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For the book by Canadian poet Christian Bök, see Eunoia (book).

In rhetoric, eunoia is the goodwill a speaker cultivates between himself and his audience, a condition of receptivity.[1] In book eight of 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.[2] Cicero translates eunoia with the Latin word benevolentia.[3]

It is also a rarely used medical term referring to a state of normal mental health.[4] Eunoia is the shortest English word containing all five main vowel graphemes. It comes from the Greek word εὔνοια, meaning "well mind" or "beautiful thinking."[5]

In popular culture[edit]

  • 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.

See also[edit]

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


  1. ^ Aristotle's Rhetoric: An Art of Character[citation needed]
  2. ^ The Family In Aristotle
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Definition: eunoia from Online Medical Dictionary
  5. ^, Beautiful vowels

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of eunoia at Wiktionary