Posted by: Jack Henry | June 11, 2020

Editor’s Corner: 32 Beautiful Vocabulary Words

Good morning, word lovers.

BuzzFeed recently shared a list called “32 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The English Language.” As I read through the words, two things came to mind. First, most of them really are words that make you go “ahhh,” in the same way a lovely piece of art does. Or, you know, when you have the first taste of a food or drink you really love? Yeah, like that. If these words don’t make you go “ahhh,” your “ahhh barometer” needs replacing.

And second, there are some beautiful words on this list that are new to me, and I’m hoping that will be the case for you too, because we all need more beauty in our lives. I’m going to give you the whole list, all 32 of them. If that’s too much beauty for you to experience in one day, divide them up over the next few days. Savor the splendor.

1. aquiver (adjective): quivering, trembling

2. mellifluous (adjective): a sound that is sweet and smooth, pleasing to hear

3. ineffable (adjective): too great to be expressed in words

4. hiraeth (noun): a homesickness for a home you can’t return to, or that never was

A Welsh word without direct English translation, and utterly beautiful. Thanks, Wales.

5. nefarious (adjective): wicked, villainous, despicable

6. somnambulist (noun): a person who sleepwalks

7. epoch (noun): a particular period of time in history or a person’s life

8. sonorous (adjective): an imposingly deep and full sound

9. serendipity (noun): the chance occurrence of events in a beneficial way

10. limerence (noun): the state of being infatuated with another person

11. bombinate (verb): to make a humming or buzzing noise

12. ethereal (adjective): extremely delicate, light, not of this world

13. illicit (adjective): not legally permitted

14. petrichor (noun): the pleasant, earthy smell after rain

15. iridescent (adjective): producing a display of rainbowlike colors

16. epiphany (noun): a moment of sudden revelation

17. supine (adjective): lying face upwards

18. luminescence (noun): light products by chemical, electrical, or physiological means

19. solitude (noun): a state of seclusion or isolation

20. aurora (noun): dawn

21. syzygy (noun): an alignment of celestial bodies

22. phosphenes (noun): the light and colors produced by rubbing your eyes

23. oblivion (noun): the state of being unaware of what is happening around you

24. ephemeral (adjective): lasting for a very short time

25. incandescence (noun): light produced by high temperatures

26. denouement (noun): the resolution of a narrative

27. vellichor (noun): the strange wistfulness of used bookshops

28. eloquence (noun): the art of using language in an apt, fluent way

29. defenestration (noun): the act of throwing someone out of a window

30. sonder (noun): the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own

31. effervescence (noun): bubbles in a liquid

32. cromulent (noun): appearing legitimate but actually being spurious

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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