In rhetoric, eunoia (Ancient Greek: εὔνοιᾰ, romanizedeúnoia, lit. 'well mind; beautiful thinking')[1] is the goodwill a speaker cultivates between themself and their audience, a condition of receptivity.[2] In Book VIII of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle uses the term to refer to the kind and benevolent feelings of goodwill a spouse has which form the basis for the ethical foundation of human life.[3] Cicero translates εὔνοιᾰ with the Latin word benevolentia.[4]

It is also a rarely-used medical term referring to a state of normal mental health.[5] Eunoia is the shortest English word containing all five main vowel graphemes.[1]

In popular culture

  • Eunoia is a work by poet Christian Bök consisting of five chapters, each one using only one vowel.
  • In the science-fiction television series Earth: Final Conflict, Eunoia is the name of the native language of the Taelon race. Bök was a consultant on that series and helped develop the language.
  • The debut album of math rock band Invalids.[6]
  • In December 2015, the Ministry of Education in Singapore unveiled the name of a new junior College set to open in 2017, Eunoia Junior College. The unfamiliar name generated significant buzz in the Singapore community when it was first announced,[7] including memes referencing Singlish homophones.[8]

See also

  • Iouea, a similarly short word with all the vowels.


  1. ^ a b "Beautiful vowels". Today (BBC Radio 4). BBC. Eunoia is the shortest word in English containing all five vowels - and it means "beautiful thinking". It is also the title of Canadian poet Christian Bok's book of fiction in which each chapter uses only one vowel.
  2. ^ Garver, Eugene (1994). Aristotle's Rhetoric: An Art of Character. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 112. ISBN 9780226284255.
  3. ^ The Family In Aristotle
  4. ^ Gloria Vivenza, "Classical Roots of Benevolence in Economic Thought," Ancient Economic Thought (Routledge, 1997) pp. 198–199, 204–208 online; Cicero's influence on patristic usage, Carolinne White, Christian Friendship in the Fourth Century (Cambridge University Press, 1992, 2002), pp. 16–17 online, 32, and p. 255, note 13.
  5. ^ Definition: eunoia from Online Medical Dictionary
  6. ^ Davis, Pete (2012). "Invalids discography". Bandcamp. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  7. ^ There’s going to be a new junior college called Eunoia; here’s how to pronounce it
  8. ^ What kinda weird school name is this la sial?!

External links

  • The dictionary definition of eunoia at Wiktionary

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