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The 50 Most Beautiful English Words

Here are some of the results of the most beautiful English words, as voted for by English learners from non-English-speaking countries. Each word is accompanied by an illustration to give a visual representation of each type of beauty.

A survey conducted by the British Council among 40,000 overseas English learners revealed that “Mother” was voted as the most beautiful English word from among 70 other English words. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of its establishment.

The British Association had sought 7,000 English learners in 46 countries to inquire about the most beautiful English words that they may have considered. Additionally, the British Council also sought the views of non-English speaking countries via its website. Over 35,000 people from the non-speaking countries participated in the online poll, including 3500 votes from China.

Below are 50 of the most beautiful English words out of a total of 70. They are arranged from the most to the fewest votes.

  1. Mother

  2. Passion

  3. Smile

  4. Love

  5. Eternity

  6. Fantastic

  7. Destiny

  8. Freedom

  9. Liberty

  10. Tranquility

  11. Peace

  12. Blossom

  13. Sunshine

  14. Sweetheart

  15. Gorgeous

  16. Cherish

  17. Enthusiasm

  18. Hope

  19. Grace

  20. Rainbow

  21. Blue

  22. Sunflower

  23. Twinkle

  24. Serendipity

  25. Bliss

  26. Lullaby

  27. Sophisticated

  28. Renaissance

  29. Cute

  30. Cosy

  31. Butterfly

  32. Galaxy

  33. Hilarious

  34. Moment

  35. Extravaganza

  36. Aqua

  37. Sentiment

  38. Cosmopolitan

  39. Bubble

  40. Pumpkin

  41. Banana

  42. Lollipop

  43. If

  44. Bumblebee

  45. Giggle

  46. Paradox

  47. Delicacy

  48. Peek-a-boo

  49. Umbrella

  50. Kangaroo

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  1. Alexa Gates

    On February 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm


    these are beautiful words!

  2. Judy Sheldon

    On February 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm


    Outstanding job. These are some of my favorite words too, and beautiful illustrations. Thank you.

  3. b. radley

    On February 22, 2008 at 6:30 am


    beautiful article. thank you.

  4. Anne Lyken-Garner

    On February 22, 2008 at 9:04 am


    The illustrations go very well with your chosen words. Good job.

  5. Joe50342

    On February 22, 2008 at 10:51 am


    Nice article.

  6. have not any

    On February 22, 2008 at 11:36 am


    i dont think this are even near but when they said beautiful what did they really meant what kind of beauty word meaning feeling it depends on so many things

  7. valli

    On February 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm


    Great article! Wonderful pictures.

  8. IcyCucky

    On March 4, 2008 at 8:47 pm


    Very creative article..

  9. Jo

    On March 9, 2008 at 4:02 pm


    Wow, beautiful pictures and words.
    Fantastic.

  10. Liane Schmidt

    On March 12, 2008 at 10:28 am


    I love your articles Chan. They just get better and better. It’s like seeing the world through your eyes when you add pictures as well. This article warmed my heart through and through – it was a wonderful way to start my day and it helps get my creative energy flowing so thank you!

    Best wishes.

    Sincerely,

    -Liane Schmidt.

  11. zach

    On May 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm


    I dont see how “if” is a beautiful word.

  12. j r r tolkien

    On June 1, 2008 at 4:19 pm


    I think it’s “cellar door”.

  13. Grace

    On June 6, 2008 at 6:07 am


    I really like it , and the 50 words also are my favorite.

  14. laraina

    On July 19, 2008 at 3:55 am


    zach- some people are so oppressed they don’t have anything that stands for possiblitiy in their culture. if means possibility and hoping for something, probablly something better. we can talk about our possibilities whenever we want in our language.

    jrr tolken-somebody’s seen donnie darko

  15. Himanshu Gupta

    On September 12, 2008 at 1:05 am


    This is so Fantastic………..

  16. Susan

    On September 22, 2008 at 10:08 am


    I am English-speaking only and find this article fascinating…

  17. dave

    On October 22, 2008 at 8:48 am


    My vote goes to ‘Willow’, it has to be the most beautiful word in the english language. Earlier suggestions have been cellar door, windowsill and others…;)

  18. Kim

    On November 11, 2008 at 1:07 am


    what about the words beautiful and beauty?

  19. Brian

    On December 2, 2008 at 2:18 pm


    Please don’t discard ‘mercy’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘grace’ and ’salvation’! And what of ‘prayer’ and ‘thanksgiving’?

  20. Laura

    On January 6, 2009 at 6:37 am


    I found out about this article from my English teacher and I was very happy to read it.It is absolutely fantastic to be able to read it.And people who don’t understand the meanings of these words shouldn’t read it.Great work!!!!

  21. buttercup

    On February 26, 2009 at 9:24 am


    willow, mercy, thansgiving – all good

    How about: discovery, eureka, shower, gift, mist, dandelion, tulip, gentle, faraway, castle, cornucopia, dove, aurora, loyal, foliage, Epicurian, paradise, earth, starlight, blueberry, honeydew

    and

    I have one more: diarrhea – a beautiful sounding word for something disgusting

  22. Jessica

    On April 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm


    i loveddd;
    lullaby, delicasy, and twinkle.

    add in;
    grace, prayer, cherish, beauty.

  23. chrlish sounds

    On July 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm


    captive love

  24. Daniell

    On July 30, 2009 at 11:49 pm


    I’m a non-native speaker and in my opinion latin derived words is the best ones and almost always sounds more beautiful to me than germanic derived words.

  25. greenlight228

    On August 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm


    i really like these words they are fantastic

  26. Hollister

    On October 24, 2009 at 11:13 am


    one of my favorite words: credenza

  27. Tom

    On January 18, 2010 at 9:06 am


    It,s very wellIIIIIIIII

  28. Argentine Translator

    On January 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm


    These words denote beautiful objects and ideas for mankind.

  29. lizette

    On February 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm


    this is generic

  30. adil

    On March 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm


    This is so Fantastic

  31. Maedeh Ghafoori

    On April 15, 2010 at 8:30 am


    i love them,and the illustrations go very well with chosen words.
    However,about some words i try to see the world through people’s eyes who chose those words.
    good job

  32. pradip

    On April 16, 2010 at 2:56 am


    mind blowing,,,,,,,,,,,,, but few words are missing

  33. tryclyde

    On April 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm


    Good list, but are these words beautiful partly because of their meaning or are they meant to be disassociated from their meaning and are beautiful simply because of how they sound? I only say this because there doesn’t seem to be any words that have a negative meaning but sound nice, like “sinister” for example.

  34. Ross Stephenson

    On May 5, 2010 at 6:35 am


    outstanding… well done…
    my favorite word would have to be … LOVE!!

  35. Floyd

    On May 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm


    I think Zephyr wins, if it’s an English word.

  36. Cherise Vick

    On May 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm


    Wonderful words. I would also put Delicate on the list.[:

  37. lucia anna

    On September 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm


    Excellent

  38. crisdiwata

    On October 4, 2010 at 10:25 pm


    I wish you it includes prayer, forgiveness and most of all GOD because it’s HIM who created all those words right? Thanks for a very nice share. Anyway I also love the word desiderata.

  39. summergurl

    On October 7, 2010 at 11:22 pm


    This list is weak.

    Definitely designed with the ideas behind the words in mind; not the words themselves. The list also seems to be geared for a more female perspective rather than a unilateral one.

  40. Stan Wilson

    On October 8, 2010 at 5:07 am


    this is really fantastic..now lets see who could write a poem just using those 50 words…under the title “Fifty most popular English words”

  41. S.M. Elizabeth

    On October 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm


    Very good share. I like the pictures and beautiful words. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Brittany

    On November 5, 2010 at 10:11 am


    I really think “Womb” should be added to this list. :)

  43. Lily

    On November 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm


    I think this list reflects the favourite meanings, not the favourite actual words. The meaning, not the linguistics, provides the focus. Disappointing, and predictable.

  44. V-Ren

    On November 12, 2010 at 2:39 am


    I like the words of “Liberty”

  45. liluweim77

    On November 13, 2010 at 10:04 am


    与图搭配,确实不错

  46. Uday

    On November 20, 2010 at 10:29 am


    I think we should add words like please, thanks, Pleasant

  47. krush

    On November 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm


    I’ve always liked the sound of the word “troubador.” Thanks for the wonderful list!

  48. Flynn

    On January 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm


    The funny thing is, most of these “english” words come from French. And Renaissance is a pure french word. Passion : passion, eternity : eternité, liberty : liberté, sophisticated : sophistiqué, sentiment : sentiment, tranquility : tranquillité, Enthusiasm : enthousiasme, grace : grace, fantastic : fantastique…. and so on. Cheers from France

  49. Erin-Sophia

    On February 26, 2011 at 3:27 am


    Many of those words are beautiful. Yet you forgot Jesus. It is a beautiful word filled with passion and love. He created these words, and His name is a beautiful word. Never forget Prayer, Faith, Baptism, Reign, Heaven, and Spiritual. Those are the most beautiful words in the world….

    Amen! :P

  50. Simoness

    On March 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm


    Hello, quite frankly i have mixed feelings about this site. first off, some of those words and pictures are quite nice, and really calming and all that stuff, but it’s the comments i really have beef with. Half the comments sound like they are coming from complete idiots, and quite frankly i think they are. This guy took his time to make this to make others feel better and sure there could be more words and stuff. but LETS SEE SOME OF YOU DO BETTER.

  51. Aurora

    On June 22, 2011 at 4:01 am


    bab.la is currently searching for the most beautiful word of the English language, based on 100,000,000 votes! If you would like to participate, click on: http://en.bab.la/most-beautiful-word/

    No log-in and free of use. We are looking forward to knowing the results!

  52. x

    On August 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm


    And what about “lazy day”? Does not it sound beautiful?

  53. L

    On September 29, 2011 at 8:39 am


    What about \”Melody\”?

  54. Pradeep

    On January 16, 2012 at 4:46 am


    Very Nice………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

  55. B

    On February 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm


    Amazing! Just hearing these words makes my spirits fly! Truly beautiful!

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