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.”
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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.”
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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.”
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.”
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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.”
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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.”
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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.