hiraeth /HEER-IYəTH/. noun. A Welsh word often portrayed as one of the mythical “untranslatables” that invokes a deep, nostalgic homesickness—sadness and longing—for a time, place and feeling in the past one cannot return to…or that never was. See also: sehnsucht and saudade.
“Well, with my pay in my pocket, and 500 pounds at my back, I thought I would enjoy myself as much as I could, and smother the hiraeth that was so strong upon me, the longing to go home to see Morva…” (Allen Raine)
“It’s pronounced ‘here-eyeth’ (roll the ‘r’) and it’s a Welsh word. It has no exact cognate in English. The best we can do is ‘homesickness,’ but that’s like the difference between hardwood and laminate. Homesickness is hiraeth-lite.” (Pamela Petro)
“…in other parts of the world those of us self-diagnosed with ‘Hiraeth’ oscillate between belonging to the home we’ve created in our heads…” (Lara Atallah)
Select Synonyms: sehnsucht, saudade, yearning, pining, homesickness, mal du pays.