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13 Essential Literary Terms

mellifluous

[muh-lif-loo-uh s] /məˈlɪf lu əs/
adjective
1.
sweetly or smoothly flowing; sweet-sounding:
a mellifluous voice; mellifluous tones.
2.
flowing with honey; sweetened with or as if with honey.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Late Latin mellifluus, equivalent to Latin melli- (stem of mel) honey + -flu(ere) to flow + -us adj. suffix (see -ous)
Related forms
mellifluously, adverb
mellifluousness, noun
unmellifluous, adjective
unmellifluously, adverb
Synonyms
1. melodious, musical, dulcet, harmonious.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mellifluous
  • The most noteworthy thing about him is his mellifluous voice.
  • In recent years, though, their personal relationship has reportedly been as fractious as their music was mellifluous.
  • These Samurai winners produce gravity-defying, mellifluous curls.
  • Surely such a mellifluous drawl cancels any possibility of elitism.
  • He was known for a swinging instrumental style balanced by mellifluous vocals.
  • You may read his mellifluous lines with something of the same simple pleasure which the original gives you.
  • His writing burbles along in mellifluous multiple clauses and asides.
  • What sounds dissonant to you may sound quite mellifluous to me.
  • His color analysis offers no mellifluous tones and little technical talk.
  • Most singers are pretty bland, mellifluous.
British Dictionary definitions for mellifluous

mellifluous

/mɪˈlɪflʊəs/
adjective
1.
(of sounds or utterances) smooth or honeyed; sweet
Derived Forms
mellifluously, mellifluently, adverb
mellifluousness, mellifluence, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin mellifluus flowing with honey, from Latin mel honey + fluere to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for mellifluous
adj.

early 15c., "sweet, pleasing" (of an odor, a style of speaking or writing, etc.), from Late Latin mellifluus "flowing with (or as if with) honey," from Latin mel (genitive mellis) "honey" (related to Greek meli "honey;" see Melissa) + -fluus "flowing," from fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Related: Melifluously; melifluousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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