If you’re writing a story with characters who speak, you’ll want to give them voices. That way, their words come alive on the page and your readers can imagine them speaking. The best way to do this is by using words that describe their voices. Luckily for writers (and luckily for us!), there are lots of ways to describe how someone sounds when they speak—more than 70 different ones! Here’s a list of all the ways we’ve found so far:
What words can you use to describe a voice?
- Nasal: the sound of a voice that’s filled with noise. It can be described as nasal, nasally or nasality.
- Low and soft: A soft tone of voice that is low in pitch, like when you’re talking to children or pets.
- Throaty: The quality of speaking in a voice that sounds as if it’s coming from the back of your throat instead of your mouth; often associated with smoking or drinking alcohol. This is also sometimes referred to as “being hoarse.” For example, “He sounds very hoarse today; he must have been yelling at someone earlier.”
If you want to describe the voice of your character, narrator, or speaking in your writing:
- “She spoke in a soft and gentle voice.”
- “He spoke in a deep and resonant voice.” (This term can refer to both male/female/other.)
- “Her tone was sweet and lighthearted.” (This word can be used for both male/female/other.)
- “He said this with a raspy chuckle.” (This word can be used for both male/female/other.)
Examples: You’re sitting at home reading on the couch when your best friend calls. She’s asking if she can borrow your car tonight. You get angry, because it’s Friday night, but then remember that all her other friends are going out too so hopefully she won’t have many opportunities to crash it into something anyway–plus she has an alarm installed now that goes off if her foot gets too far from the brake pedal. You tell her no problem; come whenever you want!
We hope you enjoyed this list. We’re sure that it will come in handy for your next writing project or speech. Do you have any other words you can think of to describe voices? Let us know in the comments!