Words To Describe An Authors Tone (With Meaning)


What Is Tone?

Tone in writing refers to the writer’s attitude toward the reader and the subject of the message. In other words, tone refers to how a writer uses certain words in a specific way to convey non-verbal observations about specific subjects. Not only does tone help to deliver facts, but it deliver them with an attitude, emotion or personal perspective.

 The tone is sometimes used interchangeably with the voice of the author. However, the two are very different. A writer’s voice is a perspective of their personality whereas tone of a writer conveys their attitude about what is being written about. If the tone is combined with voice, then this will create a specific writing style that can be attributed to that writer.

Types of Tone

  1. Joyful
  2. Serious
  3. Humorous
  4. Sad
  5. Formal
  6. Informal
  7. Optimistic
  8. Pessimistic
  9. Horror
  10. Hypocritical
  11. Fearful
  12. Hopeful
  13. Sincere

Words To Describe Tone

NoTone WordMeaning
1AbashedAshamed or embarrassed; also, disconcerted
2AwestruckAmazed, filled with wonder/awe; reverential
3AcerbicSharp; forthright; biting; hurtful; abrasive; severe.
4AmbivalentHaving mixed feelings; uncertain; in a dilemma; undecided.
5AbsurdRidiculous; silly.
6AccusatoryA tone of accusation; to accuse of a crime or offense
7AngryIncensed or enraged; threatening or menacing.
8AdmonishingCautioning, reproving or scolding; especially in a mild and good-willed manner; reminding.
9AdmiringApproving; think highly of; respectful; praising
10AggressiveHostile; determined; forceful; argumentative
11AdoringTo regard with esteem, love, and respect; honor.
12AmusedPleasurably entertained, occupied, or diverted.
13AggrievedIndignant; annoyed; offended; disgruntled
14ApatheticHaving or showing little or no emotion; indifferent or unresponsive.
15AnimatedFull of life or excitement; lively; spirited; impassioned; vibrant.
16ApatheticShowing little interest; lacking concern; indifferent; unemotional
17AssertiveSelf-confident; strong-willed; authoritative; insistent.
18ApologeticFull of regret; repentant; remorseful; acknowledging failure.
19ArdentEnthusiastic; passionate.
20AppreciativeGrateful; thankful; showing pleasure; enthusiastic
21ArrogantPompous; disdainful; overbearing; condescending; vain; scoffing.
22BenevolentCharacterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings.
23Belligerenthostile; aggressive; combatants
24BewilderedCompletely puzzled or confused; perplexed
25BitingSarcastic, having a biting or sarcastic tone.
26BitterCharacterized by intense antagonism or hostility.
27BluntAbrupt in manner; obtuse.
28BoldNot hesitating or fearful in the face of danger or rebuff; courageous and daring.
29BrusqueAbrupt in manner; blunt; rough.
30CalmFree from excitement or passion; tranquil.
31CallousCruel disregard; unfeeling; uncaring; indifferent; ruthless
32CautionaryGives warning; raises awareness; reminding
33CandidFrank; outspoken
34CondescendingStooping to the level of one’s inferiors; patronizing.
35CausticMaking biting, corrosive comments; critical
36CheeryHappy and optimistic
37ConfusedUnable to think clearly; bewildered; vague.
38ChurlishRude in mean-spirited and surly way.
39CriticalFinding fault; disapproving; scathing; criticizing.
40ContemptuousShowing contempt; scornful; insolent; mocking.
41ComicCausing or meant to cause laughter.
42CommandingImposing; having a position of authority.
43ConceitedHaving an excessively favorable opinion of one’s self or abilities.
44CruelCausing pain and suffering; unkind; spiteful; severe.
45CautionaryGives warning; raises awareness; reminding
46CompassionateSympathetic; empathetic; warm-hearted; tolerant; kind.
47CompliantAgree or obey rules; acquiescent; flexible; submissive.
48ContentiousArgumentative, quarrelsome.
49CurtRudely brief in speech or abrupt.
50ComplexHaving many varying characteristics; complicated.
51CelebratoryPraising; pay tribute to; glorify; honor
52CuriousWanting to find out more; inquisitive; questioning.
53ColloquialFamiliar; everyday language; informal; colloquial; casual.
54DesperateHaving an urgent need, desire.
55Cynicalscornful of motives/virtues of others; mocking; sneering
56DepressingSad, melancholic; discouraging; pessimistic
57DisparagingDismissive; critical; scornful.
58DisappointedDiscouraged; unhappy because something has gone wrong.
59DetachedImpartial or objective; disinterested; unbiased/ not concerned; aloof.
60DiabolicDevilish; fiendish; outrageously wicked.
61DisbelievingTo have no belief in; refuse or reject belief in.
62DisdainfulExpressing contempt or disdain.
63DishearteningDiscouraging; demoralizing; undermining; depressing.
64DistressingHeart-breaking; sad; troubling
65DisgustedTo excite nausea or loathing in. To offend the taste or moral sense of.
66DisrespectfulShowing a lack of respect; rude and discourteous.
67DisturbedMarked by symptoms of mental illness.
68DocileCompliant; submissive; deferential; accommodating
69DoubtfulUncertain outcome or result.
70DramaticOf or pertaining to drama; excessively confrontational.
71DrearyCausing sadness or gloom.
72DefensiveDefending a position; shielding; guarding; watchful
73DemeaningDisrespectful; undignified
74DerisiveSnide; sarcastic; mocking; dismissive; scornful
75DetachedAloof; objective; unfeeling; distant.
76DignifiedSerious; respectful; formal; proper.
77DirectStraightforward; honest.
78DiplomaticTactful; subtle; sensitive; thoughtful
79DispassionateImpartial; indifferent; unsentimental; cold; unsympathetic
80EarnestSerious in intention or sincerely zealous.
81EbullientOverflowing with enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited.
82EcstaticIn a state of ecstasy; rapturous.
83EncouragingOptimistic; supportive
84EffusiveUnreserved or unduly demonstrative.
85EmpatheticUnderstanding; kind; sensitive.
86EvasiveAmbiguous; cryptic; unclear.
87EgotisticalVain; boastful; indifferent to the well-being of others; selfish.
88EnthusiasticExcited; energetic
89ElatedVery happy or proud; jubilant; in high spirits.
90EmbarrassedTo feel self-conscious or ill at ease.
91EnragedTo make extremely angry; put into a rage; infuriate.
92EnthusiasticExcited; energetic.
93EvasiveAmbiguous; cryptic; unclear.
94ExcitedEmotionally aroused; stirred.
95FacetiousInappropriate; flippant
96FarcicalLudicrous; absurd; mocking; humorous and highly improbable.
97FlippantSuperficial; glib; shallow; thoughtless; frivolous.
98ForcefulPowerful; energetic; confident; assertive.
99FormalRespectful; stilted; factual; following accepted styles/rules
100FrankHonest; direct; plain; matter-of-fact
101FrustratedAnnoyed; discouraged.
102GentleKind; considerate; mild; soft
103GhoulishDelighting in the revolting or the loathsome.
104GrimSerious; gloomy; depressing; lacking humor; macabre.
105GullibleNaïve; innocent; ignorant.
106HardUnfeeling; hard-hearted; unyielding.
107HumbleDeferential; modest.
108HumorousAmusing; entertaining; playful.
109HypercriticalUnreasonably critical; hair splitting; nitpicking
110ImpartialUnbiased; neutral; objective.
111ImpassionedFilled with emotion; ardent.
112ImploringPleading; begging.
113ImpressionableTrusting; child-like.
114InaneSilly; foolish; stupid; nonsensical.
116IncredulousDisbelieving; unconvinced; questioning; suspicious.
117IndignantAnnoyed; angry; dissatisfied.
118InformativeInstructive; factual; educational.
119InspirationalEncouraging; reassuring.
120IntenseEarnest; passionate; concentrated; deeply felt.
121IntimateFamiliar; informal; confidential; confessional.
122IronicThe opposite of what is meant.
123IrreverentLacking respect for things that are generally taken seriously.
124JadedBored; having had too much of the same thing; lack enthusiasm.
125JoyfulPositive; optimistic; cheerful; elated.
126JudgmentalCritical; finding fault; disparaging.
127LaudatoryPraising; recommending.
128Light-HeartedCarefree; relaxed; chatty; humorous.
129LovingAffectionate; showing intense, deep concern.
130MacabreGruesome; horrifying; frightening.
131MaliciousDesiring to harm others or to see others suffer; ill-willed; spiteful.
132Mean-SpiritedInconsiderate; unsympathetic.
133MockingScornful; ridiculing; making fun of someone.
134MourningGrieving; lamenting; woeful.
135NaïveInnocent; unsophisticated; immature.
136NarcissisticSelf-admiring; selfish; boastful; self-pitying.
137NastyUnpleasant; unkind; disagreeable; abusive.
138NegativeUnhappy, pessimistic.
139NostalgicThinking about the past; wishing for something from the past.
140ObjectiveWithout prejudice; without discrimination; fair; based on fact.
141ObsequiousOverly obedient and/or submissive; fawning; groveling.
142OptimisticHopeful; cheerful.
143OutragedAngered and resentful; furious; extremely angered.
144OutspokenFrank; candid; spoken without reserve.
145PatheticExpressing pity, sympathy, tenderness.
146PatronizingCondescending; scornful; pompous.
147PensiveReflective; introspective; philosophical; contemplative.
148PersuasiveConvincing; eloquent; influential; plausible.
149PessimisticSeeing the negative side of things.
150PhilosophicalTheoretical; analytical; rational; logical.
151PlayfulFull of fun and good spirits; humorous; jesting.
152PragmaticRealistic; sensible.
153PretentiousAffected; artificial; grandiose; rhetorical; flashy.
154RegretfulApologetic; remorseful.
155ResentfulAggrieved; offended; displeased; bitter.
156ResignedAccepting; unhappy.
157RestrainedControlled; quiet; unemotional.
158ReverentShowing deep respect and esteem.
159RighteousMorally right and just; guiltless; pious; god-fearing.
160SatiricalMaking fun to show a weakness; ridiculing; derisive.
161SarcasticScornful; mocking; ridiculing.
162ScathingCritical; stinging; unsparing; harsh.
163ScornfulExpressing contempt or derision; scathing; dismissive.
164SensationalisticProvocative; inaccurate; distasteful.
165SentimentalThinking about feelings, especially when remembering the past.
166SincereHonest; truthful; earnest.
167SkepticalDisbelieving; unconvinced; doubting.
168SolemnNot funny; in earnest; serious.
169SubjectivePrejudiced; biased.
170SubmissiveCompliant; passive; accommodating; obedient.
171SulkingBad-tempered; grumpy; resentful; sullen.
172SympatheticCompassionate; understanding of how someone feels.
173ThoughtfulReflective; serious; absorbed.
174TolerantOpen-minded; charitable; patient; sympathetic; lenient.
175TragicDisastrous; calamitous.
176UnassumingModest; self-effacing; restrained.
177UneasyWorried; uncomfortable; edgy; nervous.
178UrgentInsistent; saying something must be done soon.
179VindictiveVengeful; spiteful; bitter; unforgiving.
180VirtuousLawful; righteous; moral; upstanding.
181WhimsicalQuaint; playful; mischievous; offbeat.
182WittyClever; quick-witted; entertaining.
183WonderAwe-struck; admiring; fascinating.
184World-WearyBored; cynical; tired.
185WorriedAnxious; stressed; fearful.
186WretchedMiserable; despairing; sorrowful; distressed.

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