• euphony •
yu-fê-ni • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: Pleasant sound, especially in speech and music.
Notes: Here is the antonym of cacophony "bad sound". If you like to spice your speech with foreign words, you may use the Greek form, euphonia. Either comes with two adjectives, euphonic and euphonious. The musical instrument pictured here is a euphonium.
In Play: Today's word is used for describing beautiful speech: "Mortimer is a real statesman; he can combine euphoria with euphony in his speeches like no other." Or it may be used to describe music: "Driving to and from work, Hermione tries to drown the sounds of traffic in symphonic euphony from the car radio."
Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from Middle French euphonie, descended from Late Latin euphonia, borrowed from Greek euphonia "sounding pleasant", based on euphonos "pleasant-sounding". The Greek original consists of eus "good, brave, noble" + phone "voice, sound", handed down from PIE root bha- "to speak". This same PIE word turned up in Latin as fari "speak", which went into the making of fabula "fable", fatum "fate, doom", and fatalis "fatal", which English remodeled into the words appearing in the definitions of these three Latin words. The present participle of fari was fan(t)s "speaking". The negative of this word was infan(t)s "not speaking", which English borrowed, via French, as infant.
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