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

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Other Words from mellifluous

mellifluously adverb
mellifluousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for mellifluous


euphonious, lyric, lyrical, mellifluent, mellow, melodic, melodious, musical



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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, 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 critic Eric Asimov used it to describe pinot grigio in the 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

Film idol looks and a mellifluous baritone certainly are a part of his appeal. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 8: Machine Gun Kelly, Brett Young and more," 5 July 2018 No matter the volume, Carlile’s deliveries sounded tuneful and nuanced, her tones mellifluous and warm. Bob Gendron,, "Brandi Carlile was daring, personal and triumphant," 16 June 2018 Jerry Harper’s distinctive, mellifluous voice effectively was the voice of WBBM-Ch. 2 for more than 30 years, heard on all manner of station promotions as well as newscasts. Bob Goldsborough,, "Jerry Harper, longtime WBBM-Ch. 2 announcer with signature voice, dies at 90," 24 June 2018 That’s an increasingly enviable position, as shifting tastes and greater nutritional awareness have led to a decades-long rise in demand for the olive’s mellifluous byproduct: extra-virgin olive oil. Ted Trautman, San Francisco Chronicle, "California’s olive oil craze: rooted in the far north counties," 7 June 2018 The spark ignites in Jennifer Schriever’s lighting design, which makes sherbet orange and indigo radiate seemingly from the Angel herself, joining Faridany’s mellifluous voice, which charges every tone with a phalanx of heavenly grace notes. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Berkeley Rep revives ‘Angels in America,’ in all its soaring spirit," 29 Apr. 2018 Before Kyle Abraham was known for creating rich, evocative ensemble dances for his company, he was hailed for his own mellifluous dancing. Brian Schaefer, New York Times, "10 Dance Performances to See in NYC This Weekend," 26 Apr. 2018 Blystone had an unrivaled talent for cutting to the truth in poignant prose that his mellifluous tones could lift and lay over his audience with the lightest of touches. Nic Robertson, CNN, "Richard Blystone: the poet laureate of network news," 18 Apr. 2018 Goldblum, who might be more meme than man at this point, agreed to lend his mellifluous voice to the geniuses at VICE News, who had the actor purr into a microphone and then looped the audio over and over and over again. Dana Schwartz,, "Here's 30 minutes of Jeff Goldblum purring, if you're into that sort of thing," 6 Apr. 2018

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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English Language Learners Definition of mellifluous

formal : having a smooth, flowing sound

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What made you want to look up mellifluous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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