Canorous — Melodious or To Sing

My new word of the week is canorous.

Celeste Wilson
3 min readMar 7, 2022


Photo by ChadoNihi on Pixabay

What Does it Mean?

It describes a melodious pleasant sound. Think of your favorite song or the sweet bird song in the morning. Any sound that is lyrical, tuneful and harmonious is canorous.


The choir’s canorous rendition of a love song stunned the audience.

A Linguistic Time Line

The earliest documented use of canorous dates back to 1646. This is the period when French, Latin, Greek and Italian influenced English and is thought of as the Early Modern English period. The era stretches from 1500 AD to around the 1800 AD.

Fun fact: This was the time of Shakespeare who lived between April 1564 and April 1616.

The use of canorous in the English language peaked in the early 1800’s and held its own for most of that century. With exception of a little spurt of interest in the early 1900’s, it has steadily disappeared in the 2000’s.

A Poem — A Canorous Flock of Feathers

The v-shaped flock drifts silently across the sky


One member ignites a sound.

Another in the procession moves forward


A new leader is canorously crowned.

The harmonious shape is warped for just a moment


The direction is adjusted until it points southbound.

Photo by Gerardmak in Pixabay — Poem by Celeste Wilson

Etymology of Canorous

It is a descendent of the latin word canere (to sing) and canōrus (a song)and was adopted by English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

· English: canorous

· Italian: canoro

· Portuguese: canoro

· Spanish: canoro

The latin original(s) became the root of other English words like chant, canticle, carmen and cantor. All…



Celeste Wilson

I’m a freelancer, author of 4 YA fantasy fiction novels, mom, and crafter. Words are powerful, beautiful and full of lasting memories. 1 x Top Writer in Food