Definition of euphony
1 : pleasing or sweet sound; especially : the acoustic effect produced by words so formed or combined as to please the ear
2 : a harmonious succession of words having a pleasing sound
euphonicplay \yu̇-ˈfä-nik\ adjective
euphonicallyplay \yu̇-ˈfä-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
euphony was our Word of the Day on 09/18/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Euphony was borrowed from French at the beginning of the 17th century; the French word ("euphonie") itself derives from the Late Latin euphonia, which in turn traces back to the Greek adjective euphōnos, meaning "sweet-voiced" or "musical." "Euphōnos" was formed by combining the prefix eu- ("good") and "phōnē" ("voice"). In addition to its more commonly recognized senses, "euphony" also has a more specific meaning in the field of linguistics, where it can refer to the preference for words that are easy to pronounce; this preference may be the cause of an observed trend of people altering the pronunciation of certain words apparently in favor of sound combinations that are simpler and faster to say out loud.
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