The 100 most beautiful words in English lie in this book, according to Robert Beard (otherwise known as Dr Goodword), who has been making dictionaries and creating word lists for over 40 years. The words were picked for their sound or their definition, or both.
Here are some of my favourites:
Chatoyant Like a cat's eye.
Cynosure A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Denouement The resolution of a mystery.
Dulcet Sweet, sugary.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Erstwhile At one time, for a time.
EvanescentVanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
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.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
Lilt To move musically or lively.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Lithe Slender and flexible.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Opulent Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panoply A complete set.
Penumbra A half-shadow.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora A large quantity.
Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential Most essential.
Ratatouille A spicy French stew.
Ripple A very small wave.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Susurrous Whispering, hissing.
Do you think these words belong amongst the most beautiful in the English language?
Do you have any favourites which perhaps don't appear in Beard's book? Post them below!