What is beauty? Here, we give you not one but 21 words from across the globe that capture the very essence of beauty.  

Beauty is not a thing of the past. It’s an idea that has been grappling us for centuries taking new shapes and forms which is the most relevant to its surrounding context. But it’s also a virtue that has been the catalyst in finding new boundaries, cultural changes and forming new innovations. It’s the notion that has raised bars for us to look for it in the everyday, as mundane as it may seem. And to that idea we raise a toast with what transcends it best – words.

Here are 21 such words that are beautiful in a way that cannot be described but only felt when you read, a beat taken to experience what it is trying to tell you. A set of words from across the globe, that evoke a sense of thought, a sense of awe, a sense of beauty.

Beauty in 21 words

  1. Forelsket, a word with Norwegian origin that means the euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

2. Reverie, originating from old French that described deliriousness, reverie means absent minded daydreaming while you’re awake or an abstracted state of absorption.

3. Cafuné is a beautiful Portuguese word that means running your fingers through your lover’s hair.

4. Heimat is a German word translating to a place you can call home.

5.Gökotta, a Swedish word for rising at dawn to go out and listen to the birds sing. 


6. Fitoor is an Urdu word meaning madness and obsession.

7. Lacuna, with origins in Latin this word means a missing part or blank space.

8. Kilig is the feeling of butterflies you get when you talk to someone you find attractive, originating from Tagalog.


9. Phosphenes, the colours or stars you see when you rub your eyes, originate from a Greek word.


10. Balter, an English word means to dance artlessly, without skill or grace but with great enjoyment.

11. Toska, a Russian word, means a dull ache of the soul or a spiritual anguish.

12. Sonder, a recently coined word by John Koenig, means the realization that everyone has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

13. Ukiyo is a Japanese word that means living in the moment.

14. Inizio in Italian is a new beginning.  

15. Sweven is a dream in English.

16. Fika, a Swedish word, is a moment to slow down and experience the good things of life. 

17. Basorexia is a 20th century coinage for the overwhelming desire to kiss.

18. Kalopsia, a word of Greek origin that means the illusion of things being more beautiful than they really are.

19. Serendipity, a beautiful word that means finding something good without looking for it.

20. Bibliophilia, the love of books.

21. Komorebi, a Japanese word for the sunlight that filters through the trees.

Here’s hoping 2024 is a time for you to experience some of these beautiful phenomena, moving you in a direction of beauty, love and self awareness. 

Also read:

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  • Samvedita Jha

    Samvedita Indrajit Jha, an artist and marketer is a beauty enthusiast with over 12 years of experience in the luxury lifestyle industry. Currently pursuing the digital facets with several luxury lifestyle brands, she spearheaded the Ajmal collaboration with House of Anita Dongre. When not pursuing professional achievements, she can be seen devouring books, painting and doing yoga.

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