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July 18, 2013 by thefreshchuff

toconjure:

amandaonwriting:

100 Beautiful and Ugly Words

by Mark Nichol

One of the many fascinating features of our language is how often words with pleasant associations are also quite pleasing on the tongue and even to the eye, and how many words, by contrast, acoustically and visually corroborate their disagreeable nature — look no further than the heading for this post.
Enrich the poetry of your prose by applying words that provide precise connotation while also evoking emotional responses

Beautiful Words

  • Amorphous: indefinite, shapeless
  • Beguile: deceive
  • Caprice: impulse
  • Cascade: steep waterfall
  • Cashmere: fine, delicate wool
  • Chrysalis: protective covering
  • Cinnamon: an aromatic spice; its soft brown color
  • Coalesce: unite, or fuse
  • Crepuscular: dim, or twilit
  • Crystalline: clear, or sparkling
  • Desultory: half-hearted, meandering
  • Diaphanous: gauzy
  • Dulcet: sweet
  • Ebullient: enthusiastic
  • Effervescent: bubbly
  • Elision: omission
  • Enchanted: charmed
  • Encompass: surround
  • Enrapture: delighted
  • Ephemeral: fleeting
  • Epiphany: revelation
  • Epitome: embodiment of the ideal
  • Ethereal: celestial, unworldly, immaterial
  • Etiquette: proper conduct
  • Evanescent: fleeting
  • Evocative: suggestive
  • Exuberant: abundant, unrestrained, outsize
  • Felicity: happiness, pleasantness
  • Filament: thread, strand
  • Halcyon: care-free
  • Idyllic: contentedly pleasing
  • Incorporeal: without form
  • Incandescent: glowing, radiant, brilliant, zealous
  • Ineffable: indescribable, unspeakable
  • Inexorable: relentless
  • Insouciance: nonchalance
  • Iridescent: luster
  • Languid: slow, listless
  • Lassitude: fatigue
  • Lilt: cheerful or buoyant song or movement
  • Lithe: flexible, graceful
  • Lullaby: soothing song
  • Luminescence: dim chemical or organic light
  • Mellifluous: smooth, sweet
  • Mist: cloudy moisture, or similar literal or virtual obstacle
  • Murmur: soothing sound
  • Myriad: great number
  • Nebulous: indistinct
  • Opulent: ostentatious
  • Penumbra: shade, shroud, fringe
  • Plethora: abundance
  • Quiescent: peaceful
  • Quintessential: most purely representative or typical
  • Radiant: glowing
  • Redolent: aromatic, evocative
  • Resonant: echoing, evocative
  • Resplendent: shining
  • Rhapsodic: intensely emotional
  • Sapphire: rich, deep bluish purple
  • Scintilla: trace
  • Serendipitous: chance
  • Serene: peaceful
  • Somnolent: drowsy, sleep inducing
  • Sonorous: loud, impressive, imposing
  • Spherical: ball-like, globular
  • Sublime: exalted, transcendent
  • Succulent: juicy, tasty, rich
  • Suffuse: flushed, full
  • Susurration: whispering
  • Symphony: harmonious assemblage
  • Talisman: charm, magical device
  • Tessellated: checkered in pattern
  • Tranquility: peacefulness
  • Vestige: trace
  • Zenith: highest point

Ugly Words

  • Cacophony: confused noise
  • Cataclysm: flood, catastrophe, upheaval
  • Chafe: irritate, abrade
  • Coarse: common, crude, rough, harsh
  • Cynical: distrustful, self-interested
  • Decrepit: worn-out, run-down
  • Disgust: aversion, distaste
  • Grimace: expression of disgust or pain
  • Grotesque: distorted, bizarre
  • Harangue: rant
  • Hirsute: hairy
  • Hoarse: harsh, grating
  • Leech: parasite,
  • Maladroit: clumsy
  • Mediocre: ordinary, of low quality
  • Obstreperous: noisy, unruly
  • Rancid: offensive, smelly
  • Repugnant: distasteful
  • Repulsive: disgusting
  • Shriek: sharp, screeching sound
  • Shrill: high-pitched sound
  • Shun: avoid, ostracize
  • Slaughter: butcher, carnage
  • Unctuous: smug, ingratiating
  • Visceral: crude, anatomically graphic

Notice how often attractive words present themselves to define other beautiful ones, and note also how many of them are interrelated, and what kind of sensations, impressions, and emotions they have in common. Also, try enunciating beautiful words as if they were ugly, or vice versa. Are their sounds suggestive of their quality, or does their meaning wholly determine their effect on us?

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