The 142 Most Beautiful English Words

English has a lot of words that sound lovely.

Some of the most beautiful English words evoke (bring out) a feeling of calm, happiness and serenity (peace).

Below, I will show you 142 of the most beautiful English words to add to your vocabulary.


1. Ablaze

Let us start our list with something that evokes energy: ablaze.

“Ablaze” is an adjective that means “on fire” or “glowing with color, light, or emotion.” It combines the prefix a- and the noun blaze. Here, “a” suggests a state or condition while “blaze” means fire. 

You may often see or hear this word in the news. For example:

The sunset sky was ablaze with shades of red, orange and pink.

2. Absolution

“Absolution” is the noun form of absolve (to forgive). It means “forgiveness” or “remission.” 

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It usually refers to the act of Catholic priests forgiving sinners. However, it can also mean the act of setting someone free from guilt or punishment.

Compared to forgiveness or remission, “absolution” has a stronger meaning. It means the forgiveness or remission is more complete. 

For example, you could say:

I felt like Jane gave me absolution when she finally spoke to me yesterday after weeks of silence.

3. Adoration

Another noun derived from (that came from) a verb is “adoration.” It comes from adore, which means “to shower with intense love, praise or admiration.” Therefore, “adoration” is the act of doing these things to someone or something. 

Also like “absolution,” “adoration” had its roots (beginnings) in religion. One of its root words was aouren or “worship.” However, it has since had a more general meaning.

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One good way to use this word is:

Artists with a good reputation usually receive a lot of adoration

4. Aesthetic

If you read anything related to art, you will often come across the word “aesthetic,” which is a noun. The word often refers to how something looks.

Aesthetic comes from the Greek word aisthetikos or how something is perceived by all your senses. 

Note that an aesthetic does not necessarily have to be beautiful. It does not have to meet everyone’s (or most people’s) definition of beautiful. But it can be something striking (unusual) about something’s appearance.

If you have a friend who is a fashionista (someone who likes clothes and how they are designed or put together), you can compliment them by saying:

I really like that, when it comes to clothes, you have a unique aesthetic!

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5. Affluent

“Affluent” has one of the more straightforward (simple) meanings of the beautiful English words on this list. It simply means being “rich,” “wealthy” or having way more money than the average person.

“Affluent” comes from the Latin affluentem or “to flow toward” (probably referring to how money flows to the rich). It can be a noun or  adjective.

As a noun, you could use it like so:

I wonder how different the lives of the affluent are from ours.

As an adjective, it functions (works) like this: 

If you own a lot of companies, you are probably affluent.

6. Agile

If you work in the information technology (IT) industry, you may have heard of Agile software or processes. 

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“Agile,” by itself, is an adjective that describes something that quickly moves from one position to another. This makes sense, as its root Latin words are agilis (quick) and agere (stay in movement). 

Turn this into a noun and it becomes agility.

You can practice using this word for things like sports. For example:

It is important for runners to be agile.

7. Alluring

If something is so attractive that you cannot help but be drawn to it, it is considered “alluring.” It comes from the Old French aleurer, which means “to attract.”

Since alluring is an adjective, you can use it to refer to a person, object or idea.

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For example:

The idea of living in a country with free education is alluring to me.

8. Amicable

When something is “amicable,” it is pleasant, civil or friendly. 

Interestingly, one of its root words is the Latin amare (“to love”). But that is no longer what it means today. After all, lovers who are no longer together can still have an amicable relationship.

Another way you can use the adjective amicable is for something like:

Even though it had been years since I spoke to Anne, we still had an amicable talk yesterday.

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9. Amorous

You describe something with the adjective “amorous” when it is filled with sexual love. The word comes from the Latin amor, which means “love.”

Typically, you hear this used to describe a relationship or the way lovers are with each other. For example:

John and Jane had an amorous relationship that lasted years. 

10. Angelic

If you know what “angel” means, you can probably guess the meaning of this word.

If not, “angelic” is an adjective that means “like an angel.” It is something pure, sweet and gives you a feeling that you are floating above the clouds (like an angel!). 

I will give you a couple of examples:

She had an angelic face.

I would say Celine Dion has an angelic voice.

11. Aurora

“Aurora” is a noun, and it is a concrete noun, meaning it can be found in the physical world. It comes from Latin and referred to the Roman goddess of the dawn.

While still the name of the Roman goddess, “aurora” presently describes the dawn. It also describes the light near the North and South Poles that appears green or red due to the earth’s magnetism.

Many people travel to northern countries such as Canada, Iceland or Finland to see this gorgeous phenomenon (occurrence) called the aurora borealis.

While visiting, you might say:

He woke up at three in the morning to see the aurora borealis.

12. Bliss

“Bliss” is a noun that describes a state of perfect joy. It has a stronger meaning than “happiness” because it feels like nothing can be better.

You can turn this word into an adjective by adding -ful at the end so it becomes blissful or “full of bliss.”

You could say:

I know whenever I eat a delicious meal, I always feel bliss!

13. Blossom

“Blossom” is a noun that refers to a flower. If there are multiple flowers, then there are blossoms.

“Blossom” can also be a verb that refers to how flower petals open up (thanks to its Old English origins, blostmian or “to flower”). It can also refer to how something or someone becomes beautiful.

For example, if you plan to visit Japan, you may want to time it during hanami (flower viewing season). That way, you can practice a sentence like:

Ah, what beautiful cherry blossoms these are!

14. Bountiful

“Bountiful” is derived from the noun bounty and the suffix -ful. “Bounty,” in turn, comes from the Old French bonte or “goodness.” Therefore, “bountiful” can mean something full of goodness. It can also mean abundant (having a lot of something). 

You will often hear a phrase like “a bountiful harvest.” Another way you can use “bountiful” is:

When my life is already bountiful, what more can I ask for?

15. Breathless

You know those times when you run so fast you feel like you have no air in you? That is being “breathless.”

Remember: Whenever you add the suffix -less to a noun, it means there is a lack of that noun. In this case, you do not have a breath (from the Old English bræð, which referred to exhalation or letting out air from your lungs). 

It is also the name of a catchy song by The Corrs (an Irish pop band)!

Sometimes, it is used to refer to something that amazes you so much, it takes your breath away. For example:

The rock concert last night left me breathless

16. Brilliant

“Brilliant” is an adjective that can mean three things.

It can mean the same thing as the French word brilliant (yes, they have the same spelling) and refer to something that shines as bright as the sun.

It can be a person who is smarter or more talented than the average.

Or it can be an expression of amazement.

In any case, you can see why this is a beautiful English word.

If you want to use it to refer to something shiny and bright, you can say:

That is one brilliant piece of jewelry!

If you want to describe (or compliment) a talented person:

He was a brilliant student, as shown by the fact that he topped the exams.

17. Bubbles

When you wash with soap, you see these round, transparent (see-through) objects around the soapy area. If you touch them, they disappear (go away). Sometimes, they float around and if you look closely, they reflect all the colors of the rainbow!

Those are “bubbles,” the plural form of the noun “bubble.” Essentially, they are water particles (tiny pieces) inflated by gas—almost like balloons.

 You could say:

When I was a child, I used to blow bubbles with my friends.

18. Bucolic

If you have lived in the city all your life, you may not be too familiar with (knowledgeable or experienced with) the “bucolic.” That is because this adjective refers to having the qualities of the countryside.

One of its root words is the Greek boukolikos, which comes from boukolos or “herdsman” (someone who herds or takes care of animals). So you can imagine “bucolic” as the kind of place where farm animals go. 

But a bucolic place does not need to have animals. Think miles and miles of grasslands where there are hardly any people.  

So you could say:

My friend’s hometown was bucolic.

19. Butterfly

A “butterfly” is a type of insect. Insects are animals that have two antennae (hairlike parts used to sense) on their heads, six legs and bodies divided into three main sections. 

(Fun fact: The name “butterfly” came from the belief that these creatures ate butter!)

You can tell butterflies apart from other insects by their beautiful wings. They also like to fly over flowers where they feed on (eat) nectar, which is like a less sticky version of honey. 

If you know someone who likes insects, you can start a conversation with them with a question like:

Don’t you think that butterfly is beautiful? 

20. Cascade

“Cascade” can be both a noun and a verb. It comes from the Italian and Latin-based word cascare, meaning “to fall.”

As such, its noun version refers to water falling over a cliff or a similar situation. The word can also be used as a verb to mean the action of falling.

As a noun, you could say:

The cascade of water shone in the sunlight.

As a verb, you could say:

The water cascaded over the cliff.

21. Celestial

When you describe something with the adjective “celestial,” you are saying it is of or like the heavens.

In fact, the word didn’t change at all from its Old French version, which means “heavenly” or “sky-blue.”

Remember the “aurora borealis” we talked about earlier? You can also talk about it like this:

I loved the celestial beauty of the aurora borealis.

22. Charming

You have probably heard of some celebrities described as “charming.” It is an adjective that means these people have the ability to attract others to them.

The word actually comes from charmen, which means “to cast a spell on someone.”

Although you may be sure magic does not exist, charming people sure make it look like they have magic powers!

You can also use “charming” for objects. For example:

His house was quite charming.

23. Cherish

No doubt you have heard the lyrics “Cherish the love we have” at some point. “Cherish” is a verb that simply means “to hold something dear or precious”—which is also the meaning of its root word cherischen.

If you have an object given to you by a loved one, you could say:

I will always cherish this ring from my sweetheart.

24. Cinnamon

Ever heard of fictional (not real) people described as “cinnamon rolls?” If that is your first time hearing the word, no one would fault (blame) you for thinking that “cinnamon” meant kindness.

In fact, it is a noun that refers to a type of spice that comes from the tree bark of a plant in the avocado family. It has a distinctive (unique) strong sweet smell that you definitely do not want to use in large amounts!

You could say:

I always have a bottle of cinnamon on my kitchen shelf.

25. Clairvoyant

A “clairvoyant” is a noun used to describe someone who has the ability to see things beyond the normal range of vision. It comes from the root French words clair (clear) and voyant (to see). 

“Clairvoyant” does not only refer to someone who has exceptional (above average) intuition (ability to perceive things). The word usually implies (means) that the ability is supernatural (cannot be easily explained by science).

For example:

Anne knew what cards I held before I showed them to her. She must be a clairvoyant

26. Coalesce

“Coalesce” is a nice verb to describe things that come or mix together beautifully. It has the same meaning as its Latin root word coalescere.

For example, if you are in awe of how the clouds in the sky combine, you can say:

I love how the clouds coalesce to form one giant cotton ball in the sky!

27. Cocoon

Remember the butterfly from earlier? Its younger version, the caterpillar, makes a “cocoon”—a silk covering it uses to protect itself. The word comes from the French coucon, which essentially means a protective shell.

Sometimes, the word is used as a synonym (a word that has the same meaning) for “protection.” You will not see this often, though.

Since it has a very specific meaning, our example is pretty straightforward too.

I watched the caterpillar spin a cocoon around itself.

28. Compassion

When you feel kindness or empathy (the ability to understand how others are feeling) for others, you usually also feel “compassion” (a noun) for them. It comes from compassioun, which is to feel the suffering of another.

If you are religious or you know someone who is, you could say something like:

Most religions teach compassion for others.

29. Contentment

Another noun with a positive meaning is “contentment.” It means to be happy with what you already have.

Interestingly, it came from contentement, a word that meant “to settle a debt.” Thankfully, that is not how “contentment” is used these days!

You can use contentment to describe that feeling of happiness that nothing (at the moment, at least) can top. As an example:

Eating my mother’s cooking always gives me a sense of contentment. 

30. Coral

You know those colorful underwater structures that fish swim in and out of? Those are “corals (noun).” The word comes from various languages, all essentially meaning “small stone.” 

What makes corals different from stones, however, is that they were once living things. Specifically, they were created from the skeletons of polyps (tiny living things) that live in the sea.

The word is also a name for a kind of color

The next time you go diving, you can take a closer look at what you see underwater and say:

Coral reefs sure are amazing!

31. Cosmopolitan

“Cosmopolitan” is not only the name of a famous women’s magazine. It is also an adjective that means sophisticated—that is, knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to fashion, culture and how the world works.

Usually, you will hear this word used to describe a city or something that is like a city. For example:

Places like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles all have a cosmopolitan feel to them.

32. Crimson

If you want a fancier-sounding word for “red,” “crimson” is a good option. 

In fact, one of its root words is cremesin, or cloth that is purplish-red. 

This is another one of those beautiful English words with a straightforward use. For example:

Her crimson dress was absolutely stunning.

33. Crystalline

“Crystalline” is an adjective that means “like a crystal.” 

If something is shiny and transparent, you can use this word to describe it.

I would say something like:

The beach I visited last weekend had crystalline waters.

34. Dazzling

If the crystalline thing you see is so shiny and bright it blinds your eyes, you can also use the adjective “dazzling” to describe it.

“Dazzling” can also mean “amazing,” “captivating,” “charming” or any synonym of those words.

Using the first definition, you can say:

The lights in the theater were dazzling.

Using the second definition:

The theater performances were as dazzling as the lights in the theater.

35. Delicate

Ever known something (or someone) that feels like they would break if you even touch them? You can use the adjective “delicate” to describe them. 

For example:

Be careful with those glass cups! They are delicate

36. Delightful

When something gives you a feeling of pleasure, you can say it is “delightful.” After all, the word comes from “delight” and “-ful” or “full of delight (happiness, pleasure).”

Like “contentment,” you can use this word for anything that brings you joy. As for me, I would say:

Watching the stars at night is an absolutely delightful experience.

37. Demure

Normally, you hear “demure” used to describe someone who is shy or reserved (does not like to show emotion).

The adjective is thought to be derived from the Latin maturus (“mature”). After all, we normally associate (connect) being calm and quiet with being mature. But, as you know, that is not necessarily the case (truth)!

You will usually hear it used like this:

She seemed demure when I met her. But when we got to know each other, I discovered she actually likes to laugh out loud. 

38. Desirable

“Desirable” is also an adjective. It comes from the noun desire (to want) and the suffix -able. Therefore, it means “something that is able to attract desire.”

You can use this word to describe a person or object. For example:

Sunny weather would be desirable for tomorrow’s trip.

39. Devotion

The noun “devotion” means the same thing as “loyalty.” However, “devotion” has a stronger meaning.

In fact, it comes from devocioun, which means “strong religious reverence (respect or adoration).”

You do not always have to use it in a religious context, though. You could say:

His devotion to his wife is incredible.  

40. Diaphanous

If there is one word that should be on any “beautiful English words” list, it is the adjective “diaphanous.”

Simply put, it means “delicate and translucent (somewhat transparent).”

You could say:

Her wedding dress was diaphanous.

41. Divine

When you use the adjective “divine” to describe something, it means that something is related to or like the gods. Its root word is the Latin divinus or “of a god.”

One way to use it in a sentence is:

The taste of Belgian chocolate is divine.

42. Dreamy

Combine the noun dream with the suffix -y and you get the adjective “dreamy.” As you can guess from that, the word means “like a dream” or something that is so unreal it seems like a dream.

If a man is so handsome it is almost unbelievable, his admirers would say:

Oh, he is dreamy, isn’t he?

43. Dusk

This simple word is a noun, and it is one of my personal favorites.

In fact, “dusk” is an original English word that first appeared in written form in the 1620s.

“Dusk” describes the time of day when the sun has not completely set in the evening.

For example, you could say:

We walked along the river at dusk.

44. Ecstasy

“Ecstasy” is a noun that means an intense state of pleasure or happiness. Sometimes, this feeling is almost to the point of insanity (losing one’s mind). That is probably why this word was derived partly from existanai, or to go out (of the mind).

If you have never experienced this feeling yourself, you could also use it to describe others like:

The dancers were lost in ecstasy as they moved to the music. 

45. Effervescent

You use the adjective “effervescent” to describe something that is full of life or bubbly.

For example:

Her effervescent attitude made everyone fall in love with her.

46. Elegant

“Elegant” is an adjective. It describes something that is graceful or pleasing to the eye. It comes from the Latin elegantem, which means “fine” or “tasteful.”

This word can be used to describe an object, person or concept like so:

His luxury watch looks elegant with his outfit.

47. Enchanting

“Enchanting” is an adjective that has the same meaning as “charming”—that is, attractive.

You could say:

The fireworks display was enchanting.

48. Endearing

“Endearing” is an adjective. It combines the prefix en- (to make into) and the noun dear (beloved). If something inspires love or affection, it is “endearing.”

For example:

The baby’s gestures were endearing to her parents.

49. Epiphany

When you have a sudden realization (understanding) about something, you are said to have had an “epiphany,” which is a noun. 

“Epiphany” has religious origins. One of its root words is the Greek epiphaneia or a festival held to celebrate the arrival of a god. Since gods usually symbolize knowledge or wisdom, the word’s present meaning makes sense.

So, you could say:

I had an epiphany last night about how to do my job better. 

50. Ethereal

“Ethereal” is an adjective that comes from the French language.

It is derived from the word ether, which refers to the upper, clear area of the sky. It also refers to the space higher than low-lying clouds that can be seen on days when it is almost completely sunny.

Due to this, the word “ethereal” means something so beautiful that it simply cannot be from this world.

For example, you might say something like:

Her beauty was ethereal as she sat in the moonlight.

51. Euphoria

“Euphoria” is a noun that has a similar meaning as “ecstasy”—that is, an intense state of happiness. The difference is that “euphoria” has a more positive meaning than “ecstasy.”

In fact, the word comes from the Greek euphoros or the ability to carry, endure or bear something.

An example sentence using this word would be:

Getting accepted into Harvard University filled her with euphoria.

52. Evanescence

“Evanescence” is the noun version of the adjective evanescent, which comes from the French word évanescent, meaning something that disappears to the point of becoming invisible.

Today, it describes the rapid disappearing or vanishing of something.

Furthermore, Evanescence is also the name of a pretty good American rock band!

To use this word in a sentence, you might say:

The rainbow’s evanescence made it all the more beautiful.

53. Everlasting

You can figure out the meaning of this noun by breaking it down into its parts. “Everlasting” comes from ever- (something that lasts a long time or for eternity) and lasting (existing or happening). 

For example:

Movies often have stories about everlasting love.

54. Exaltation

“Exaltation” is another noun that means extreme happiness. The word also means putting someone or something in a higher position. 

In fact, it comes from the Latin exaltare, which means “to raise or elevate.” 

You could say:

You could feel the exaltation of the team after they finally won the championship.

55. Exquisite

“Exquisite” is an adjective. You use it to describe something that looks good because it is so carefully made. The word comes from the Latin exquisitus or “choice”—implying that a lot of care went into something.

You could say:

Photos of the actress’ exquisite dress were all over fashion magazines. 

56. Fanciful

“Fanciful,” an adjective, comes from the noun fancy (something that is imagined) and the suffix -ful. So, “fanciful” can mean “full of fancy”—or, more accurately, full of imagination.

For example:

Children’s stories are often fanciful.

57. Fascination

“Fascination” is a noun. It comes from the verb fascinate or “to attract.” Therefore, “fascination” means a feeling of attraction or interest.

You could say:

My brother’s fascination with collecting stamps started when he was young.

58. Fathomless

“Fathomless” is an adjective. It is derived from fathom or “to understand” and the suffix -less. Since -less usually describes the absence or lack of something, “fathomless” means “something that cannot be understood or is beyond understanding.”

One way to use this word is:

The sea has a fathomless beauty.

59. Feather

The simplest meaning of the noun “feather” is “the thing that covers birds.”

The more accurate definition would be “the flat and tufted appendages (attachments) that grow out of a bird’s skin and cover its body.” 

For example:

Peacock feathers are known for their attractive colors.

60. Felicity

If you know people named “Felicity,” you can be sure their parents loved them. That is because it is a noun that means “intense happiness”—which is also the meaning of its root word, the Old French felicite.

To give you an example:

The wedding filled the newlyweds with felicity

61. Fervent

When you describe something or someone with the adjective “fervent,” you are saying they have strong feelings towards something.

The word comes from the Latin ferventem, which can mean “hot” or “glowing.”

You could say:

The politician had a fervent belief in his cause.

62. Flamboyant

“Flamboyant” is an adjective. It is often used to describe something or someone who has an attention-grabbing style.

Interestingly, the word is the same in French, where it means “flaming.” So “flamboyant” can mean “something that attracts attention (like a flame).” 

For example:

Many celebrities have a flamboyant fashion sense.

63. Flawless

This is another adjective where the lack of something (as shown by the suffix -less) is a good thing. In this case, “flawless” means “without flaws” or “perfect.”

You might say:

The ballet dancer’s performance was almost flawless

64. Flourishing

“Flourishing” is an adjective that means “growing well” or “thriving.”

It comes from the Latin florere, which means “to bloom (like a flower).”

You could say:

Thanks to the owners’ hard work, the business is flourishing

65. Flowing

Imagine the water going out of your faucet when you use it. A more elegant adjective to describe that event would be “flowing.”

Its meaning is derived from the Old English flowan, which means “to become (or move like) liquid.”

For example:

The river was flowing gently downstream.

66. Fragrant

“Fragrant” is an adjective that means “to smell good.” 

One way to use it is as follows:

The bakery was fragrant with the scent of freshly-baked bread.

67. Freedom

“Freedom” is a beautiful word in more ways than one. It is a noun that means the ability to act without anything getting in your way.

You could say:

The fight for freedom is difficult, but it is worth it.

68. Gallop

Picture a horse running across a race track. That is pretty much what “gallop” means: to run with long strides (distance between footsteps).

As you can imagine, our example is pretty straightforward:

His horse galloped faster than the others.

69. Garden

Even if you live in the city, you may have seen a “garden” at least once. It is a noun that refers to a place (usually near a house) where plants of different kinds are grown. 

For example:

Our teacher showed us some vegetables grown from his garden.

70. Gentle

“Gentle” is an adjective used to describe something that is mild.

When you describe someone as “gentle,” you mean that person is kind or mild-mannered. Back in the day, however, the word (and its roots like the Old French gentil) meant someone who was born into a high-ranking family. 

You could say:

I enjoyed the gentle breeze on my face.

71. Glittering

“Glittering,” is an adjective that means something shines like glitter. 

In fact, its root words (like the Old Norse glitra and the Old English glitenian) mean “to shine bright.”

You might say:

The stars were glittering in the night sky. 

72. Glowing

Like “glittering,” “glowing” is an adjective that means something is shining. The difference is that the shine from “glowing” lasts much longer than the shine from “glittering.”

“Glowing” comes from the Old English glowan (to shine red-hot) and Old Frisian gled (blaze).

One way to use this word is:

The glowing campfire was the only source of light for us.

73. Halcyon

You will not often hear the noun “halcyon” used in everyday conversation. Still, it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful English words.

“Halcyon” was the name of a woman in Greek mythology (a collection of myths or stories about gods). After losing her husband, Halcyon throws herself into the sea and gets transformed into a kind of bird known as a kingfisher. Luckily, her husband was also transformed into a kingfisher—and so, the couple would spend the rest of their days together.

Despite the tragic (sad) origins of the word, “halcyon” means “calm.”

You could say:

My grandfather would often talk about his halcyon days when he was young.

74. Harmonious

“Harmonious” is an adjective. It means “in harmony” or “to go well together.” One of its root words is the Greek harmonia, which means “sounds that go well together.”

In fact, you will often hear the word “harmony” used in music.

You could also say:

The relationship between the couple became harmonious after they talked through their problems with each other. 

75. Honey

If you ask a typical schoolchild what “honey” means, they will probably say “What bees make!” And they would be right.

Of course, “honey” is more than that. It is a sweet, sticky liquid that is often used to flavor food. 

It is also a word used by sweethearts to call each other.

You can learn more about English terms of endearment by watching love-themed videos from a program like FluentU.

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Using the first definition, you could say:

I do not usually like honey, but I like this honey-flavored bread you made!

The second definition would have a more straightforward example:

Honey, can you pass me the salt?

76. Idyllic

“Idyllic” is an adjective that has the same meaning as “bucolic” from earlier. It means something that is calm and beautiful the way the countryside is.

You could say:

The famous painting showed the idyllic life of a farm girl.

77. Immaculate

You can sum up the meaning of the adjective “immaculate” with one word: “perfect.” The word usually means something that is free from dirt, mistakes and similar things. 

For example:

As a girl from a rich and famous family, she had immaculate manners.

78. Incandescent

If you are using an old bulb to light up your home, chances are it is an “incandescent” bulb. This adjective implies that the “incandescent” object can light up because of a heat source (which is why they use a lot of energy).

You can also use “incandescent” to describe anything that shines brilliantly.

For example:

The incandescent glow of the sunset left me breathless.

79. Ineffable

“Ineffable” is one of those English words that are beautiful because they are funny. That is because it is a noun that means “something that cannot be expressed in words.” (Imagine having a word for having no words!)

One of its root words is the Latin ineffabilis or “cannot be spoken.”

So you could say:

The beauty of the mountain landscape was ineffable.

80. Innocence

“Innocence” is a noun that means “a state of being free from sin or knowledge.” It comes from the Latin innocentia, which means “to have no blame.”

One way to use it is:

Children lose their innocence when they grow up and know more about the world. 

81. Inquisitive

When you say someone is “inquisitive,” you are using an adjective that means the person likes to ask questions. It comes from inquire, a verb that means “to ask questions.”

For example:

Carrie was an inquisitive child. No wonder she knows a lot!

82. Inspiring

“Inspiring” is an adjective. It is derived from the verb inspire or “to give motivation or encouragement.” Therefore, “inspiring” means the quality of getting you to do (or think) something.

You could say:

The best leaders are inspiring.

83. Iridescent

“Iridescent” is an adjective that originated from the Latin word iris, meaning “rainbow.”

Today, it describes something that has a rainbow-style coloring that changes depending on the angle you look at it.

For example, you might say:

The iridescent bubble floated across the path.

84. Jubilant

“Jubilant” is yet another adjective that means great happiness. 

For example:

I was jubilant when I found out our team won.

85. Kaleidoscope

I know this one is a mouthful (hard to pronounce). But trust me: it deserves a place on any “beautiful English words” list.

Imagine a tube with pieces of colored glass inside. Now, imagine rotating (turning) that tube with the pieces inside moving in different directions. That is a “kaleidoscope.” (For a better idea of what a kaleidoscope looks like, check out this video.)

You can also use this noun to describe any mixture of anything that is pleasing to the eye.

For example:

The nature park was a kaleidoscope of colors.

86. Labyrinth

“Labyrinth” is a noun that refers to a complex maze.

The word comes from Greek mythology, where a man-eating monster called the Minotaur was kept in a labyrinth. The complexity of the maze had two purposes: (1) to keep the Minotaur inside and protect outsiders from him and (2) to prevent the sacrifices to the Minotaur from getting out.

You can also use the word to refer to any complicated situation. For example:

The hedge maze in the park was a labyrinth of greenery.

87. Lavender

“Lavender” is a noun that refers to three things: a type of color, a type of flower and a type of smell.

As a color, “lavender” looks like pale purple.

On the other hand, the “lavender” scent comes from the lavender plant. It is hard to describe the scent in words—but it is a pleasant one! You can probably find lavender soap and other products in your nearest store. 

Fun fact: the word possibly came from the Latin lavare or “to wash.” That is because the lavender scent was used to make washed clothes smell good—just like modern soaps and detergents!

You could say:

She always liked to wear lavender dresses. (color)

My grandmother grows lavender in her garden. (flower)

I smell lavender perfume. Where is it coming from? (smell)

88. Lilt

“Lilt” is a noun that refers to the rhythm in spoken words or music. Possible root words include the Low German lul (pipe) and the Norwegian lilla (to sing). 

For example:

She always has a pleasant lilt in her voice when she speaks. 

89. Luminous

“Luminous” is an adjective. You say that something is “luminous” when it glows or shines like a light. 

The word comes from lumen, which means “light.”

You could say:

The stars look more luminous tonight than usual.  

90. Magnificent

“Magnificent” is an adjective that is synonymous with “impressive.” It implies that what is being described is grand or amazing in a beautiful way.

The word has roots in the Latin magnus, which means “great.”

For example:

Even though its buildings are old, the Angkor Wat is still magnificent.

91. Majesty

You know how kings and queens are called “Your Majesty?” That is because “majesty” is a noun with a positive meaning. It means something is great—even greater than all the other things that can be called “great.” 

In fact, one of its root words is the Old French majeste or “grandeur, nobility.”

If you want to say that something has majesty, you convert it into the adjective “majestic.”

As a noun:

Buckingham Palace has an air of majesty to it.

As an adjective:

Lions are majestic creatures.

92. Mellifluous

“Mellifluous” rolls wonderfully off your tongue, does it not?

This adjective means “pleasant” and “smooth.” It comes from the Late Latin mellifluus, which means “to flow like honey.”

You could say:

The politician’s speech was so well-written, every word sounded mellifluous

93. Mellow

I love this word! “Mellow” is an adjective that means “relaxed” or “to move without hurry.” 

One of its root words is the Old English mearu or “soft and tender.” (You do not use “mellow” to describe meat, though!)

One way to use “mellow” is:

I love listening to mellow music on Sundays when I have nothing to do. 

94. Melodic

You may be familiar with the noun melody, which means a set of notes grouped together. From there, you get the adjective “melodic” or the quality of having a pleasant melody.

You could say:

The singing of the birds outside sounded melodic to my ears.

95. Miraculous

“Miraculous” is an adjective derived from the noun miracle. “Miracle” means a positive event that cannot be explained by logic or science.

So, something is “miraculous” when it has the qualities of a miracle. 

For example:

The fact that I somehow passed that difficult exam is miraculous. 

96. Mystical

When you say something is “mystical,” you are saying it is both mysterious and spiritual or divine. 

You could say:

Our ancestors performed mystical rituals to show respect to the gods.

97. Nirvana

You may think “nirvana” is either a rock band or some kind of Buddhist heaven.

In fact, it is a noun that describes a state where you are free of all desire and suffering. As you can imagine, getting to such a state is much easier said than done.

You could say:

I do not think it is possible for most people to achieve nirvana.

98. Oasis

Imagine you have been walking in a desert under extreme heat for days. One day, you see a pool with clean water and it instantly gives you a sense of relief. That pool of water would be an “oasis.”

Essentially, “oasis” is a noun that refers to any spot in a desert where you can find water or plants (other than cacti).

You might say:

Finally, I was able to find an oasis in the Sahara after so many days of travel!

99. Oceanic

You have probably heard of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian or Arctic Ocean. You know that an ocean is a body of water that is much, much larger than a sea.

If you use the adjective “oceanic” to describe something, it means it is “like the ocean” or “of the ocean.”

For example:

After watching that National Geographic documentary, I can say we have only just begun to know the richness of oceanic life.

100. Opulent

“Opulent” is an adjective that comes from a similar French word that means “having a lot of money.”

Today, “opulent” can mean extravagant or something that feels like a lot of money went into it.

For example:

I am full from the opulent dinner last night.

101. Ornate

The adjective “ornate” comes from the Latin ornatus. Both refer to something that has detailed decorations.

For example:

The old house had ornate architecture.

102. Paradise

When you think of a place that can be described as a “paradise,” you think of sunny weather, white beaches and never-ending fountains of drinks. 

Originally, the word was used to describe the garden of Eden in the Christian Bible. Now, it is a noun that can be used to describe any place that looks beautiful and fills you with happiness.

You could say:

Caribbean countries have a lot of places that can be considered paradise.

103. Passionate

The adjective “passionate” comes from passion, a noun that means “strong beliefs, emotions and feelings.” So being “passionate” means you are “full of passion.”

For example:

As an artist, she is passionate about her work.

104. Pastel

Any soft and pale color is a “pastel” color. You can use this word as an adjective and a noun.

In fact, it can trace its roots to the Italian pastello or “material turned into a paste”—which is basically what the noun form of “pastel” means.

As a noun, you could say:

For me, working with pastel is challenging.

As an adjective:

Her baby’s bedroom had pastel-colored walls.

105. Peaceful

“Peaceful” is an adjective. It is also one of my favorite words.

Since peace means “a state of calm,” adding the suffix -ful to it gives it the meaning “full of or has the qualities of peace.”

For example:

I love how the lake near our house is always peaceful.

106. Pearlescent

When you use the adjective “pearlescent” for something, you are saying it is like a pearl: shiny and iridescent.

You could say:

She had a pearlescent smile that lit up the room.

107. Piquant

Now this one is one of those beautiful English words that is fun to say!

“Piquant” is an adjective used to describe flavor or taste. Specifically, it means the food tastes spicy or sharp.

You could say:

The world’s spiciest pepper certainly has a piquant taste!

108. Plethora

The word “plethora” is a noun. Like “piquant,” it is one of the most fun words to say on this list.

Interestingly, “plethora” does not have the most graceful or serene beginnings. It originates from a Latin word that means “an excess of bodily fluid.”

Over the years, it has lost the connection to the human body, and it now means a large amount of something.

For example, you might say something like:

There were a plethora of palm trees by the beach.

109. Poetic

“Poetic” is an adjective that comes from poem. You could make an educated guess that “poetic” means “like a poem”—or something that has a beautiful meaning or rhythm to it.

For example:

The writer’s words were so poetic that they brought the reader to another world.

110. Precious

If you watched The Lord of the Rings, you may have noticed that one of the characters, Gollum, keeps calling the One Ring “My precious.”

Even if you have not seen that trilogy, do not worry. The adjective “precious” simply describes something that is important or valuable.

So, the One Ring was really important to Gollum. 

Aside from describing jewelry, you could also use “precious” like so:

My memories with my loved ones will always be precious to me.

111. Pristine

“Pristine” is an adjective. It came from the Latin pristinus or “original.”

So when something is pristine, it means the thing is in its original, unspoiled form. It can also mean “clean.”

For example:

The waters in this undiscovered area are pristine.

112. Quintessential

While the beauty of the adjective “quintessential” may be debatable, this word is so fun to say!

It originated from a Latin word describing something in its purest form. Today it means something that is the most perfect or accurate representation of that word.

For example, while on vacation, you might say:

The island was the quintessential tropical paradise.

113. Radiance

“Radiance” is a noun that means the degree to which something is glowing, shiny or like the light.

It comes from the Medieval Latin radiantia (brightness).

You could say:

The radiance of the sun will always amaze me.

114. Refined

 “Refined” is an adjective that means something has been processed into a desirable form. It can also mean elegant or graceful.

Using the first definition, you could say:

I bought refined sugar yesterday.

Using the second definition:

I have always liked her refined manners.

115. Regal

When something is like or has the qualities of a king or queen, you use the adjective “regal” to describe it. 

The word may have come from the Latin word for “king,” which is rex.

You could say:

That young woman has a regal air.

116. Resplendent

I have covered a couple of adjectives similar to “resplendent.” They are “magnificent” and “opulent.” Just like those two, the word is used to describe something that looks luxurious.

Although it came from the Latin word resplendentem that means “shining” or “brilliant,” “resplendent” does not only refer to shiny things.

One way to use “resplendent” is:

That night, Cinderella attended a resplendent ball held by the prince.

117. Romance

As a noun, “romance” has a couple of meanings.

Usually, it has something to do with love. It can also refer to a story about adventure, which is true to its Old French root word romanz (verse narrative).

As a verb, it means to try to attract an object of love.

If you use “romance” as a noun, it can go one of two ways:

I like to read romance stories about couples who get together in the end.

Have you read “Romance of the Three Kingdoms?” Going by the summary, I am sure it is not a love story.

If you use it as a verb:

He would often romance her with flowers and sweet words. 

118. Roseate

The adjective “roseate” simply means “like the rose flower.”

Sometimes it can mean “red” or “pale pink.” Other times it can be another word for “optimistic” or “promising.”

If you use it as a color:

The glass door had a shiny roseate color. 

If you use it as a positive quality:

Despite everything I have gone through, I believe my future is roseate.

119. Saccharine

“Saccharine” is an adjective that originated from the Latin word referring to sugar.

Today, it means something very sweet in taste or something that is overly emotional.

For example, it can be used to describe food, such as:

The cake was saccharine.

Or, it can be used to describe something sappy (emotional), such as:

The saccharine song brought tears to my eyes.

120. Satisfying

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where you thought “Yes, everything made sense”?

That means the book or movie was “satisfying” for you. It is an adjective that describes something that made you happy because it gave you everything you needed or wanted.

In fact, it came from the word satis or “enough.”

You could say:

I liked the story because the ending was satisfying

121. Scintillating

If the adjective “scintillating” made you think of clear, sparkling water, you would be right.

It means something that shines like glitter—not sustained (lasts long), but no less beautiful.

One way to use “scintillating” is:

Christmas is not complete without scintillating lights.

122. Serendipity

“Serendipity” is a noun that may not seem beautiful and calm at first. But it has a mystical quality to it that makes it perfect for this list.

Coined by writer and historian Horace Walpole in the 1700s, the word was based on a Persian fairy tale about adventurers who stumbled on (found) amazing things by accident.

As such, the word “serendipity” refers to something positive that happens completely by chance.

For example, lovers might declare:

It was pure serendipity when I missed my flight and met the love of my life.

123. Serene

“Serene” is an adjective that can be used to describe an object or a location. The word comes from the Latin serenus, referring to clear sky conditions or the absence of stormy, cloudy or unpleasant weather.

Today, “serene” describes something that is calm, peaceful and tranquil. Note that it does not necessarily have to be related to the weather.

For example, you could say:

The ambiance in the library was serene.

124. Shimmering

“Shimmering” has a similar meaning as “scintillating”—that is, an adjective that means sparkling, shining or glittering.

You could say:

At the Oscars, you see a lot of actresses wearing shimmering dresses.

125. Silhouette

The word “silhouette” is also a noun. It was used in reference to the 18th-century French minister of finance, Étienne de Silhouette.

Today it refers to something physical: a dark outline or shadow of something.

For example, you might say something like:

I could see his silhouette moving through the library.

126. Silky

Something that is “silky” has the qualities of silk cloth: smooth and soft.

Some examples:

He had a silky voice that was pleasant to listen to.

The cloth had a silky texture even though it was not made of silk.  

127. Simplicity

“Simplicity” is a noun that means something has the quality of being simple or easy to understand. 

You could say something like:

The simplicity of the teacher’s explanations helped me understand the lesson better.

128. Sonorous

The first time I read this word, I thought “Ah, this is certainly one of the most beautiful English words I have seen!”

Indeed, “sonorous” is an adjective that describes a deep, rich sound. It comes from the Latin sonorus which means “resounding.” Sonorus, in turn, came from sonor or “sound.”

For example:

The sonorous tones of the horn could be heard throughout the music hall.

129. Splendid

“Splendid” is also an adjective. Although its root word, the Latin splendidus, meant “bright or shining,” it now has the same meaning as “magnificent,” “impressive” “and stunning.”

You might hear some people say “Splendid!” instead of “Awesome!” to show they are pleased or impressed by something. 

Other ways you could use “splendid” are:

The theater performance I watched last night was splendid.

130. Succulent

“Succulent” is an adjective that makes my mouth water just by saying it.

It comes from a French word meaning “juicy.” As such, it often describes food that is tender and juicy.

In fact, cacti are called “succulents” because of how much water they hold.

For example, at a restaurant, you might say:

The succulent steak made my mouth water.

131. Sumptuous

“Sumptuous” is an adjective. It comes from an Old French word meaning something that is lavish or wastefully expensive.

Even today, it describes something that is splendid or seemingly expensive.

For example, at your next dinner party, you might say:

The china in the dining room was sumptuous.

132. Surreal

Have you ever had something happen to you that made you wonder if it was all a dream—even though you know very well it was not a dream?

If so, you have had a “surreal” experience. It is an adjective that comes from the French surréalisme or “beyond realism.”

You could say:

It feels so surreal that I got into one of the world’s best universities.

133. Susurration

It is hard to appreciate the beauty of the noun “susurration” if you have not heard it. The word is derived from susurrus or “whisper.”

Essentially, it is a soft, whispering sound that is pleasant to the ears.

For example:

The susurration of the falling leaves outside gave me comfort. 

134. Symphony

You will usually hear the noun “symphony” used in the context of music. That is because one of its root words is the Latin symphonia or “a combination of sounds.” The word usually implies that these sounds come together beautifully.

It does not only have to be sounds, however. “Symphony” can be any combination that is pleasant in some way.

For example:

The symphony of smells from the kitchen made me wonder what my mother was cooking in there.  

135. Tranquil

Whenever I hear this word, all I want to do is sit still and take a deep breath.

You see, “tranquil” is an adjective that means “quiet” or “calm.” 

You could say:

There was a tranquil air in the silent room.

136. Twilight

If you were old enough during the early 2000s, you may have heard of the bestselling book series by Stephenie Meyer. It is a love story between a vampire and a human that was also made into a film series.

That series was named after the noun we are about to discuss—“Twilight.” The word refers to the time between sunset and dusk—that is, the sun is already below the horizon but you can still see its light. 

As someone who likes folk superstitions, I would say:

Some people say twilight is the time when things not of this world come out.

137. Unwavering

“Unwavering” is derived from the prefix un- and the verb waver.

“Waver” means to hesitate or have second thoughts about. Since “un-” means “not,” “unwavering” is therefore an adjective that means “to not hesitate or have second thoughts about.”

You could say:

No matter what they do to him, his belief in his cause is unwavering.

138. Vellichor

“Vellichor” is my favorite word on this list because of the feeling it evokes.

Furthermore, it is the newest word on our list, coined on the internet in 2013 on a site called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

The word refers to the feeling of calm and magic when you enter used bookstores.

For example, I might actually say this sentence:

I walked the aisles of bookshelves, consumed in vellichor.

139. Velvet

Like silk, “velvet” is a type of fabric (cloth). You can tell it apart from other fabrics by its shiny appearance, furry (like fur) texture and the fact that the furry part is on only one side. 

In fact, the word “velvet” comes from the Latin villus (strands of hair). 

You could say:

The texture of the dog’s fur was as soft as velvet

140. Vibrant

“Vibrant” is an adjective that means “bright” or “full of life.” It comes from the Latin vibrantem or “to move to and fro.” You could say it has the same root word as vibrate, which means “to shake quickly.”

Here are a couple of ways you could use this word:

The color of new clothes is usually vibrant.

Her vibrant personality made everyone feel good.

141. Whimsical

Earlier, we talked about “fanciful” or “full of fancy or imagination.” “Whimsical,” which is also an adjective, has a similar meaning—something that evokes a sense of wonder and delight at the same time. 

For example:

Her paintings usually have whimsical images in them.

142. Zeal

Last but not least, we have the noun “zeal.” When you have so much passion for something that you are willing to give it your all, you have “zeal” for it.

You could say:

He put so much energy and zeal into his business that it is no wonder it succeeded.


Add these words to your regular English vocabulary and let serenity surround you!

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