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55 Words to Describe Someone’s Voice

I was sitting on the computer last night trying to be productive and actually write something. My first sentence included the character listening to a voice through an intercom and my first thought was, “What kind of voice is it?” 

So, naturally, I found myself googling the different ways to describe a voice. I present to you my findings! I hope you all find it useful. 

  • adenoidal (adj): if someone’s voice is adenoidal, some of the sound seems to come through their nose
  • appealing (adj): an appealing look/voice shows that you want help, approval, or agreement
  • breathy (adj): with loud breathing noises
  • brittle (adj): if you speak in a brittle voice, you sound as if you are about to cry
  • croaky (adj): if someone’s voice sounds croaky, they speak in a low, rough voice that sounds as if they have a sore throat
  • dead (adj): if someone’s eyes or voice are dead, they feel or show no emotion
  • disembodied (adj): a disembodied voice comes from someone who you cannot see
  • flat (adj): spoken in a voice that does not go up and down; this word is often used for describing the speech of people from a particular region

  • fruity (adj): a fruity voice or laugh is deep and strong in a pleasant way
  • grating (adj): a grating voice, laugh, or sound is unpleasant and annoying
  • gravelly (adj): a gravelly voice sounds low and rough
  • gruff (adj): this voice has a rough, low sound
  • guttural (adj): a guttural sound is deep and made at the back of your throat
  • high-pitched (adj): true to its name, a high-pitched voice or sound is very high
  • hoarse (adj): someone who is hoarse, or has a hoarse voice, speaks in a low, rough voice, usually because their throat is sore
  • honeyed (adj): honeyed words or a honeyed voice sound very nice, but you cannot trust the person who is speaking
  • husky (adj): a husky voice is deep and sounds hoarse (as if you have a sore throat), often in an attractive way
  • low (adj): a low voice is quiet and difficult to hear; also used for describing a deep voice that has a long wavelength
  • matter-of-fact (adj): usually used if the person speaking knows what they are talking about (or absolutely think they know what they are talking about)
  • modulated (adj): a modulated voice is controlled and pleasant to listen to
  • monotonous (adj): this kind of voice is boring and unpleasant due to the fact that it does not change in loudness or become higher/lower
  • nasal (adj): someone with a nasal voice sounds as if they are speaking through their nose
  • orotund (adj): an orotund voice is loud and clear
  • penetrating (adj): a penetrating voice is so high or loud that it makes you slightly uncomfortable
  • plummy (adj): a plummy voice or way of speaking is considered to be typical of an English person of a high social class; this word shows that you dislike people who speak like this
  • quietly (adj): in a soft, quiet voice
  • raucous (adj): a raucous voice or noise is loud and sounds rough
  • ringing (adj): a ringing voice is very loud and clear
  • rough (adj): a rough voice is not soft and is unpleasant to listen to
  • shrill (adj): a shrill voice is very loud, high, and unpleasant
  • silvery (adj): this voice is clear, light, and pleasant
  • singsong (adj): if you speak in a singsong voice, your voice rises and falls in a musical way
  • small (adj): a small voice is quiet
  • smoky (adj): a smoky voice is sexually attractive in a slightly mysterious way
  • softly spoken (adj): someone who is softly spoken has a quiet, gentle voice
  • soft-spoken (adj): speaking or said in a quiet, gentle voice
  • sotto voce (adj, adv): in a very quiet voice
  • stentorian (adj): a stentorian voice sounds very loud and severe
  • strangled (adj): a strangled sound is one that someone stops before they finish making it
  • strident (adj): this voice is loud and unpleasant
  • taut (adj): used about something such as a voice that shows someone is nervous or angry
  • thick (adj): if your voice is thick with an emotion, it sounds less clear than usual because of the emotion
  • thickly (adv): with a low voice that comes mostly from your throat
  • thin (adj): a thin voice or sound is high and unpleasant to listen to
  • throaty (adj): a throaty sound is low and seems to come from deep in your throat
  • tight (adj): shows that you are nervous or annoyed
  • toneless (adj): does not express any emotion
  • tremulous (adj): if your voice is tremulous, it is not steady; for example, because you are afraid or excited
  • wheezy (adj): a wheezy noise sounds as if it is made by someone who has difficulty breathing
  • wobbly (adj): if your voice is wobbly, it goes up and down, usually because you are frightened, not confident, or are going to cry
  • booming (adj): very loud and attention-getting
  • quavering (adv): if your voice quavers, it is not steady because you are feeling nervous or afraid
  • a voice like a foghorn: very loud voice
  • in an undertone: using a quiet voice so that someone cannot hear you
  • someone’s dulcet tones: the sound of someone’s voice as they speak
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