This site houses an extensive collection of beautiful words, ranging from pretty words, lovely words, elegant words, foreign words and unique words. We’ve tried to focus on and showcase those not only with beautiful meanings, but also those with deep meanings and rare words which almost no-one knows. For eager word collectors, a great compendium of words like these can also be found at Alpha Dictionary’s article: 100 Most Beautiful Words. So let's have a closer look at the logistics of beautiful words.

So: what makes a beautiful word a beautiful word? We’re obviously looking at aesthetics here, but unlike pictures, which are purely visual, words can be experienced by more than one sensory process, which we’ve categorised into visual, auditory, and tactile. Then there’s also the meanings of words, which can be interpreted differently by different people, even if they have pre-decided and widely recognised cultural meanings.

When it comes to the visual beauty of a word, we can look at both the individual parts of the letters and also at how they interact and look as a whole. Ratio and symmetry are important here - people will generally consider pretty words to be those that are balanced in height, weight, counter size, and ascender and descender length. Visually lovely words will also have a balanced amount of tall and short characters that are spaced fairly evenly along the word, rather than being clumped together in one spot or syllable. For some great examples of visual beauty mixed with meanings, follow this link and have a look at The Project Twin’s work - A-Z of Unusual Words

Auditory aesthetics basically means pretty sounding words. Things that contribute to this include rhyme and assonance, along with the general sound of the word. Assonance involves the repetition of sounds - for example, unusual words with beautiful meanings like “sibilance” or “effervescence” are pretty sounding words due to their repetition of the “ss” sound.

Tactile aesthetics refers to words that feel nice - either to say, write or type. The aforementioned assonance can contribute to this, with repetitive sounds feeling satisfying to say or type. Unusual words with letters grouped together on a keyboard that can be typed with one hand or that can be typed quickly or fluently can feel like lovely words to type, while those with ligatures close together can be elegant words to write.

So at the end of the day, what will you even use your list of unique words for? You’ll have so many unusual words with beautiful meanings by the end of this page to use and remember that it might be overwhelming. You can use your pretty sounding words for almost anything, and word collections like Other-Wordly's Tumblr or The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows could serve as useful inspiration. Your new and elegant words could help you with that poetry project you’ve been putting off, some beautiful words of love you’ve been meaning to write, or perhaps you’re just a little strange (like me) and just really like having collections of unique words with deep meaning. No matter the purpose or circumstance, I’m sure that these rare words with beautiful meanings will be useful and motivational - so let’s go ahead and have a deeper look at them.

Before looking closely at pretty words, what is a beautiful meaning, anyway? “Beautiful” means something that is aesthetically pleasing to the senses, and can be considered so in different ways. The old, original meaning of beautiful also refers to “goodness”, or “courtesy”. So when judging lovely words, keep in mind that pretty sounding words with pleasant, uplifting meanings would be more well-considered than elegant words with malicious meanings.

People tend to enjoy unusual words with beautiful meanings more than just pretty words or lovely words - they like the impact of unique words, words nobody knows, words with deep meanings - for example, words like these at Rare and Beautiful WordsTumblr. It’s easy for people to find a connection with certain words when they read them at a certain time of their life or if spoken to them by a certain person. People can also like obscure words since the enjoyment can become more personal through the idea that not many other people know that word - which is why you would probably enjoy looking up a list of unique words, unique words with deep meaning, rare words with beautiful meanings, or even foreign words with beautiful meanings. People also tend to romanticise (possibly even fetishize?) words that are uncommon, so it makes sense that they would turn to foreign words when it comes to looking for beautiful words of love - especially beautiful words in French, or beautiful words in Latin.

If we look at all of these factors together, it makes a lot of sense that people look up unusual words with beautiful meanings tend to use them for romantic intentions - they’re wanting something positive, uplifting, personal, meaningful, and aesthetically pleasing. It doesn’t really seem like you could get any better than that when cobbling together some beautiful words of love for your best friend. People do also find it calming and pleasurable to just read collections of beautiful words - things like the Letterpile’s list of 45 Awesome Sounding Words or Oxford Dictionaries’ list of Weird and Wonderful Words. Here’s our list of words with beautiful meanings so far:

So we know what beautiful words are, and beautiful meanings, but what about unusual words? A great introduction to this category can be found at The Phontistery’s Dictionary of Unusual Words, and with this great list from Unusual Words. These could be unusual in a few different ways - the word itself could sound or look strange, the meaning could be odd, or both. While unusual means that something is uncommon, it also means that the subject is remarkable or interesting because of its marked differences from others, so it’s easy to understand why people find unusual words, in particular those with beautiful meanings, alluring. Interestingly (yet rather expectedly) unusual words are generally only used in remarkable situations, so to use them in everyday circumstances can make that instance feel special. We can also make people feel special when using unique words like these, and when it feels like you’re using words that nobody knows, it can feel like you’re sharing a secret meaning with the person you’re communicating with. However, there is also the flip-side of being negatively marked as arrogant through an unnecessary use of unusual words, however beautiful they may be. Here’s what we’ve collected of unusual words so far:

Pretty and beautiful are synonyms and are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference. Pretty, by general consensus, tends to refer to only outer appearance, whereas beautiful is usually understood to be describing inner workings as well as the outer facade. So if we apply this difference to words, then we can have words which sound like lovely words but don’t necessarily have beautiful meanings. But then, you might ask why you’d want to use a pretty sounding word that has a less than lovely meaning. Words like these can be used if you’re trying to be flippant, facetious or sarcastic. Pretty is also used as a descriptor for things or people that are pleasing to behold but not necessarily impressive - a thing that is pleasing or charming, but not necessarily of consequence, the way something beautiful is. In addition to this, pretty is understood to be a “younger”, or more juvenile observation or compliment, and so tends to refer to things or beings that are comparatively younger. So if you’re planning on using words like these, be sure that you’re directing it towards the right audience first. Get some practice in with looking at these pretty words from Tumblr.

When thinking about what exactly makes a word pretty, rather than beautiful, it comes down to a combination of the sound of the word and the feeling it leaves you with. Pretty sounding words are delicate, with precise-sounding syllables and diction, but aren’t really those that leave you with a sense of wonder or quiet. So let’s have a look at our growing assortment of pretty words:

Words about life is a pretty broad spectrum. If people are looking at this category, it is usually for one of two things - words that are quite literally about life - about growth, time, mortality, change, or words that are meant to instill an inspiration or profound feeling about life - which are generally about the human experience or feeling. With words that are specifically about life itself (the first category mentioned), the words don’t seem or sound that beautiful, even if their meanings are. Looking at words meaning or about growth, time or mortality, for example, brings you things like germination, multiplication, expansion, generation, chronology, or fatality. These are all very particular words that sound interesting at best and boring and technical at worst, with dry and specific meanings. Words like these may be useful, but they aren’t appealing or beautiful in a mainstream sense (sort of a pity, really). So we’ve tried to focus more on the second category, the one which covers words that are related to life and feeling and experience, as those tend to be more broadly and deeply evocative. Historically, beautiful words like these have been used to try to explain and express what someone may be feeling or thinking, or their perception of a situation, time, or person. Part of the beauty involved in this process is not just the word itself, but the recognition of shared experience that comes with the passing of words from one being to another. We still use these life-affirming words in similar ways today, but since we live in a time heavily impacted by consumerism, it’s also common for these words to be seen in motivational reminders or calendars, journal designs or stationery. Here’s our growing collection of beautiful words about life:

As the world is slowly becoming more multicultural, so are the ways we express ourselves. Today, we are lucky enough to be able to communicate using not only words from our own language and culture, but from others as well. Have a look at Grammarly’s great list of breathtaking foreign words, or at Rocket Languages’ list of 20 of the World's Most Beautiful Untranslateable Words. It can be exciting to learn new words, especially if those are foreign words with beautiful meanings. These are elegant words, pretty sounding words, but in ways that are different that many people are used to. Words like these can also be useful if you have a friendship or relationship with someone of a different culture and you’d like a sweet word to show quickly and easily that you care. Sometimes using beautiful words in French or beautiful words in Latin can also add a touch of poeticism to your writing or work. Plenty of English words have been derived from other languages as well, so there can also be a satisfying sense of adding some history and originality to your communications by using root words rather than derivations or watered-down translations. Some languages, also have certain reputations - for example, French is generally accepted as a romance language, while Latin is considered to be more old and mysterious. Rocket Languages has a By being able to pick and choose the country and origins of the words you use in your life, you can also tweak the attitudes people have about your words by using foreign words mindfully. Take a look at our list of beautiful words in foreign languages:

We already have a section on unusual words - how are rare words different? On a spectrum of common to uncommon, we could say that “rare” is on the extreme end of the scale on the “uncommon” side. We can measure the rarity of a word in a few different ways - how unique the word sounds, how extraordinary the meaning is, or a combination of both factors. We do also need to keep in mind that rare doesn’t just mean extremely uncommon - it also refers to instances that are precious and brilliant. With that in mind, we’ve tried to keep out focus on rare words with beautiful meanings, rather than just unusual sounding words. Just as with unusual words, rare words are generally heard rarely and used in unique circumstances and situations, so the use of one of these words could add a feeling of gravitas or wonder. Since the meanings themselves can also be in reference to rare feelings or events, you might find it difficult to find a place for these lovely words. Here’s our compilation of rare words with beautiful meanings:

What do we mean by a “deep” meaning? This is a relative measure, one that we can understand in comparison to something else. Depth is a word that refers to something important, affecting, lasting, as opposed to something shallow, which is skin-deep and superficial. So what do we consider to be deep? Generally, feelings, experiences, realisations, conceptions, or ways of understanding the world, whether they’re similar to ours or not. Words that can convey these things are beautiful and important words with lasting effects since they can help us understand one another, grow, change, and empathise with situations that we may not have encountered in our own lives before. Simply reading unique words like these can help people identify and process what they may be feeling or experiencing, and can be a helpful comfort when shared. It is our hope when collecting these words that they can help you communicate your thoughts and experiences as accurately as you can, or be able to imagine the situations of other people with kindness and consideration. With that in mind, here’s our lovely collection of words with deep meanings:

PROFOUND (adj)
a feeling, quality or emotion that is very great, intense and affecting.
something or someone with great knowledge or insight.
EMOLLIENT (adj)
a softening, soothing agent.
something calm or conciliatory.
PHOSPHENES (n)
the sprinkled burst of stars and colours you see when you rub your eyes.
SAFFRON (n)
a crocus that flowers in autumn with reddish-purple flowers. used for spices, food colouring and dyes.
a yellow-orange colour.
ETHEREAL (adj)
wispy, delicate, light, seemingly intangible.
MELLIFLUOUS (adj)
a honey-like sound which is smooth and lovely to hear.
GLEAM (v)
to briefly shine or reflect a bright light.
LUMINESCENCE (n)
a light emitted by a non-heated substance.
SYZYGY (n)
an alignment or pair, usually in reference to celestial bodies.
SUSURRUS (n)
a whispering or rustling.
EFFERVESCENT (adj)
a fizzy liquid that produces bubbles.
energetic, vivacious.
CADENCE (n)
a vocal inflection or modulation, the rhythm of an intonation or written text.
the closing sequence of notes or chords in a musical phrase.
AUTUMNAL (adj)
characteristic of autumn.
CERULEAN (adj)
a vivid, deep, sky-blue colour.

UNUSUAL WORDS

BENTHOS (n)
flora and fauna found in the bottoms of seas and lakes.
SPHALLOLALIA (n)
flirtatious conversations that go nowhere.
LUCENT (adj)
shining, glowing or radiating light.
MONTIVAGANT (adj)
someone who wanders in hilly and mountainous areas.
NOEGENESIS (n)
gaining new knowledge and wisdom from a sensory or intellectual experience.
TARANTISM (n)
an urge or uncontrollable impulse to dance.
YONDERLY (adj)
absent, vacant, mentally or emotionally distant.
BASOREXIA (n)
a strong urge to kiss.
EBULLIENCE (n)
an overflow of energy, exhilaration. an exuberant quality.
KNISMESIS (n)
light, feathery tickling.
BOMBINATE (n)
to make a loud buzzing or humming sound.
PETRICHOR (n)
the smell of rain after a long spell of dry weather.

PRETTY WORDS

CHATOYANT (adj)
a band of bright light from the lustrous reflections of a gem.
NYMPH (n)
a fantastical nature spirit that can live in rivers, woods or other natural habitats.
DENOUEMENT (n)
the final part of a narrative where the mystery is revealed, main conflict resolved, and the situational outcomes decided and made clear.
PEACHY (adj)
having some quality comparable to that of a peach.
attractive, ideal
DULCET (adj)
of a sound - sweet, soothing, mellow. usually used ironically.
EPHEMERAL (adj)
short-lived.
EPIPHANY (n)
a sudden and momentous realisation.
FETCHING (adj)
attractive.
GOSSAMER (n)
a thin, delicate material. usually refers to cobwebs. insubstantial.
LISSOM (adj)
graceful, slim, limber.
NEMESIS (n)
an enemy; usually a long-standing one.
SERENDIPITY (n)
a happy outcome of events through accident and luck rather than design.
TWINKLING (adj)
sparkling, or shining with a light of dynamic and changing brightness.
MELANCHOLY (adj)
an introspective, pensive sorrow that generally has no obvious cause.
ZENITH (n)
the point where something is at its peak.
the point in the sky directly above an observer.
PRISM (n)
a solid geometric shape featuring two similar, equal and parallel rectilinear ends, with parallelograms for sides.
a glass or similar transparent object in the form of a prism that is able to separate white light into a spectrum of colours.
RADIANCE (n)
reflected or emitted light or heat.
a great joy or love evident in someone's countenance.
glowing skin, usually taken as an indicator of good health or youth.

WORDS ABOUT LIFE

NEBULOUS (n)
a hazy or cloudy state.
a vague or ill-defined statement or concept.
RHAPSODIC (adj)
an enthusiastic and passionate emotional expression.
HALCYON (adj)
a peaceful, joyful state or place.
SEMPITERNAL (adj)
unchanging, everlasting and eternal.
HOPE (n)
an expectation or desire for a certain outcome.
QUIESCENT (adj)
a dormant state.
METANOIA (n)
a change in a way of life.
SERENE (adj)
a peaceful, tranquil state.
BLOSSOM (n)
a flower or mass of flowers.
a state of flowering and growth.
BRIGHT (adj)
shining or filled with light.
vivid and bold, cheerful, vivacious.
smart, intelligent.
GLORIOUS (adj)
possessing striking qualities and splendour.
deserving of fame and admiration.
GENTLE (adj)
a mild, tender temperament. kind in character.
gradual in effect or degree, not strong or violent.
SENTIENCE (n)
the capacity to perceive, feel, and experience subjectively.
TWILIGHT (n)
a period of decline or obscurity.
the time of evening between daylight and darkness.

FOREIGN WORDS

KINTSUKUROI (n)
-Japanese-
the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold and understanding that the work is more beautiful for having been broken.
WABI-SABI (n)
-Japanese-
a philosophy based on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
KOMOREBI (n)
-Japanese-
sunlight that is filtered through leaves and trees.
GOYA (n)
-Urdu-
a state of momentary suspension of disbelief when a story is so realistic that it temporarily becomes reality.
HIRAETH (n)
-Welsh-
a homesickness, nostalgia, or longing for a place that no longer exists or you cannot return to.
JIJIVISHA (n)
-Hindi-
a will to live; an indomitable spirit.
FIRGUN (n)
-Hebrew-
a simple, unselfish joy at someone else’s fortune or pleasure.
MERAKI (n)
-Greek-
the creativity, soul, and love found in your work.
JAYUS (n)
-Indonesian-
a joke that is so unfunny and poorly told that you can’t help but laugh anyway.
GIGIL (n)
-Filipino-
an irresistible urge to squeeze or pinch something or someone that is extremely cute.
UBUNTU (n)
-Nguni-
the belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness towards others.
FORELSKET (n)
-Norwegian-
the euphoria felt when first falling in love.
UKIYO-E (n)
-Japanese-
a genre of Japanese art focused on showing subjects from everyday life.
FERNWEH (n)
-Greek-
a craving for far-off places; wanderlust.
NAZ (n)
-Urdu-
the pride that comes from the knowledge that you are loved no matter what you do.
MANGATA (n)
-Swedish-
the shimmering, road-like reflection of moonlight on water.
CREDERE (n)
-Latin-
to believe or think.
VIS (n)
-Latin-
power, force, or energy.
CHATOYER (v)
-French-
to gleam or glisten.
BISOU (n)
-French-
a friendly kiss.
ETOILE (n)
-French-
a star or something star-shaped.
LUCIOLE (n)
-French-
a firefly.

RARE WORDS

ADUMBRATE (v)
to represent in a sketch or outline.
to overshadow.
FRISSON (n)
a sudden flash of strong excitement or fear.
LALOCHEZIA (n)
the emotional relief felt when swearing or using indecent language.
AMELIORATE (v)
making something bad or unsatisfactory better.
ELYSIAN (adj)
blissful, wonderful, or having qualities that resemble elysium (a section of the afterlife reserved for heroes and the righteous, for those worthy of a happy afterlife).
SCINTILLA (n)
a tiny spark or trace of feeling.
SEMPITERNAL (adj)
eternal and unchanging.
VESPERTINE (adj)
things relating to or occurring in the evening.
ZEPHYR (n)
a very soft, gentle breeze.
SYNECDOCHE (n)
a figure of speech where a part is representative of the whole; as in "the pen is mightier than the sword" (meaning the media is more powerful than the military).
VERISIMILITUDE (n)
the appearance of being real or true.
AUBADE (n)
a poem or musical work relating to or appropriate for the dawn.

MEANINGFUL WORDS

KALON (n)
a beauty that is more than skin-deep.
EPHORIZE (v)
to control, or have an absolute influence over
KALOPSIA (n)
the delusion of things being more beautiful than they actually are.
EUNOIA (n)
a healthy mind, or beautiful thinking.
AMARANTHINE (adj)
eternal, unfading.
a reddish-purple colour.
PARACOSM (n)
a detailed and lasting imaginary world created by a child.
SELCOUTH (adj)
strange, weird, uncommon.
PALINOIA (n)
an obsessive repetition of something until it is mastered or perfect.
CATHECT (v)
investing or attaching emotion to something, whether that be a person, idea, or object.
MIZPAH (n)
the deep emotional connection or bond between people, in particular those separated by death or distance.
NEMESISM (n)
an internal, self-focused anger or frustration to oneself and one’s way of living
ORENDA (n)
the energy present in all people that can enable them to effect change in their own lives or the world.
ACATALEPSY (n)
the belief that human knowledge cannot ever have true certainty; the impossible task of comprehending the universe and all inside it
NEPENTHE (n)
any act or substance that can induce a pleasant forgetfulness; especially one that dulls sadness or trouble.