Have you ever asked yourself: what makes a word beautiful? Is it because of what it means or the way it sounds? According to British linguist David Crystal in his article titled, “Phonaesthetically Speaking”, we tend to love words that have three or more syllables and include letters that we enjoy enunciating like “m” and “l”. Simply put, beautiful words are lovely to read and sound pleasant to our ears.
For Secondary English students, such charming words with positive connotations can be used to bedazzle your reader. Let’s explore ten beautiful words which not only sound great but will also be useful in painting vivid pictures for your examiners (especially for narrative and descriptive writing). With the examples provided below, try coming up with your own sentences to use these words! (:
1. Compelling (adj.)
Meaning: (something e.g. a reason, argument) that makes you pay attention to it because it is interesting and exciting
Synonym: enthralling, captivating, gripping
I found it hard to look away from his compelling eyes that seemed to ask me to inch closer.
It was such a compelling story that I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting.
2. Effervescent (adj.)
Meaning: (of people and their behaviour) excited, enthusiastic and full of energy
Synonym: vivacious, animated, bubbly
She has a warm effervescent personality that made her easy to get along with.
The effervescent host spoke with infectious energy and was able to bring a smile to not only the contestants on the show, but also the audience at home.
3. Euphonious (adj.)
Meaning: (of a sound, especially speech) pleasing to the ear
Synonym: pleasant-sounding, sweet-sounding, honeyed
The euphonious chimes of the bell lulled the baby to sleep.
Her euphonious tone made her sound like an angel and I was immediately all ears to what she was explaining.
4. Evocative (adj.)
Meaning: bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind
Synonym: reminiscent, suggestive
The writer uses descriptive vocabulary to paint evocative images, moving his readers to tears.
The evocative music that she often heard as a child in her grandparents’ house made her miss them dearly.
5. Halcyon (adj.)
Meaning: denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful
Synonym: happy, carefree, blissful
My grandmother would often recall the halcyon days of the past when her grocery store business boomed and she was healthy and free to do what she liked.
The halcyon summer holidays where we could play outdoors freely in groups without our masks are long gone.
6. Lissom (adj.)
Meaning: (of a person or their body) thin, supple, and graceful
Synonym: lithe, elegant, svelte
The lissom dancer mesmerised the audience as she swayed to the music.
Perry grew up with horses and always admired how graceful they looked trotting around the stables with their lissom bodies.
7. Resplendent (adj.)
Meaning: very bright, attractive and impressive in appearance
Synonym: splendid, magnificent, brilliant
Dressed in resplendent costumes, the children created a beautiful rainbow of colours on the stage.
During the Singapore Night Festival in 2019, a resplendent underwater scene full of marine animals was projected onto the building of the National Museum of Singapore.
8. Redolent (adj.)
Meaning: having a strong pleasant smell
Synonym: aromatic, perfumed
Although my mother had left for work, the entire house was redolent with the fragrance of her perfume.
The kitchen was redolent with the aroma of freshly baked bread, making my mouth water.
9. Serendipitous (adj.)
Meaning: occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way
Synonym: coincidental, lucky
The serendipitous encounter with my primary school classmate after not seeing him for two years led to an enjoyable chat about our shared experience.
The scientists made a serendipitous discovery which could lead them to the cure for cancer.
10. Sublime (adj.)
Meaning: of great excellence or beauty
Synonym: outstanding, grand, majestic, stellar
The Great Barrier Reef is known for its sublime natural seascape full of unique marine life and vibrantly coloured corals.
Having devoured the delectable food, we complimented the chef for the sublime meal.
Were you able to come up with your own examples to use the beautiful words in your narrative writing as you were reading this post? Feel free to look them up in a dictionary to familiarise yourself with more contexts where you can use these charming words appropriately.
I hope you would use these beautiful words in your narrative writing. Go forth and apply the new knowledge you have acquired to impress your readers. See you in future posts!