240 Words to Describe Someone’s Tone/Voice


Abrasive – showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh

Absurd – wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate
Accusatory – suggesting someone has done something wrong, complaining
Acerbic – sharp and forthright
Acidic – harsh or critical

Admiring – approving; think highly of; respectful; praising
Aggressive – hostile; determined; forceful; argumentative
Aggrieved – angry and sad because you think you have been unfairly treated
Airy – giving an impression of being unconcerned or not serious
Ambivalent – having mixed feelings; uncertain; in a dilemma; undecided
Amused – pleasantly; entertain or divert in an enjoyable or cheerful manner
Angry – incensed or enraged; threatening or menacing
Animated – full of life or excitement; lively; spirited; impassioned; vibrant
Anxious – typically with a feeling of unease
Apathetic – showing little interest; lacking concern; indifferent; unemotional
Apologetic – full of regret; repentant; remorseful; acknowledging failure
Appreciative – grateful; thankful; showing pleasure; enthusiastic
Ardent – enthusiastic; passionate
Arrogant – pompous; disdainful; overbearing; condescending; vain; scoffing
Assertive – self-confident; strong-willed; authoritative; insistent
Authoritative – commanding and self-confident
Awestruck – amazed, filled with wonder/awe; reverential
Barbed – deliberately hurtful
Barking – utter a command or question abruptly or aggressively
Belligerent – hostile; aggressive; combatant
Benevolent – sympathetic; tolerant; generous; caring; well meaning
Bitter – angry; acrimonious; antagonistic; spiteful; nasty
Blasé – unimpressed or indifferent to something because one has experienced or seen it so often before

Bleak – without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary
Bombastic – high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated
Booming – loud, deep, and resonant
Bored – to tire or make weary by being dull, repetitious, or uninteresting
Brash – self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way
Braying – speak or laugh loudly and harshly
Breathy – producing or causing an audible sound of breathing, often related to physical exertion or strong feelings
Breezy – appearing relaxed, informal, and cheerily brisk
Brittle – lacking warmth, sensitivity, or compassion; aloof
Bubbly – full of cheerful high spirits
Burbling – speak in an unintelligible or silly way, typically at unnecessary length
Callous – cruel disregard; unfeeling; uncaring; indifferent; ruthless
Candid – truthful, straightforward; honest; unreserved
Caustic – making biting, corrosive comments; critical
Cautionary – gives warning; raises awareness; reminding
Celebratory – praising; pay tribute to; glorify; honour
Chatty – informal; lively; conversational; familiar
Cheery – happy and optimistic
Childish – silly and immature
Chirping – say something in a lively and cheerful way
Clipped – speech that is fast, that uses short sounds and few words, and that is often unfriendly or rude
Cloying – disgust or sicken (someone) with an excess of sweetness, richness, or sentiment
Coarse – rude, crude, or vulgar
Colloquial – familiar; everyday language; informal; colloquial; casual
Comic – humorous; witty; entertaining; diverting
Compassionate – sympathetic; empathetic; warm-hearted; tolerant; kind
Complex – having many varying characteristics; complicated
Compliant – agree or obey rules; acquiescent; flexible; submissive
Concerned – worried; anxious; apprehensive
Conciliatory – intended to placate or pacify; appeasing
Condescending – stooping to the level of one’s inferiors; patronising
Confused – unable to think clearly; bewildered; vague
Contemptuous – showing contempt; scornful; insolent; mocking
Crisp – briskly decisive and matter-of-fact, without hesitation or unnecessary detail
Critical – finding fault; disapproving; scathing; criticizing
Croaking – a characteristic deep hoarse sound
Cruel – causing pain and suffering; unkind; spiteful; severe
Curious – wanting to find out more; inquisitive; questioning
Curt – rudely brief
Cynical – scornful of motives/virtues of others; mocking; sneering
Defensive – defending a position; shielding; guarding; watchful
Defiant – obstinate; argumentative; defiant; contentious
Demeaning – disrespectful; undignified
Depressing – sad, melancholic; discouraging; pessimistic
Derisive – snide; sarcastic; mocking; dismissive; scornful
Detached – aloof; objective; unfeeling; distant
Dignified – serious; respectful; formal; proper
Diplomatic – tactful; subtle; sensitive; thoughtful
Disapproving – displeased; critical; condemnatory
Disheartening – discouraging; demoralising; undermining; depressing
Disparaging – dismissive; critical; scornful
Direct – straightforward; honest
Disappointed – discouraged; unhappy because something has gone wrong
Discordant – harsh and jarring because of a lack of harmony
Dispassionate – impartial; indifferent; unsentimental; cold; unsympathetic
Dispirited – having lost enthusiasm and hope; disheartened

Distressing – heart-breaking; sad; troubling
Docile – compliant; submissive; deferential; accommodating
Drawling – speak in a slow, lazy way with prolonged vowel sounds
Dulcet – sweet and soothing
Dull – lacking interest or excitement
Earnest – showing deep sincerity or feeling; serious
Egotistical – self-absorbed; selfish; conceited; boastful
Empathetic – understanding; kind; sensitive
Encouraging – optimistic; supportive
Enthusiastic – excited; energetic
Evasive – ambiguous; cryptic; unclear
Excited – emotionally aroused; stirred
Facetious – inappropriate; flippant
Farcical – ludicrous; absurd; mocking; humorous and highly improbable
Feathery – extremely light and soft or delicate
Flippant – superficial; glib; shallow; thoughtless; frivolous
Forceful – powerful; energetic; confident; assertive
Formal – respectful; stilted; factual; following accepted styles/rules
Frank – honest; direct; plain; matter-of-fact
Fretful – expressing distress or irritation
Frustrated – annoyed; discouraged
Gentle – kind; considerate; mild; soft
Ghoulish – delighting in the revolting or the loathsome
Glum – dejected; morose
Goofy – foolish; harmlessly eccentric
Grating – harsh and unpleasant
Gravelly – deep and rough-sounding
Grim – serious; gloomy; depressing; lacking humour;macabre
Growling – low grating voice, typically in a threatening manner
Gruff – rough and low in pitch
Gullible – naive; innocent; ignorant
Guttural – produced in the throat; harsh-sounding
Hard – unfeeling; hard-hearted; unyielding
Harsh – cruel or severe
Hearty – loudly vigorous and cheerful
Hoarse – sounding rough and harsh, typically as the result of a sore throat or of shouting
Honeyed – soothing, soft, and intended to please or flatter
Humble – deferential; modest
Humorous – amusing; entertaining; playful
Husky – sounding low-pitched and slightly hoarse
Hypercritical – unreasonably critical; hair splitting; nitpicking
Impartial – unbiased; neutral; objective
Impassioned – filled with emotion; ardent
Imploring – pleading; begging
Impressionable – trusting; child-like
Inane – silly; foolish; stupid; nonsensical
Incensed – enraged
Incredulous – disbelieving; unconvinced; questioning; suspicious
Indifferent – having no particular interest or sympathy; unconcerned
Indignant – annoyed; angry; dissatisfied
Informative – instructive; factual; educational
Insinuating – suggest or hint in an indirect and unpleasant way
Inspirational – encouraging; reassuring
Intense – earnest; passionate; concentrated; deeply felt
Intimate – familiar; informal; confidential; confessional
Ironic – the opposite of what is meant
Irreverent – lacking respect for things that are generally taken seriously
Jaded – bored; having had too much of the same thing; lack enthusiasm
Joyful – positive; optimistic; cheerful; elated
Jubilant – expressing great happiness and triumph
Judgmental – critical; finding fault; disparaging
Laudatory – praising; recommending
Lifeless – lacking vigor, vitality, or excitement
Light-Hearted – carefree; relaxed; chatty; humorous
Lively – full of life and energy; active and outgoing
Loving – affectionate; showing intense, deep concern
Macabre – gruesome; horrifying; frightening
Malicious – desiring to harm others or to see others suffer; ill-willed; spiteful
Matter-of-fact – unemotional and practical
Mean-Spirited – inconsiderate; unsympathetic
Mellifluous – sweet or musical; pleasant to hear
Melodious – pleasant-sounding
Mocking – scornful; ridiculing; making fun of someone
Monotonous – lacking in variation in tone or pitch
Mourning – grieving; lamenting; woeful
Muffled – not loud because of being obstructed in some way; muted
Naive – innocent; unsophisticated; immature
Narcissistic – self-admiring; selfish; boastful; self-pitying
Nasty – unpleasant; unkind; disagreeable; abusive
Negative – unhappy, pessimistic
Nonchalant – casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm
Nostalgic – thinking about the past; wishing for something from the past
Objective – without prejudice; without discrimination; fair; based on fact
Obsequious – overly obedient and/or submissive; fawning; grovelling
Oily – unpleasantly smooth and ingratiating
Optimistic – hopeful; cheerful
Outraged – angered and resentful; furious; extremely angered
Outspoken – frank; candid; spoken without reserv
Pathetic – expressing pity, sympathy, tenderness
Patronizing – condescending; scornful; pompous
Pensive – reflective; introspective; philosophical; contemplative
Persuasive – convincing; eloquent; influential; plausible
Pessimistic – seeing the negative side of things
Philosophical – theoretical; analytical; rational; logical
Piping – high-pitched.
Playful – full of fun and good spirits; humorous; jesting
Pragmatic – realistic; sensible
Pretentious – affected; artificial; grandiose; rhetorical; flashy
Quavering – shake or tremble in speaking, typically through nervousness or emotion
Querulous – complaining in a petulant or whining manner
Rasping – harsh-sounding and unpleasant; grating
Reedy – high and thin in tone
Refined – elegant; cultured
Regretful – apologetic; remorseful
Resentful – aggrieved; offended; displeased; bitter
Resigned – accepting; unhappy
Restrained – controlled; quiet; unemotional
Reverent – showing deep respect and esteem
Righteous – morally right and just; guiltless; pious; god-fearing
Robust – strong and healthy; vigorous
Saccharine –

excessively sweet or sentimental
Satirical – making fun to show a weakness; ridiculing; derisive
Sarcastic – scornful; mocking; ridiculing
Scathing – critical; stinging; unsparing; harsh
Scornful – expressing contempt or derision; scathing; dismissive
Scratchy –
rough; grating
Sensationalist – provocative; inaccurate; distasteful
Sentimental – thinking about feelings, especially when remembering the past
Shrill – high-pitched and piercing
Silvery –

gentle, clear, and melodious
Sincere – honest; truthful; earnest
Skeptical – disbelieving; unconvinced; doubting
Smarmy – excessively or unctuously flattering; ingratiating; servile
Smoky –

a raspy, coarse and tone of quality that is deeper than usual
Snide –

derogatory or mocking in an indirect way
Solemn – not funny; in earnest; serious
Somber –

oppressively solemn or sober in mood; grave
Sonorous – imposingly deep and full
Sour – resentment, disappointment, or anger
Steely – coldly determined; hard
Strident – loud and harsh; grating
Stony –

not having or showing feeling or sympathy
Suave –

charming, confident, and elegant
Subjective – prejudiced; biased
Submissive – compliant; passive; accommodating; obedient
Sulking – bad-tempered; grumpy; resentful; sullen
Surly – bad-tempered and unfriendly
Sympathetic – compassionate; understanding of how someone feels
Thoughtful – reflective; serious; absorbed
Throaty – deep and rasping
Tolerant – open-minded; charitable; patient; sympathetic; lenient
Tragic – disastrous; calamitous
Tremulous – shaking or quivering slightly
Unassuming – modest; self-effacing; restrained
Unctuous –

excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug
Uneasy – worried; uncomfortable; edgy; nervous
Urgent – insistent; saying something must be done soon
Velvety – soft; smooth
Vindictive – vengeful; spiteful; bitter; unforgiving
Virtuous – lawful; righteous; moral; upstanding
Whimsical – quaint; playful; mischievous; offbeat
Witty – clever; quick-witted; entertaining
Wonder – awe-struck; admiring; fascinating
World-Weary – bored; cynical; tired
Worried – anxious; stressed; fearful
Wretched – miserable; despairing; sorrowful; distressed
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