mel·​lif·​lu·​ous | \ me-ˈli-flə-wəs How to pronounce mellifluous (audio) , mə- \

Definition of mellifluous

1 : having a smooth rich flow a mellifluous voice
2 : filled with something (such as honey) that sweetens mellifluous confections

Other Words from mellifluous

mellifluously adverb
mellifluousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for mellifluous



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Use Mellifluous to Describe Your Dinner Date

In Latin, mel means "honey" and fluere means "to flow." Those two linguistic components flow smoothly together in mellifluus (from Late Latin) and mellyfluous (from Middle English), the ancestors of mellifluous. The adjective these days typically applies to sound, as it has for centuries. In 1671, for example, poet John Milton wrote in Paradise Regained of the "Wisest of men; from whose mouth issu'd forth Mellifluous streams." But mellifluous can also be used of flavor, as when wine critics Eric Asimov and Florence Fabricant used it to describe pinot grigio in the 2014 book Wine With Food: "Most pinot grigios give many people exactly what they want: a mellifluous, easy-to-pronounce wine that can be ordered without fear of embarrassment and that is at the least cold, refreshing, and for the most part cheap."

Examples of mellifluous in a Sentence

a rich, mellifluous voice that gets her a lot of work in radio and TV commercials
Recent Examples on the Web In the first of two TV spots, a young man in a winter coat and scarf does a mellifluous, conversational rap about appreciating Connecticut. Christopher Arnott,, 20 Dec. 2021 Why had all his predecessors failed to formulate such an exquisite, indeed mellifluous name for a place of spiritual quest? Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 2 Nov. 2021 The former is located in the mellifluous town of Montefioralle, a tiny, incomparable hilltop settlement that casts a spell over all who enter it. Tom Marchant, Harper's BAZAAR, 22 Oct. 2021 And yet, despite the brand’s enduring influence, few seem to know that Laura Ashley — like Liz Claiborne, Diane von Furstenberg and Donna Karan, among other eponymous designers of their own lines — was a real woman, not just a mellifluous name. New York Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Soft trade winds blew through the open-air nave, and worshippers sang hymns in mellifluous Hawaiian. Annie Rogers, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Oct. 2021 Legend inaugurated the monthly Focus Music project with a licensed playlist of mellifluous jazz tracks. Eric Ducker, New York Times, 8 June 2021 Also unchanged for 2021 is the exhaust note of the GTS's mellifluous V-8, which continues to emit a powerboat-like burble at idle that builds to a soulful bellow as the engine spins to its 6800-rpm redline. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 3 June 2021 Sharad knows that classical Hindustani music, with its mellifluous, dissonant tonal shifts and improvisations, has never been a popular art form in India. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mellifluous.' 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 mellifluous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mellifluous

Middle English mellyfluous, from Late Latin mellifluus, from Latin mell-, mel honey + fluere to flow; akin to Goth milith honey, Greek melit-, meli

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The first known use of mellifluous was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

5 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mellifluous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of mellifluous

: having a smooth, flowing sound

More from Merriam-Webster on mellifluous

Nglish: Translation of mellifluous for Spanish Speakers


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