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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — canorous

Good morning, Netizens...

March 24, 2013

Word of the Day

  • canorous
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-NOR-us\


: pleasant sounding : melodious

A canorous chorus of birdsong filled the morning air.

"The album features fast and brooding melodies … and standout canorous piano and clean guitar moments…." — From a post by Caroline Jensen at Rock Edition, February 6, 2013


In Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821), the essayist Thomas de Quincey describes a manservant who, after accidentally letting a loaded trunk fall down a flight of stairs, "sang out a long, loud, and canorous peal of laughter." "Canorous" typically describes things, such as church choirs or birds in the spring, that are a pleasure to listen to. It derives from the Latin verb "canere" ("to sing"), a root it shares with a number of words that evoke what is sweet to the ear, such as "chant," "canticle," "cantor" (a leader of a choir), "carmen" (a song, poem, or incantation) and even "accent."

From Merriam-Webster Online at



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.