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



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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 Cassettes passed through teenage hands like mellifluous bearer bonds. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "C-120 Cassettes Taught Me Econ 101," 26 Mar. 2021 Of course, Twitter, rife with optimism, takes as its mascot a sprightly songbird, labeling each of its fast-moving posts a tweet, as if its collective exchanges came together to form mellifluous birdsong. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Parler’s vibe is MAGA-red and unreal. Extremism by design?," 25 Nov. 2020 His songs are as peppy and mellifluous as his persona is honeyed and nonthreatening. Robyn Bahr, Billboard, "'Shawn Mendes: In Wonder': Film Review," 23 Nov. 2020 Rainey and Hoops showcased their warm, mellifluous tones, expertly shaped songful melodies and nailed the rapid passagework. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Dallas Symphony musicians spotlight Black and female composers," 11 Nov. 2020 And though the American artist died in 1995, his calm demeanor, mellifluous voice and upbeat attitude have ensured his enduring popularity to this day. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Step Into Bob Ross’ Studio With This New, Interactive Experience," 10 Nov. 2020 At the album’s mellifluous best, Gaye moves between observation and inquiry — but never protest. Armond White, National Review, "Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On Is a Political Decoy," 30 Sep. 2020 The easy drift of this soft September midmorning is made mellow by the mellifluous humming of a fan, expediting a balmy breeze across the room to myself, sitting at my desk exploring the keyboard’s reach with every touch. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: The election and a peaceful transfer of power, city planning, summer's end," 24 Sep. 2020 Wainwright’s gorgeously mellifluous voice and dramatic, often outspoken songs established him two decades ago as an envelope-pushing artist, so his choice as the first performer to do the show in an empty room seemed fitting. Peter Blackstock, USA TODAY, "‘Austin City Limits’ without an audience: Rufus Wainwright takes the show where it’s never been," 11 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for mellifluous

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

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Last Updated

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mellifluous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of mellifluous

formal : having a smooth, flowing sound

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