Positive and Negative Tone Words List

While reading an article or a story we can feel the attitude of an author by the words he or she has used. These words are known as tone words. In this blog we will know what tone words are, examples of tone words and will see their usage in sentences as well.

What are Tone Words?

Tone words help the authors express their feelings. Tone words are used to express positive, negative, and neutral feelings. 

Let us have a look at some examples: 

  • Lemon juice is acerbic.

The word “acerbic” is showing criticism, the author is saying that lemon juice is sour. It is a negative tone word.

  • Adam seems to have blithe attitude towards his job.

The word “blithe” means carefree or happy and is a positive tone word.

Here are 10 Tips to Use Tone words and make your writing look perfect.

Examples of Positive Tone Words

The table below shows positive tone words with their meanings. 

Positive Words Meaning 
Adoring  To regard with esteem, love, and respect; honor
Apathetic  Having or showing little or no emotion; indifferent or unresponsive.
Benevolent Characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings.
Blithe  Happy or carefree.
Laudatory Expressing praise and commendation.
Cheery  In good spirits.
Humorous Amusing; entertaining; playful
Speculative  Expressing
Mirthful  Amusing.
Jovial  Cheerful and friendly.
Hilarious  Extremely amusing.
Optimistic  Hopeful and confident about the future.
Comforting  Serving to improve a person’s mood
Celebratory Feeling or expressing happiness and pride.

Examples of Negative Tone Words

Following is a list of negative tone words with their meanings. 

Negative Words Meaning
Abhor  Regard with disgust and hatred.
Acerbic Sour 
Ambiguous Not having one obvious meaning.
Ambivalent Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas
Angry Feeling or showing strong annoyance
Annoyed Slightly angry; irritated.
Anxious  Feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease
Apathetic  Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
Apprehensive  Anxious or fearful that something bad or unpleasant will happen.
Belligerent  Hostile and aggressive.
Indignant  Feeling or showing anger or annoyance
Inflammatory  Intended to arouse
Insecure  Uncertain or anxious about oneself; not confident. 
Antagonistic  Showing or feeling active opposition or hostility

Tone vs Voice

Do not do this mistake Tone with Voice as many people do. Let’s see the difference between Tone and Voice.

  • Voice: Voice is personal to each author and lasts throughout a piece. An author’s voice may be friendly, sarcastic, enlightening else.
  • Tone words: Indicate the author’s (or character’s) reactions to events that are happening. As different events happen, the tone shifts.

Quick Links

Examples of Positive and Negative Sentences Types of Tones in Literature

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