with all of these as Top 100, but there are some pretty good words here. What are your thoughts?

  6. kelleyc416 says :

    Susquehanna… You must be from Pennsylvania. One of the most beautiful rivers I’ve ever seen. But I might be biased.

  7. south3rd says :

    many lovely words. i am hijacking several.

  8. drewdog2060drewdog2060 says :

    Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    Some interesting words here, a number of which are unfamiliar to me. Kevin

  9. JC says :

    Lovely, it must have been hard to stop at 100.

  10. Kev says :

    Reblogged this on Great Indie Authors and commented:
    Some brilliant words here folks! Thanks for sharing, Zoe!

  11. noelleg44 says :

    Great concatenation of words. I especially like propinquity – I had a saying when I was serially dating: propinquity breeds contempt.

  12. M T McGuire says :

    A bungalow is actually, specifically, a house with no stairs, usually in a surburban area as they’re mostly built after the 1900s and more often than not for retired folks who find stairs tricky. A cosy cottage brings to mind something thatched with an upstairs.Is it the original Indian meaning, perhaps? I think it came into English from the days of the Raj. I love the word effervescent. It so sums up the kinds of folk it describes.



  13. Bhakra Gani says :

    Reblogged this on Articleprint.

  14. Mariella Hunt says :

    Reblogged this on life, literature, & coffee and commented:
    and I’ll share my favorites–


  15. Salvatore Cammarata says :

    Many words are very similar in Italian because of their greek and latin origins.

  16. GN says :

    and of course it’s panacea and its definition – where the only missing period exists.

  17. max1227 says :

    cacophony is the best word in the english language

  18. Vivian says :

    cacophony is the best word in the english language

  19. jayemeff says :

    denouement is French, is it not??

    I love discombobulate

  20. penelope0101 says :

    Now the 100 most harsh sounding words in the english language.

  21. L. T. Garvin, Author says :

    This is wonderful! Thank you so much.

  22. Mimis says :

    beautiful! I saw at least 18 Greek words there!

  23. Daiden Briana says :

    My eloquence has become an elixer, as this halcionic imbrication forms, the maddened labyrinthine disappears. I lilt at the very thought of this incipient lagniappe. My pastiche contains a plethora of summery talismans and a panoply of love.

  24. Johnny B says :

    No “Cacophony”. I call shenanigans.

  25. Marjorie Witt says :

    Stupendous list!

  26. Kate B says :

    Thank you for expanding my mind and vocabulary

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