lus·​cious ˈlə-shəs How to pronounce luscious (audio)
: having a delicious taste or smell : sweet
chocolate cake with a luscious whipped cream topping
archaic : excessively sweet : cloying
: sexually attractive : seductive, sexy
a luscious actress
: richly luxurious or appealing to the senses
her luscious voice swelling and decaying with total control, her low notes booming sonorously Gary Giddins
: excessively ornate
rich and luscious phrases, thick with imagery Ruth Park
lusciously adverb
lusciousness noun

Did you know?

Have you ever heard a young child say something is "licius" when he or she really means it's "delicious"? Back in the Middle Ages, the word licius was sometimes used as a shortened form of delicious by adults and kids alike. Linguists believe that luscious developed when licius was further altered to lucius by 15th-century speakers. Both words ultimately derive from the Latin verb delicere, meaning "to entice by charm or attraction." The adjective lush, which can sometimes mean "delicious" as well, is not a shortened form of luscious; it derived on its own from the Middle English lusch, meaning "soft or tender."

Example Sentences

chocolate cake with a luscious whipped cream topping a luscious strawberry bursting with juice
Recent Examples on the Web The property, which the actress purchased for $2.75 million in 2009, includes hundreds of olive, avocado, and citrus trees, a gorgeous adobe hacienda, detached guesthouse, luscious floral gardens and a walk-in chicken coop. Brenda Richardson, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 At the stately colonial-era compound where Rajapaksa lived amid elegance and luscious gardens, the past few days resembled a carnival. Hafeel Farisz, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 In the song’s video, an exclusive Rolling Stone premiere, Kirel is seen wearing a luscious blonde hair for the first time. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 27 May 2022 His brushwork in the 1950s was often thick and luscious. Steven Litt, cleveland, 10 Apr. 2022 Meloni eventually buzzed his luscious locks of the early '90s off for a police force-friendly cut. Andrea Wurzburger, Peoplemag, 12 Oct. 2022 What mattered most to us children was that my mother’s store of information led her to prepare the most luscious of foods. Madhur Jaffrey, The New Yorker, 14 Oct. 2022 Park Chan-wook is, of course, no stranger to eroticism of the more explicit kind, having directed the luscious 2016 period masterpiece The Handmaiden. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 14 Oct. 2022 Chia seeds are also considered a complete protein, containing 20% more protein than soybeans, and can keep your scalp healthy and promote beautiful, luscious hair. Valerie Agyeman, Good Housekeeping, 29 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English lucius, perhaps alteration of licius, short for delicious

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near luscious

Cite this Entry

“Luscious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



lus·​cious ˈləsh-əs How to pronounce luscious (audio)
: having a delicious taste or smell
luscious berries
: appealing to the senses : delightful
lusciously adverb
lusciousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on luscious

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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