Definition of mellifluous in English:

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Pronunciation: /məˈliflo͞oəs/


(Of a voice or words) sweet or musical; pleasant to hear: the voice was mellifluous and smooth
More example sentences
  • We dozed off to the mellifluous sounds of nature.
  • I was particularly taken with the mellifluous sounds of the ‘authentic’ clarinets.
  • While engine noise never gets out of hand and indeed sounds quite mellifluous, you do hear a surprising amount of noise from passing traffic.
sweet-sounding, dulcet, honeyed, mellow, soft, liquid, silvery, soothing, rich, smooth, euphonious, harmonious, tuneful, musical



Example sentences
  • True, it rolls mellifluously off the tongue and hangs in the air like an echo from a bell or the sonorous tones of a self-righteous preacher.
  • ‘Good afternoon, Mr. Phelps,’ the tape greeted him mellifluously.
  • ‘I am so delighted to meet you, young lady,’ he intoned mellifluously.


Example sentences
  • Experimentation in traditional forms such as sonnets or terza rima hasn't really taken hold here, in part, perhaps, because there is more danger in Italian than there is in English of falling into dull mellifluousness.
  • But the play really belongs to Marian Seldes, who floats, hovers, slithers, twists into salamandrine shapes, while enunciating with magnificent mellifluousness and perfect, usually hilarious timing.
  • A true Italian, Scarlatti apparently was incapable of writing anything lacking in grace or mellifluousness, and his vocal music - including dozens and dozens of operas - is considered to be particularly attractive.


Late 15th century: from late Latin mellifluus (from mel 'honey' + fluere 'to flow') + -ous.

  • Latin mel ‘honey’ and the verb fluere ‘to flow’ are the base elements of mellifluous. Mellow (Late Middle English) may look as if it should be related, but it is not. It first meant ‘ripe, soft, sweet and juicy’ and may be a development of Old English melumeal’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mel·lif·lu·ous

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