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Tone Words

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
Tone is a writer / speaker’s attitude towards his or her subject.

Some of the following terms have explanations. Where one is not provided and you do not understand, double-click on the term for a definition.

A
abusive: unkind, insulting

accusatory - charging of wrong doing

admiring

aggrieved – hurt or wounded  

ambivalent  - neither clearly one way or another;      

amused     

angry  - belligerent, choleric

animated

apathetic-indifferent, uncaring      

apologetic: regretfully acknowledging or excusing fault or failure

arrogant – haughty, condescending, overbearing    

awestruck         

B
benevolent - inclined to do good; charitable

bitter - resulting from severe grief or anguish; marked by resentment or cynicism

C
callous - unfeeling, insensitive to feelings of others

candid - honest, frank, free from prejudice      

caustic - intense use of sarcasm; stinging, biting

cautionary           

chatty  - conversational     

cheerful    

childish    

clinical purely scientific

cold - indifferent, not involving feelings

colloquial  

comic - humorous    

compassionate – feeling, caring

complimentary - praising  

condemnatory - condemning

condescending – patronizing, superior, talking-down to

confident - assured or certain

confused - bewildered or perplexed

contemplative - studying, thinking, reflecting on an issue

contemptuous - scornful or disdainful, lacking respect

conventional-lacking spontaneity, originality, and individuality   

critical - finding fault

cruel         

curt - discourteously brief

cynical - expecting the worst, negative

D
defiant      

depressed – downcast, dejected

derisive - ridiculing, mocking (stronger than satirical)

detached - separate or not involved in emotions  

didactic - author attempts to educate or instruct the reader

dignified   

diplomatic

disapproving

disdainful - scornful

disheartened      

disparaging - criticising

distressed

dramatic

dreamy having a soft, soothing quality  

E
earnest – intense, a sincere

elegiac - sad, mournful

empathetic – caring, compassionate

erudite – learned, polished, scholarly

evasive      

evoking pity or compassion; keenly affecting the senses

excited      

F
fanciful - using the imagination,

firm: steadfast, unflinching, resolute

flattering: undue praising, complimenting

flippant – overly casual

forceful     

formal: ceremonial, regulatory, precise

forthright - directly frank without hesitation

frank  - direct, honest      

friendly: prompted by kindness, not hostile  

frivolous - not serious or sensible, petty

frustrated

G
genial: mild, pleasantly warm

gentle              

gentle: tame, quiet

giddy - dizzy or unsteady; flighty or frivolous

gloomy - darkness, sadness, rejection

grim – matter-of-fact, extremely down-to-earth

gullible – believes anything easily     

H
happy

hard-hearted – uncaring, severe    

haughty - proud and vain to the point of arrogance

hearty: cordial, genial, abundant

hollow      

humble     

humble: having or showing low estimate of one’s own importance

humorous

hypercritical – saying one thing while believing another

I
impartial - unbiased; not favouring one side

impassioned – extremely zealous, filled with belief and passion towards a cause     

imploring

impressionable  

inane – non-sensical        

incensed – extremely angry, annoyed

incisive - clear and very direct, unambiguous

incredulous  - cannot believe     

indignant - expressing anger or scorn; anger due to injustice

informal: without ceremony, not according to due form

informative - giving information; educational, instructional

ingratiating: bringing oneself into favour with

intense                

intimate - very familiar

ironic  -  intended to be opposite to the feeling of the subject matter, contradictory               

ironic - meaning expressed by using language of opposite meaning or tendency

irreverent - showing disrespect

J
jaded  - sense of hopelessness, loss of hope           

jovial - happy      

joyful - feeling or expressing happiness

joyous       

judgmental - critical

L
laudatory - praising

light-hearted – casual, easy-going          

loving              

lyrical - expressing a poet’s inner feelings; emotional; full of images; song-like

M
malicious - purposely hurtful

matter-of-fact--accepting of conditions; not fanciful or emotional

mean-spirited  - grudging

mock-heroic - feigning heroism

mocking - treating with contempt or ridicule, sarcastic, facetious, satirical

modest

morose-gloomy, sullen, surly, despondent

mourning  

N
naive         

nasty

neutral: indefinite, vague, taking neither side in dispute or differences of opinions

nostalgic - homesick or longing for something long ago

O
objective - an unbiased view, able to leave personal judgments aside     

obsequious - crawling

optimistic - hopeful, cheerful

outraged            

outspoken

P
patronising: treating condescendingly

patronizing - air of condescension, superior

peaceful    

pedantic narrow-minded in following set rules

pensive

persuasive

pessimistic        

pessimistic-seeing the worst side of things; no hope

philosophical

pitiful        

playful         

poignant –

prayerful            

proud        

provocative        

Q
quizzical - odd, eccentric, amusing

R
reflective - illustrating innermost thoughts and emotions, considered

regretful    

resentful   

resigned    

respectful: showing deference

restrained

reticent     

reverent - treating a subject with honour and respect

ribald – smutty, offensive in speech or gesture

ridiculing - slightly contemptuous banter; making fun of, sarcastic, facetious

righteous  

S
sad - momentary unhappiness ranging to intense grief

sanguineous -optimistic, cheerful  

sarcastic characterized by taunting, sneering, or jeering

sarcastic: bitter or wounding, taunting

sardonic - scornfully and bitterly sarcastic

satirical  - criticising by ridiculing and mocking to show weakness in order to make a point, teach

scathing: withering a person or idea with severe speech

sceptical - doubting       

scornful - filled with contempt

self-pitying       

sensationalistic       

sentimental

sharp        

shocking

sincere - without deceit or pretence; genuine, honest

solemn - deeply earnest, tending toward sad reflection 

sombre - dark, gloomy, melancholy, dull

sorrowful         

sulking

suspicious: prone to feeling that something is wrong or that someone is guilty

sweet - characterized by kindness and gentleness; delightful; may be insipid or overly sweet (saccharine)         

sympathetic - showing deep pity or compassion

T
thoughtful

tired - fatigued, worn out; weary

tolerant

truculent - fierce, cruel, savage, pugnacious

U
unassuming

uneasy      

upset        

urgent       

V
vexed  - annoyed        

vibrant - lively, energetic, colourful

vindictive – spiteful, bitter

W
warm: enthusiastic, hearty, zealous

whimsical - fanciful; oddly out of the ordinary, strange, fantastic; fun

witty - clever, smart and funny

world-weary – tired,

worried     

Z
zealous - highly enthusiastic

 

 

 

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