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20 Examples of Words to Describe a Laughter in Different Scenarios

20 Examples of Words to Describe a Laughter in Different Scenarios

There is no one type of laughter, and the various types give an indication of how a person is feeling. Therefore, different words to describe laughter are needed to distinguish them.

Some types of laughter show happiness or excitement, while others express sadness, or are evil. In this post, we’ll equip you with 20 of the best words to describe laughter in different scenarios.

Let’s take a look at them with some examples of how they can be used:


5 of the best words to describe an excited/happy (loud) laughter

When people are excited or happy, they tend to express that emotion through smiling, and in some cases, laughter.
If you wish to describe this, use any of these 5 words to describe laughter:

Boisterous is a word that can be used to describe loud, rowdy laughs that can sometimes be seen as obnoxious. It is a sign that someone is in high spirits or is really excited about something.
E.g. “The group burst out into such boisterous laughter that the manager had to ask them to quieten down or he would be forced to ask them to leave.”


woman wearing white sleeveless top and red bottoms laughing
Image from under Pexels License


A hearty laugh is one that is warm-hearted, sincere, and full of joy. It is used to express extreme joy and happiness.
E.g. “I could tell he liked his Christmas present by his hearty laugh upon unwrapping it.”


Howling is a word that may be perfect for describing loud, wild laughter. Generally, this is prolonged after a funny joke or event has transpired.
E.g. “We could hear the howling laughter from the bar across the street right into the wee hours of the morning.”


An unrestrained laugh is one where a person completely lets loose and laughs in an uncontrollable manner. This typically happens when someone feels comfortable with the people around him/her.
E.g. “Most people think Becky is stuck up, but there’s no way anyone could think that after seeing her burst into unrestrained laughter.”


selective photography of a child wearing mink coat laughing

Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on unsplash


Use the word wholesome to describe laughter that is brought on by pure fun and enjoyment. It is laughter that makes others smile because of how happy a person is.
E.g. “The announcement of his team winning the championship was followed by wholesome laughter and high-fives all around the room.”


3 of the best words to describe an evil laughter

Try to recall your favorite superhero, and the villains he/she chases. Do you notice that they only laugh when they do bad things, and their laughter sounds different from regular law-abiding citizens?
That’s what we call an evil laugh. Here are 3 words to describe laughter of this nature:

A demonic laugh, otherwise called an evil laugh, sounds so horrible it is almost unnatural. It sends a shiver down people’s spines and makes them uncomfortable.
E.g. “I sensed he was a bad person when I heard his demonic laugh in the hallways.”



A maniacal laugh is one that sounds crazy, for example from The Joker. It is loud, stretched-out, and very wild.
E.g. “All of a sudden, she burst out into an almost maniacal laughter.”


photo man wearing it clown costume clown laughter
Photo by Wilson Vitorino under pexels license


Use the word scornful when a person’s intention behind their laugh is to make fun of someone’s misfortune or to show contempt. It is not a friendly type of laughter and is almost sarcastic in a sense.
E.g. “He let out a scornful laugh as he jogged down the courthouse steps.”


How to describe the laughters of children

The purest laughter in the world is that of a child. They have no care in the world and no stress so are able to enjoy life to the fullest extent.
These are 3 of the best words to describe the laughter of children:

Use the word cute when a child has an adorable laugh, coupled with a beautiful smile and happy eyes. You can also use it for children with amusing and unique laughs.
E.g. “I love tickling my nephew to hear his cute laugh.”


brothers laughing together

Photo by Christy Hermogenes on reshot


A merry laugh is one that is full of joy. It is heard from happy children while they play or receive something they love like candy or a new toy.
E.g. “The merry laughs at the playground remind me of my days as a child growing up here.”


02 man kissing baby laughing

Photo by Mikael Stenberg on Unsplash


Some people compare the sound of children’s laughter to music to the ears.
This is an accurate comparison since both music and children’s laughter have the ability to move people and improve their mood.
E.g. “My favorite part about being a kindergarten teacher is the musical laugh of my students at playtime.”


3 of the best words to describe a sad/crying laughter

While the natural reaction for most people is to cry in a sad situation, others laugh or do a combination of both.
Here are 3 words to describe laughter in this situation:

The word brittle describes something very fragile. It is a good word to use to describe a laugh that sounds like the person is about to burst into tears.
E.g. “She managed to greet the guests at the door but her brittle laughter made it obvious that she was not holding up very well.”


01 woman sad wearing black blonde hair sitting on a lying tree trunk

Photo by Ciara Ciara on reshot


A dry laugh is humorless. It is typically given in situations as more of a courtesy to not drag others down or make them feel uncomfortable.
E.g. “I could tell by her dry laugh and red eyes that something was bothering her.”


A hollow laugh does a poor job at hiding grief or sadness. There is no joy or happiness in the laugh and is often a sign that a person is not in a joking mood.
E.g. “Once his laughter filled up this entire house, but since our/his mother died, his rare hollow laughs are all that we hear.”



3 of the best words to describe an embarrassing/nervous laughter

Some people laugh in nerve-wracking or embarrassing situations in an attempt to make the air around them less tense. They most likely are not having a good time and it is usually obvious to everyone around them.
Here are some examples of words to describe laughter in embarrassing situations:

An awkward laugh happens when a person feels uncomfortable but is trying to play off the situation. It is a defense mechanism used when a person is trying to hold back true emotion.
E.g. “I could tell he was ashamed of how she reacted because of his awkward laughter.”


multiethnic family having spare time together awkward laugh
Photo by Keira Burton under pexels license


Jittery laughs are clear signs of nervousness, and occur when a person is feeling anxious in a situation.
It is good to use when you observe certain signs such as a pained appearance, shaking, and tension.
E.g. “Her jittery laugh made it clear she was not comfortable in his presence.”


man and woman talking inside office

Photo by mapo on photo-ac


A tittering laugh is one that is short and forced. Usually, they occur when a person is feeling self-conscious or is unsure whether the situation warrants laughter.
E.g. “She loathed the idea of performing in front of her bullies, and her tittering laughs only made them mock her even more.”


3 of the best words to describe a hysterical laughter

Have you ever met someone whose laugh made you want to burst out into laughter yourself? Whether it’s about the way it sounds or how they look while laughing, you just can’t help but join in!
Here are 3 words to describe laughter that is hysterical:

Contagious laughter causes other people in the vicinity to laugh or smile, even if they have no clue what the person is laughing about.
E.g. “You can’t keep a straight face when Damien’s contagious laughter sets in.”


woman wearing black brassiere and sunglasses

Photo by Dalila Dalprat under pexels license


A burst of drawn-out laughter persists even after the joke has finished and others have gotten over it. It might even cause others to start laughing or smiling again.
E.g. “Even after we’re done laughing, you can count on Georgia’s drawn-out laugh to keep the ball rolling!”


The word peculiar describes something odd or unusual. It is a good word to use when someone’s laugh doesn’t sound ordinary, which makes you start laughing even harder.
E.g. “I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard her peculiar laughter.”



Whether you are a writer, or someone who just needs words to describe laughter in everyday conversation, this list should give you enough words to cover any situation.
Just make sure you use them in the appropriate circumstance or else you won’t get your point across properly.