Definition of mellifluous
1 : having a smooth rich flow a mellifluous voice
2 : filled with something (such as honey) that sweetens mellifluous confections
mellifluous was our Word of the Day on 12/09/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of mellifluous in a Sentence
a rich, mellifluous voice that gets her a lot of work in radio and TV commercials
Did You Know?
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."
Origin and Etymology of mellifluous
Middle English mellyfluous, from Late Latin mellifluus, from Latin mell-, mel honey + fluere to flow; akin to Goth milith honey, Greek melit-, meli
First Known Use: 15th century
MELLIFLUOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mellifluous for English Language Learners
: having a smooth, flowing sound
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up mellifluous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).