Most language learners will tell you that different words elicit different emotions. Despite the fact that we use the same words to describe multiple objects and ideas, each word has its own special flavor that can move us when spoken and written.
In the English language, there are a handful of words that are particularly beautiful. While everyone has their favorites, here are twenty-five of the most beautiful words in English.
Epic stems from the Latin epicus, meaning “loud, heroic.” The word elicits a feeling of awe and admiration as it’s often associated with spectacular stories and heroic feats.
Serendipity is a delightful and unexpected discovery of something valuable without actually searching for it. It comes from the Persian word “sarandīp” and was coined by the English writer Horace Walpole in the 18th century.
Melody is a beautiful composition of sounds featuring variations in pitch and rhythm. The Greek root of melody – melos – translates literally as “song”.
Petrichor is the pleasant smell that is released into the air when rain falls on dry ground. It’s derived from the Greek words “petros”, meaning “stone,” and “ichor” which means “the fluid that flows like a stream in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.”
Radiant is derived from the Latin radere which means “to shine”. It’s commonly used to describe something that shines or glows brightly, often suggesting a spiritual light that emanates from people or places.
Magnolia refers to the beautiful flowering tree, but it also stands for something that is divinely beautiful and perfect. The word is also used to describe southern charm and grace.
Quixotic is a combination of the two Spanish words quijada (jaw) and otro (other). It refers to someone who has grand, romantic, or idealistic dreams or plans, and is often used in a positive connotation.
Sparkle comes from the Middle English “sparclen” and the Dutch word “sparkelen”, meaning “to twinkle or glimmerer”. It describes the reflection of light as it bounces off tiny objects and creates a bright, glittering effect.
Bask comes from the Old Norse baska, which means “to bathe”. It means to enjoy something fully, putting aside the worries of the day and luxuriating in the present moment.
Soliloquy is derived from the Latin solus (alone) and loqui (speak). It’s a literary device used by playwrights, authors and speakers to express the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters in the form of a monologue.
Bliss is derived from the Old English blithe meaning “cheerful” and the Middle Dutch blijse which means “rejoice”. It is often used to describe an exalted type of joy or peace that is beyond compare.
As the most often used word of all, it’s no surprise that love is one of the most beautiful words in English. Its religious associations create a feeling of devotion and piety, while its amorous incarnation brings feelings of intense passion and emotion.
Lavender is the name of a plant whose leaves give off a heavy, fragrant aroma that is both calming and inviting. This delightful word is derived from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”.
Enchant comes from the French word “enchanter”, with its roots in the Latin “incantare” meaning “to sing or recite a magic spell”. It’s the perfect word to evoke an old-world mystery and wonder.
Lullaby comes from the Middle English “lullen” meaning “to soothe or gently sing”. It’s often used to describe a soothing and melodious song that helps put children to sleep.
Euphoria is derived from the Greek word “euphoros” meaning “having a good feeling”. It’s often used to describe a sense of great happiness or joy that is beyond ordinary pleasure.
Jubilant comes from the Latin “jubilare” meaning “to shout for joy”. It is often used to describe a state of great happiness or elation at something that happened.
Awe is an emotion of admiration, as well as fear or respect, inspired by something powerful or grand. It comes from the Old English word “ea” meaning “to fear”.
Flourish comes from the Latin “florere” meaning “to blossom”. It usually describes the condition of something that is in the process of thriving and growing.
Serene comes from the Latin “serenus” meaning “calm or tranquil”. It’s often used to describe a peaceful, unruffled state that is free of worries or concerns.
Vivacious is derived from the Latin “vivus” meaning “full of life”. It is often used to describe someone who is full of energy and vitality, and has a positive, enthusiastic attitude.
Celebrate comes from the Latin “celebrare” meaning “to honor or worship”. It’s often associated with joyous occasions and serves as a reminder to take the time to enjoy life’s little pleasures.
Luscious has its roots in the Latin “lucestris” meaning “full of light”. It usually describes food and drinks that are intensely sweet and flavorful.
Amore is the Italian word for “love”, and has connotations of a deep, passionate love. It’s often used to describe an intense, romantic emotion.
Spring is the season of new life and new growth. It’s associated with freshness and rebirth, and is often used to express the idea of hope and renewal.
The English language is full of beautiful words, but there’s something especially enchanting about these particular words. Whether they’re used to describe a feeling of great joy or a moment of peace, these words can elicit powerful emotions in us and transport us to a different world. In the right context, these words are sure to take your breath away.