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40 Engaging Words to Describe Voices of Characters in Your Novel

40 Engaging Words to Describe Voices of Characters in Your Novel

Becoming a better writer involves using your imagination to find the most creative words to describe whatever you wish to convey to your readers. In describing a character to your readers, you’ll need engaging words to describe a voice to help bring a dialogue or monologue to life.

Not every voice sounds the same, and it can tell a lot about the character. You must equip yourself with a large vocabulary of words to describe a voice to suit any number of characters whether male, female, brave, weak, kind, evil, and so forth.

Let’s explore 40 of our favorite words to describe a voice and how you can implement them in your writing:


6 words to describe the voice of a courageous character

Courageous characters are usually the heroes in stories, performing great feats and exceeding the expectations of readers and their fellow characters alike. When it’s time for them to speak, use these words to describe a voice to help your readers hear it just as intended:

Daring is best used when the character says he/she is about to do something that requires bravery. This is usually something other characters are not brave enough to partake in.
E.g. “Before fleeing, he turned to the warlock and in a daring voice, vowed to return for the rest of the villagers”


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Use determined when the character is talking about something that he/she is completely resolved to or is firm in doing. It is good to use when you want to show that the character means every word he/she says.
E.g. “He got up, took the podium, and in a determined voice, made his speech to the student body about the changes he wishes to implement.”


The word modulated describes a voice that is completely controlled and pleasant to listen to. In other words, the character is cool, calm and collected.
E.g. “Her modulated voice convinced her family they had nothing to fear, so they finally let her back into the function.”


An orotund voice is loud and clear. The character enunciates properly and everyone can hear what he/she has to say properly.
E.g. “Not a stone was left unturned by the time she was finished with her speech. Her orotund voice resonated through the conference room to TV screens across the country.”


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Use the word stout to describe the voice of a burly character. In other words, a big, strong voice, for a big, strong character.
E.g. “His stout voice shook the room as he angrily demanded another pint of beer.”


The voice of a hero may be described as valiant. Use this when you want to describe a voice that commands great respect due to the courage displayed by this character.
E.g. “The crowd listened with ears perked as his valiant voice reassured them of better years to come once they won the raging war with the South.”



6 words to describe the voice of a character in a position of authority

Characters in a position of authority in writing can include a variety of people whether parents or teachers, supervisors or managers, police or military, the government or royalty, and so on.
Here are some words to describe the voice of someone in authority:

Firm is best used to describe authority figures who are expected to always put on a brave face or display, particularly military, police, government or bosses in the workplace, or to give commands. Their word is meant to be upheld and is usually final.
E.g. “The team sunk into their seats as the firm voice of the superintendent scolded them for their underperformance during the last quarter.


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Use informative for characters who have roles of providing useful information, such as parents, teachers, professors, etc. It is important to ensure that when information is given, it is not misconstrued as condescending.
E.g. “In a very informative way, her voice seemed to light a fire under the students who were nervous about their examinations.”


This is good to use when the voice is straightforward and speaks facts, rather than being based on emotions. You can expect a matter-of-fact type of voice from military personnel, certain government officials and police.
E.g. “I could not read the boss as he was very matter-of-fact in his tone, as if he didn’t care about all my efforts lately.”


Use penetrating when the voice of authority commands attention or can drive fear into other people. In other words, when that character speaks, everyone stops what they are doing and listens.
E.g. “Her penetrating voice stopped him in his tracks as he attempted to sneak out of the auditorium.”


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Plummy refers to the way upper-class people enunciate, which makes it almost seem as if they have a plum in their mouth. Some might think of this voice as snobby.
E.g. “We heard their plummy voices approaching the kitchen, and stood nervously in line, awaiting the inspection.”


Stern is ideally used for characters who are strict and serious in their entire demeanor, especially if another character does something wrong.
E.g. “She feared nothing except her father’s stern voice and glare of discontent.”


6 words to describe a voice that sounds sexy and appealing

Writing sexy words is one thing, but usually, you need words to describe a voice to nudge your readers to let them know that they are meant to be interpreted in this way.
Here are 6 words to describe a voice when it sounds sexy and appealing:

The term honeyed describes a voice that sounds very sweet or appealing on the surface, but the words are meant to be deceptive or distracting. It’s best used when a woman or man is “playing” another character or leading him/her astray.
E.g. “Thomas knew that he was weak to Kate’s honeyed voice, but decided to visit her anyway despite his mother’s warnings.”


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Use hypnotic when the voice makes other characters feel as though they are in a trance. It does not have to be literal, and can just speak to how captivating the voice sounds.
E.g. “The hypnotic voices of the sirens lured the sailors to their deaths on Maiko Island.”


An inviting voice draws other characters in and makes the speaker seem trustworthy or attractive. It can also turn on other characters sexually.
E.g. “The outside of the house was enough to send chills down his spine, but the inviting voice of a young woman beckoned him in.”


A passionate voice evokes strong feelings of love or sexual emotions. This can show that the speaker is aroused, or is trying to seduce another character.
E.g. “He left his wife and baby at home to visit the caller with the passionate voice who summoned him at 2 am.”


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Use the word smoky to describe a sexy masculine voice. It is typically low and mysterious.
E.g. “Her knees felt weak when she heard his smoky voice call her name.”


When a character uses a sultry voice, it means he/she is trying to seduce another, or evoke sexual feelings.
E.g. “It was his first time in one of these parlors, and he was nervous until the sultry voice of his hostess assured him he would be taken care of by one of the ladies soon.”



5 words to describe the voice of a soft and gentle character

Some characters will have soft, gentle voices that are not commanding in any way but aren’t necessarily timid or cowardly.
Here are 5 words to describe a voice if your characters are like this:

A kind voice is calm, friendly and warm. It is not threatening in any way and it does not concern in other characters.
E.g. “She spoke to the frightened child in a kind voice, and he soon dried his tears to explain that he had lost his family in the crowd.”


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A low voice is very quiet and may be hard to hear unless other characters listen very closely. This character is not the type to be up in your face and perhaps speaks only when necessary.
E.g. “In a low voice, he reminded everyone that he didn’t want to make trouble and would prefer to be left out of it entirely”


Somebody with a pleasant voice is polite and makes others feel comfortable around them. These characters usually get along with everyone and don’t tend to be shy.
E.g. “He had a very pleasant voice, which made her trust him enough to get in his car.”


A sing-song voice is usually intentional, as the person makes their voice rise and fall in a musical way. This is pleasant to the ear and is good to use to show light-heartedness and an overall good mood.
E.g. “She told the news of her engagement in a sing-song voice, and to her surprise, they already knew.”


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A small voice is one that gets drowned out easily in conversation. It’s perfect for describing shy characters or children.
E.g. “The silence was broken by a small voice wanting to enlist before anyone else.”


7 words to describe the voice of a villain in a novel

Villains come in many different forms and can range from the low-tier bank robber, to complete fictional psychopaths like the Joker from Batman or Voldemort from Harry Potter. They drive fear into the hearts of characters, and even readers, and can have a lasting impact simply from the sound of their voice.
Here are some examples of words to describe the voice of a villain in a novel:

Breathy describes loud breathing noises, and it is the perfect way to describe a situation where the villain makes a scary phone call to another character. The sound of their breath mixed with their words can put a chill down anyone’s spine, and using this word helps your reader to imagine exactly how it sounds.
E.g. “She listened quietly to the abductor’s breathy voice as he barked ransom instructions on how to get her daughter home safely.”


Use the word chilling to describe a voice that is absolutely horrifying or terrifying to characters in the novel.
E.g. “The leader of the goons had a chilling voice that made every hair on my neck stand up.”


mature mixedrace gangster criminal authority black clothes black car

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A creepy voice gives the impression that something is up with this character, and is best used when other characters have not yet discovered or confirmed that he/she is a bad person.
E.g. “He smiled at her, but the minute he opened his mouth, his creepy voice made her want to speed off without getting the directions.”


Use the word forceful to talk about a villain with a voice that is powerful and overwhelming. This voice makes other characters feel like they have to do or say whatever this character wants.
E.g. “Sandra had no clue who she was dealing with, but his forceful tone made it clear he was not to be crossed.”



A rough voice is the complete opposite of a soft and pleasant voice. It is unpleasant to the ear and makes others uncomfortable.
E.g. “The children ran away from the man with the rough voice as he tried to lure them into the woods with candy.”


Use sarcastic when the villain is the intellectual type who uses mind games or mocks his/her victims while they feel fear.
E.g. “He mocked his victims using a sarcastic voice, as he completely ignored their pleas.”


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Toneless is good to use when the villain’s voice is without emotion or any tone to indicate how he/she feels. This makes the villain seem less human and without empathy.
E.g. “In an almost toneless voice, he gave his crew their commands and retreated to his study.”


5 words to describe the voice of a reliable and honest character

An honest and reliable character is likely well-liked by all characters due to the way he/she conducts him/herself. This person will also have a voice that will make people trust him/her.
Here are words to describe the voice of this character:

An appealing voice is one that is attractive to somebody listening to it.. It is pleasant, truthful and kind.
E.g. “He found her voice appealing and believed in her resolve. He would follow her to the ends of the earth.”


Comforting voices have tones that help to improve the mood of other people who are not feeling well, or who are hesitant about the character’s intention. It’s good to use in a situation where another character requires help.
E.g. “After being held captive for months, the sound of a comforting voice was the answer to all her prayers.”


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Enthusiastic describes a voice that shows eagerness and a desire to pursue something of interest. It’s perfect for a character who needs to convince another of his/her legitimacy.
E.g. “A group of followers surrounded his tour bus to show their support following his enthusiastic speech about human rights.”


A sincere voice is one that is genuine and has no signs of deception. It can also show that the character believes in what he/she is saying or doing.
E.g. “There was no doubt in his mind; after all, she sounded sincere, and he was led to believe she was truly sorry.”


A soothing voice allows others to feel calm and comfortable. This term is best used for female characters.
E.g. “Her soothing voice let him know everything was going to be alright, so he finally allowed himself to fall asleep.”


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5 words to describe the voice of a cowardly character

Whenever you write a cowardly character into your story, you want to ensure you use words besides “cowardly” to get the point across. This adds more depth to your description and flexes your muscles as a writer.
Regarding the voice of a cowardly person, finding words to describe a voice isn’t that difficult. Here are some ideas you can use:

The word brittle describes something fragile and easy to break; so, if a character speaks in a brittle voice, it means his/her voice is breaking and he/she is about to cry. It’s good to use when a character is in in tears and is trying to express him/herself.
E.g. “Her brittle voice overshadowed the story she was trying to tell, and she soon burst into tears.”


Use the word faint when the character’s voice can barely be heard because he/she is scared or nervous to speak.
E.g. “The faint voice coming from the back of the room was Stacy Bryan trying to stand up for her sister, who was accused of stealing the headmaster’s briefcase.”


Quivering is good to use when the character’s voice is trembling because he/she is afraid. This is usually accompanied by his/her body shaking and is perfect to describe a situation when the character is absolutely terrified.
E.g. “The young woman’s voice was quivering as she delivered her speech in public.”


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Timid is good to use when the character is speaking without confidence and it is clear that he/she is nervous.
E.g. “No one took the slender boy with the timid voice seriously when he said he would face the bully after school.”


Wobbly may be used when the character’s voice is shaking slightly, but he/she is trying to regain composure. It may be because of fleeting anxiety and is best used in situations where the character is not in danger.
E.g. “They could tell by his wobbly voice that he was not used to speaking in front of an audience but it wasn’t long before he stood upright and found his voice.”



The key to finding good words to describe a voice is trying to put yourself in the story as a character. This way you can better visualize as a writer and come up with the best descriptors for your audience.
Good luck!