106 Ways to Describe Sounds

Yeppers, kids, you read that right. We’re talking about not one, not 10, not 50, but 106 ways you can describe sounds in your screenplay, teleplay, novel, short story, personal essay, article, whatev. Not bad, huh?

by Amanda Patterson

According to Oxford Dictionary, to hear is to ‘perceive with the ear the sound made by (someone or something)’. Sounds are ‘vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s ear’.

You have to use the five senses when you write. Readers want to experience what your characters see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. Using the senses is one of the best ways for writers to learn how to show and not tell.

Writers Write is your one-stop resource for writers and we have written about words that describe taste, and touch in previous posts. In this post I have included words that describe sounds.

General Words Describing Sounds

  1. audible – a sound that is loud enough to hear
  2. broken – a sound that has spaces in it
  3. emit – to make a sound
  4. grinding – a sound of one hard thing moving against another
  5. hushed – a sound that is quiet
  6. inaudible – a sound that is difficult to hear
  7. monotonous – a sound that is always the same and never gets louder or quieter, or higher or lower
  8. muffled – a sound that is not easy to hear because it is blocked by something
  9. plaintive – a sound that has a sad quality
  10. rhythmic – a sound that has a clear, regular pattern
  11. staccato – a sound where each word or sound is clearly separate

Describing PleasING SOUNDS

  1. dulcet – soft and pleasant
  2. lilting – a sound that has a rising and falling pattern
  3. listenable – easy to listen to
  4. mellow – a soft, smooth, pleasant sound
  5. melodic – beautiful sound
  6. musical – sounds like music
  7. pure – a clear, beautiful sound
  8. rich – a sound that is strong in a pleasant way
  9. soft – quiet and peaceful
  10. sonorous – a sound that is deep and strong in a pleasant way
  11. sweet – a pleasant sound….

You ain’t seen nuthing yet. Read it all at Ms.Patterson’s uber helpful and popular Writers Write blog