I want a suitable single word to use in the below sentence. I've included a few phrases which try and express the intent I wish to convey.

As the twilight passes in front of me, casting its saffron glow through a gap in the door, I hear your mellifluous footsteps in the (gossamer thin) (extremely delicate) hallways of my self.

  • Mellifluous footsteps? Hallways of my self? You’re winding us up!
    – David
    Jul 12, 2020 at 13:12
  • word for very fine, see-through? will overlap. Jul 12, 2020 at 14:52
  • 1
    Gossamery is one word. Jul 12, 2020 at 15:33
  • Have you considered whether your metaphor can possibly work with the adjective you request? How can a hallway be delicate, never mind extremely so? Perhaps if the floor boards are rotten, or the site is undermined by subsidence, but “the rotting hallway of my self” conveys a different idea to that I think you intend. Presumably it is your “self” that is delicate, in which case that is where the adjective should come. I would rewrite the whole thing; something like “tread softly, for you tread on my dreams”. Unless it’s been said before.
    – David
    Jul 12, 2020 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


A word that implies fragility while being more poetic, and which rhymes with mellifluous, is diaphanous:

1 : characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through
    // diaphanous fabrics
    // a diaphanous curtain
2 : characterized by extreme delicacy of form : ETHEREAL
    // painted diaphanous landscapes 3 : INSUBSTANTIAL, VAGUE
    // had only a diaphanous hope of success

Using it in the passage from the question:

I hear your mellifluous footsteps in the diaphanous hallways of my self.


Ethereal would be a good choice.

American Heritage Dictionary


  1. Extremely light or delicate: "An ant lion ... is lovely, long-bodied like a damselfly, with a pair of ethereal wings" (Jennifer Ackerman).
  • Thank you for your answer, But I feel, Ethereal seems disconnected from the intended meaning of the phrase. I want something which has closer connotation to 'fragile'. Such as: 'my extremely fragile heart cannot take the excitation brought by the sensations of your love'. Jul 12, 2020 at 11:44
  • 1
    @VigneswaraPrabhu, Ethereal perfectly fits the example sentence you've provided. Plus, you've said 'delicate' in the OP, not 'fragile'. Jul 12, 2020 at 11:50

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