dulcet

adjective

dul·​cet ˈdəl-sət How to pronounce dulcet (audio)
1
: sweet to the taste
2
: pleasing to the ear
dulcet tones
3
: generally pleasing or agreeable
a dulcet smile
dulcetly adverb

Did you know?

Dulcet has many linguistic ancestors, including the Latin dulcis, Anglo-French douz, and Middle English doucet—all meaning "sweet." The dulcet dulcis has contributed many sweet terms to English. Among these are the musical direction dolce ("to be played sweetly, softly"), Dulciana (a type of pipe organ stop made up of flue pipes), dolcian (a small bassoon-like instrument used in the 16th and 17th centuries), and dulcimer (an American folk instrument). On a similar note, the word dulcify means "to make sweet," and the adjective doux, derived from Old French douz, is used in wine circles to describe champagne that is sweet.

Examples of dulcet in a Sentence

the dulcet tones of her voice although she flashed a dulcet smile, she was secretly seething with resentment
Recent Examples on the Web Buffett and Harris keep that original energy while smoothing out some of the edges, most notably substituting the tender creak of the original song’s violin (played by Scarlet Rivera) for the dulcet plunk of the steelpan drum. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 13 Oct. 2023 The first teaser for Distant Lands featured the soft, dulcet tones of BMO singing a song, as performed by voice actor Niki Yang, and the clip reveals more of the on-screen tune. EW.com, 11 June 2020 Somewhere, a Bluetooth speaker was stashed away and playing the kind of soft, dulcet melodies heard in expensive spas. New York Times, 6 Dec. 2019 But inside and down a few stairs, there is faint, dulcet chanting piped through speakers. Written By Kaya Laterman; Photographs By Mark Abramson, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2017 The dulcet tones of Kylie Jenner's secret album made with input from Kanye and Tyga? Sarah Lindig, Cosmopolitan, 12 June 2015

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dulcet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English doucet, from Anglo-French, from duz, douz sweet, from Latin dulcis; perhaps akin to Greek glykys sweet

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dulcet was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Dulcet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dulcet. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

dulcet

adjective
dul·​cet ˈdəl-sət How to pronounce dulcet (audio)
: sweet to the ear : melodious
dulcet voices
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