euphony

noun
eu·​pho·​ny | \ ˈyü-fə-nē How to pronounce euphony (audio) \
plural euphonies

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

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Other Words from euphony

euphonic \ yu̇-​ˈfä-​nik How to pronounce euphony (audio) \ adjective
euphonically \ yu̇-​ˈfä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce euphony (audio) \ adverb

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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.

Examples of euphony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For all the euphony and alliteration of the phrase, winter white is more of a squirrel-meat gray. Dan Neil, WSJ, 7 Feb. 2020 The combination of Freddy Cole’s reedy voice and Lionel Cole’s chesty baritone made for a most appealing euphony, accompanied by Freddy Cole’s silvery pianism, Randy Napoleon’s buoyant guitar work and a chugging backbeat from the rest of the band. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, 30 Aug. 2019 Both the music and the film footage conveyed a sense of lyricism, rhythmic relaxation, peace and euphony. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, 30 June 2019 Intersections in the Washington area do not seem to be ranked officially for euphony or the way the names of the individual streets sound when they are linked together. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2018 Commercials for one of the biggest brands, Bolla, played regularly on radio and television, and the euphony of the phrase was as catchy as Orson Welles declaring that Paul Masson would sell no wine before its time. Eric Asimov, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'euphony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of euphony

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for euphony

borrowed from Late Latin euphōnia, borrowed from Greek euphōnía "good voice quality (of a public speaker), good tone (of horns)," from eúphōnos "pleasant-sounding, musical" (from eu- eu- + -phōnos "having a sound [of the kind specified]," adjective derivative of phōnḗ "sound made by something living, voice, speech") + -ia -ia entry 1 — more at phono-

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Time Traveler for euphony

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The first known use of euphony was in 1606

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Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Euphony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euphony. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on euphony

Nglish: Translation of euphony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about euphony

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