pul·chri·tude /ˈpʌlkrɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
-noun
physical beauty; comeliness.[Origin: 1350-1400; ME < L pulchritūdō beauty, equiv. to pulchri– (comb. form of pulcher beautiful) + –tūdō -tude]

-Synonyms loveliness, beauteousness, fairness.

Source: Dicitonary.com.

Pulchritude. From the Latin pulcher beautiful. That was the word that first struck Joyce when Millat Iqbal stepped forward on to the steps of her conservatory, sneering at Marcus’s bad jokes, shading his violet eyes from a fading winter sun. Pulchritude: not just the concept but the whole physical word appeared before her as if someone had typed it on to her retina – Pulchritude – beauty where you would least suspect it, hidden in a word that looked like it should signify a belch or a skin infection. Beauty in a tall brown young man who should have been indistinguishable to Joyce from those she regularly bought milk and bread from, gave her accounts to for inspection, or passed her chequebook to from behind the thick glass of a bank till.

Source: White Teeth, Zadie Smith.

Advertisements