Let’s enrich our vocabulary with yet another amazing word. The word I picked for today’s Word of the Day is an especially beautiful word. I chose it because I loved its spelling, its pronunciation and its sweet etymology (and I thought it was funny because it sounded a bit like cauliflower). I most especially appreciate words that sound like a mix between the gurgle of a mountain stream and the sweet richness of a chocolate river, that’s why I love today’s Word of the Day: mellifluous.
The word mellifluous appeared in the English language during the 15th century (supposedly between 1375 and 1425). It came from Latin mellifluus which is composed of mel “honey” and fluere “to flow”; mellifluus literally means “flowing like honey”.
Nowadays, mellifluous can refer to something that is filled with something that sweetens (such as honey), or a sweet, smooth, musical and overall pleasant sound. It can be applied to a person’s writing style, voice, or tone. It is also used to describe music or anything musical or harmonious.
Funnily enough an equivalent of the word mellifluous also exists in French: melliflue. Although both words obviously share the same roots, it is interesting to notice that the French word has the same definition, both literally and figuratively, as its English equivalent.
The adjective mellifluous can also be used as an adverb, mellifluously, or a noun, mellifluousness. You can also find a negative form of this word: unmellifluous, unmellifluously. I find mellifluous to be a pleasant alternative to more common words such as agreeable, harmonic, mellow, euphonious or dulcet (ok, maybe not so common but I just really wanted to write euphonious and dulcet).
Ex 1: I am always baffled by the mellifluousness of this singer voice.
Ex 2: His letter was written in the mellifluous style that is specific to smart, well-read gentlemen.
Now let’s just hope I managed to do justice to this highly mellifluous word by writing a reasonably mellifluous article.