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 '20 at 13:12
  • word for very fine, see-through? will overlap. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 12 '20 at 14:52
  • 1
    Gossamery is one word. – Richard Kayser Jul 12 '20 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 '20 at 17:10

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'. – Vigneswara Prabhu Jul 12 '20 at 11:44
  • 1
    @VigneswaraPrabhu, Ethereal perfectly fits the example sentence you've provided. Plus, you've said 'delicate' in the OP, not 'fragile'. – Decapitated Soul Jul 12 '20 at 11:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.