Skip to main content

Enhance Your Writing: 200+ Synonyms for Overused Words

Caitlyn didn't always like school, but that doesn't mean she didn't learn a thing or two.

Sick of using the same boring words (run, said, big, etc.) when writing? Here are a few synonyms for those tired words.

Sick of using the same boring words (run, said, big, etc.) when writing? Here are a few synonyms for those tired words.

Sneak Peek of What You'll Find in This Article

In this article, you'll find synonyms (and their definitions) for the following words:

  • Sad
  • Mad
  • Good
  • Happy
  • Bad
  • Scared
  • Hate
  • Tired
  • Jealous

And plenty more!

Feeling/Emotion Words

Want to describe how a character feels, but the word happy isn't specific enough or has been used too many times already? Feelings such as angry, sad, hate, and love are overused because they are the basic emotions everyone feels at some point, but there are more specific emotions out there that can be used to replace them in order to give the reader a better idea of how a person is really feeling.

Sad

Sad (adjective): feeling unhappy, especially because something bad has happened

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Miserable

Extremely unhappy or uncomfortable

Melancholy

Feeling or looking sad and without hope, or making you feel sad and without hope

Sorrowful

Feeling, expressing, or causing great sadness

Bleak

Without any reasons to feel happy or hopeful

Aggrieved

Feeling angry and unhappy because you think you have been treated unfairly

Agonized

Expressing extreme pain or sadness

Bereft

Extremely unhappy and lonely

Deflated

Feeling less confident and happy

Desolate

In a state of bleak and dismal emptiness

Despondent

Very unhappy because you do not believe that an unpleasant situation will improve

Devastated

Feeling very shocked and upset

Disconsolate

Extremely unhappy or disappointed

Dismayed

Very upset, disapointed, or annoyed about something surprising or shocking that has happened

Distressed

Very unhappy, worried, or upset

Downcast

Sad or upset

Forlorn

Appearing lonely and sad

Morose

Feeling unhappy, in a bad mood, and not wanting to talk to anyone

Shattered

Extremely upset

Somber

Serious or sad

Wistful

Slightly sad because you want to have or do something

Mad

Mad (adjective): very angry

SynonymDefinitonSynonymDefinition

Annoyed

Feeling slightly angry or impatient

Upset

Very sad, worried, or angry about something

Irritated

Annoyed or impatient about something

Displeased

Annoyed or angry, usually because something is not very good or someone has made a mistake

Cross

(about/to children) Angry

Belligerent

Very unfriendly and angry

Bitter

Feeling angry or upset because of a bad experience, especially when you think that you have been treated unfairly

Disgruntled

Disappointed and annoyed about something

Disgusted

Feeling very angry and upset about something that you do not approve of

Exasperated

Extremely annoyed and impatient because things are not happening in the way you want or people are not doing what you want them to do

Excited

Upset, worried, or angry about something

Frustrated

Feeling annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something

Harried

Tired and annoyed

Heated

Someone who becomes angry and excited as they speak

Impatient

Annoyed by something bad

Indignant

Annoyed by something bad

Miffed

(informal) Slightly annoyed or offended

Petulant

Annoyed and behaving in an unreasonable way because you cannot get what you want

Resentful

Feeling angry and unhappy because you think you have been treated unfairly or without enough respect

Sharp

A comment, voice, or expression showing that someone is unfriendly or annoyed

Good

Good (adj): Giving pleasure; enjoyable or satisfying

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Agreeable

Enjoyable and pleasurable; pleasant

Amusing

Causing laughter and providing entertainment

Congenial

Pleasant or agreeable because it's suited to one's taste or inclination

Convivial

Friendly, lively, and enjoyable

Delightful

Causing delight; charming

Diverting

Entertaining or amusing

Enjoyable

(of an activity or occasion) Giving delight or pleasure

Fabulous

Amazingly good; wonderful

Fantastic

(informal) Extraordinarily good or attractive

Glorious

Having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration

Grand

(informal) Very good or enjoyable; excellent

Great

Very good or satisfactory; excellent

Jolly

Lively and entertaining

Lively

Intellectually stimulating or perceptive

Lovely

Very pleasant or enjoyable; delightful

Merry

Cheerful and lively

Nice

Pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory

Pleasant

Giving a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment

Pleasing

Satisfying or appealing

Smashing

Excellent; wonderful

Sociable

Willing to talk and engage in activities with other people; friendly

Terrific

Extremely good; excellent

Happy

Happy (adjective): Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment

SynonymDefinitionSynonymsDefinition

Blithe

Happy and not worried about anything

Bubbly

Lively, happy, and friendly

Delighted

Very happy, especially because something good has happened

Ecstatic

Extremely happy or pleased

Elated

Extremely happy and excited

Enraptured

Enjoying something very much

Euphoric

Feeling extremely happy, usually for a short time only

Excited

Very happy and enthusiastic

Exhilarated

Extremely happy, excited, and full of energy

Fondly

With positive or happy feelings

Giddy

Very excited and happy

Jovial

Cheerful and friendly

Joyful

Expressing great happiness

Jubilant

Extremely happy because something good has happened

Thrilled

Very pleased and excited

Triumphant

Showing that you are very pleased or excited about a victory or success

Satisfied

Contented; pleased

Content

In a state of peaceful happiness

Chirpy

Cheerful and lively

Pleased

Feeling or showing pleasure and satisfaction, especially at an event or a situation

Tickled

Cause (someone) amusement or pleasure

Intoxicated

Excite or exhilarate

Bad

Bad (adj): not such as to be hoped for or desired; unpleasant or unwelcome

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Adverse

Preventing success or development; harmful; unfavorable

Atrocious

Of a very poor quality; extremely bad or unpleasant

Awful

Very bad or unpleasant

Bleak

(of a situation or future prospect) Not hopeful or encouraging; unlikely to have a favorable outcome

Disagreeable

Not pleasant or enjoyable

Distressing

Causing anxiety, sorrow or pain; upsetting

Dreadful

Causing or involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness; extremely bad or serious

Grim

Depressing or worrying to consider

Harsh

cruel or severe

Intense

Having or showing strong feelings or opinions

Nasty

Highly unpleasant, especially to the senses; physically nauseating

Parlous

(archaic) Full of danger or uncertainty; precarious

Regrettable

(of conduct or an event) Giving rise to regret; undesirable; unwelcome

Regretful

Feeling or showing regret

Terrible

Extremely or distressingly bad or serious

Unfavorable

adverse; inauspicious

Unfortunate

Having or marked by bad fortune; unlucky

Unlucky

Having, bringing, or resulting from bad luck

Unpleasant

(of a person or their manner) Unfriendly and inconsiderate; rude

Unwelcome

Not much needed or desired

Scared

Scared (adjective): Fearful; frightened

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Afraid

Frightened, for example because you feel you are in danger

Frozen

Unable to move because of fear or surprise

Horrified

Very shocked or frightened

Terrified

Extremely frightened

Traumatized

Very upset, afraid, or shocked because of a bad experience

Spook

Frighten; unnerve

Aghast

Filled with horror or shock

Anxious

Experiencing worry, unease, or nervous, typically about an imminent even or something with an uncertain outcome

Alarmed

Cause (someone) to feel frightened, disturbed, or in danger

Shaken

Upset the composure of; shock or astonish

Petrified

So frightened that one is unable to move; terrified

Startle(d)

Cause (a person or animal) to feel sudden shock or alarm

Fearful

Feeling afraid; showing fear or anxiety

Intimidate

Frighten someone, especially in order to make them do what one wants

Hysteria

Exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people

Paralyzed

Render (someone) unable to think or act normally, especially through panic or fear

Trepidation

A feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen

Traumatic

Emotionally disturbing or distressing

Apprehension

Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen

Panic

Sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior

Hate

Hate (verb/noun): To dislike someone or something very much; intense or passionate dislike

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Dislike

To not like someone or something

Bear

To dislike something or someone very much

Despise

To hate someone or something and have no respect for them

Loathe

To dislike someone or something very much

Detest

To hate someone or something

Deplore

To dislike something very much, often because you think it is immoral

Abhor

To dislike something very much, usually because you think it is immoral

Abominate

To hate something because you think it is extremely offensive, unpleasant, or wrong

Revile

To hate and criticize someone or something very much

Execrate

Feel or express great loathing for

Enmity

A feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism

Resentment

The feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc regarded as causing injury or insult

Antipathy

A natural, basic, or habitual repugnance; aversion

Malevolence

The quality, state, or feeling of being malevolent; ill will; malice; hatred

Tired

Tired (adjective): Needing to rest or sleep

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Exhausted

Extremely tired and without enough energy to do anything else

Weary

Very tired, especially because of hard work or activity

Drowsy

Feeling that you want to sleep

Fatigued

Feeling extremely tired, either physically or mentally

Run-Down

So tired that one begins to not feel well

Catatonic

Not moving or thinking because of being completely bored or very tired

Dazed

Unable to think clearly or understand what is happening because you are surprised, upset, tired, or have been hit on the head

Enervated

Feeling tired or weak

Frazzled

(informal) Extremely tired, annoyed, and unable to deal with things

Groggy

Feeling tired, weak, or confused, especially because of sickness or not having enough sleep

Harried

Tired and annoyed

Lethargic

Lacking energy and not wanting to do anything

Somnolent

Feeling ready to sleep

Spent

Very tired

Torpid

Lacking energy or enthusiasm

Weary

Tired and impatient about something

Jealous

Jealous (adjective): Unhappy because someone has something that you would like or can do something that you would like to do

SynonymDefinition

Envious

Unhappy because you want something that someone else has or to do what someone else is doing

Covetous

Wanting to have something that someone else has, especially money

Possessive

Wanting to have all of someone's love and attention

Action Words

Action words, usually called "verbs," show what a person is doing in writing. Maybe the character goes from one side of the room to the other, or maybe they say something to another character. The people do things that have to be described in writing since there is no way to actually see or hear them.

Scroll to Continue

Action words such as "run," "walk," and "said" are some of the most overused words in writing and they are very vague. How did they move through the creepy woods at night? In what way did the man speak to someone who made him angry? More specific verbs can be used to replace them!

Walk

Walk (verb): To move forward by putting one foot in front of the other

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Amble

To walk in a slow relaxed way

Climb

To walk to the top of something high

Clump

To walk with heavy steps

Continue

To walk or travel farther in the same direction

Crawl

To move along the ground on one's hands and knees

File

To walk in a line

Flounce

To walk quickly in an impatient way, usually in anger

Follow

To walk, drive, etc behind someone in the same direction

Hike

A long walk, especially in the country or wilderness; a sharp increase

Lag

To walk more slowly than someone who you are with

Lumber

To walk slowly because of being large and heavy

March

To walk somewhere quickly and in a determined, confident, or angry way

Pace

To walk with regular steps around a small area, because you are worried, nervous, or impatient

Pad

To walk with regular steps around a small area because you are worried, nervous, or impatient

Parade

(showing disapproval) To walk around so that people will look and admire

Patter

To walk or run somewhere, making a series of short quiet sounds with your feet

Plod

To walk with slow heavy steps

Pound

To walk or run with heavy and regular steps

Prance

To walk or move in a lively confident way that may seem silly or annoying to others

Prowl

To walk around in a very nervous or angry way; also often associated with being predatory

Ramble

To go for a long walk in the countryside for enjoyment

Rove

To move around an area without a definite direction or purpose

Sashay

To walk somewhere in a relaxed and confident manner

Saunter

To walk in a slow and relaxed

Shamble

To walk slowly in a tired or lazy way

Shuffle

To walk slowly and noisily without lifting your feet

Stalk

To walk in a way that shows anger or offense

Step

To move by putting one foot down in front of the other

Stomp

To walk making a lot of noise; usually done in anger

Stray

Move away aimlessly from a group or from the right course/path

Stride

To walk with energy and confidence

Stroll

To walk without hurrying, often for pleasure

Strut

To walk in an especially confident and proud way

Swagger

To walk in a proud and confident way

Tiptoe

To walk on the toes as to be quiet

Traipse

To walk around slowly and without a specific direction

Trek

To go on a long and difficult trip on foot

Trot

To walk with short quick steps; almost like jogging

Trudge

To walk somewhere with slow heavy steps

Waddle

To walk with short steps that make the body move side to side like a duck

Wander

To travel from place to place, especially on foot, without a particular direction or purpose

 

 

Run

Run (verb): To move quickly to a place using your legs and feet

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Bolt

To run in a sudden way, especially in fright

Bound

To run or jump taking large steps when you are full of energy or excitement

Caper

To run or jump around happily

Dash

To run or go somewhere very quickly; when someone is in a hurry

Gambol

To run, jump, and play like a young child or animal

Jog

To run at a slow steady speed

Lope

To run with long slow steps

Patter

To walk or run somewhere, making a series of short quiet sounds with your feet

Pound

To walk or run with heavy and regular steps

Scamper

To move quickly with small light steps

Scurry

To move fast with small quick steps

Scuttle

To run somewhere with short quick steps

Skitter

To move somewhere quickly and lightly

Sprint

To run, swim, etc at a very fast speed for a short period

Spurt

To move somewhere or to do something suddenly and quickly

Stampede

Running in a fast and uncontrolled way in fear or excitement

Hit

Hit (verb): To move your hand or an object onto someone's body with great force, so that they become hurt

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Bash

(informal) To hit someone or something very hard, often causing injury or serious damage

Batter

To deliberately hit someone many times

Beat

To hit someone violently several times

Belt

(informal) To hit someone or something very hard

Bludgeon

To hit someone with your flat hand or a flat object

Bombard

To attack someone or something by hitting them with a lot of objects or hitting them many times

Bonk

(informal) To hit someone gently on the head, or to accidentally hit one's head on something

Bop

To hit someone, typically on the head

Butt

Hitting someone with the top of the head (head-butt)

Chop

To hit someone or something hard with the side of the hand

Clobber

(informal) To hit someone very hard

Clock

(informal) To hit someone

Club

To hit someone with a heavy object

Crack

To hit someone on the head with a lot of force

Cuff

(mainly British) To hit someone with an open hand, usually to the head

Deliver

To hit them very hard with a blow or punch

Elbow

To push or hit someone with the elbow

Flail

To hit someone many times with something such as a stick

Flay

To hit or whip a person or animal severely, so that the skin is broken

Knee

To hurt someone by hitting them with the knee

Lash

To hit a person or animal with a whip or thin stick, especially as a punishment

Pummel

To hit someone or something many times

Punch

To hit someone or something with a fist

Scourge

To whip someone

Slap

To hit someone or something quickly with the palm of the hand or a flat object, making a loud noise

Smack

To hit someone with the flat hand or object

Smite

An old word meaning to hit someone or something very hard

Spank

To hit someone on their bottom with the palm of the hand

Strike

To hit someone or something with the hand, a tool, or a weapon

Stun

To hit someone so hard on the head that they cannot defend themselves or they become unconscious for a short while

Thrash

To hit someone hard several times, especially as a punishment

Thump

To hit someone or something with the fist

Wallop

(informal) To hit someone or something very hard

Whack

(informal) To hit something with a lot of force

Whip

To hit someone with whip or whip-like object

 

 

Say

Say (v): utter words so as to convey information, an opinion, a feeling or intention, or an instruction

SynonymDefinitionSynonymDefinition

Add

Say as a further remark

Allege

State a fact or believe confidently and forcefully

Answer

Communicate (a message or information)

Apologize

Say something in a solemn and emphatic manner

Assent

Make secret or new information known

Assert

State a fact or belief confidently and forcefully

Babble

Talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way

Bellow

A deep roaring shout or sound

Blurt

Say (something) suddenly and without careful consideration

Caution

Say something as a warning

Cheer

Shout for joy or in praise or encouragement

Claim

State or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof

Comfort

Ease the grief or distress of; console

Command

Give an authoritative order

Conclude

Arrive at a judgement or opinion by reasoning

Confabulate

(formal) Engage in conversation; talk

Conjecture

For an opinion or supposition about (something) on the basis of incomplete information

Console

Comfort (someone) at a time of grief or disappointment

Continue

Carry on speaking after a pause or interruption

Declare

Say something in a solemn and emphatic manner

Demand

Ask authoritatively or brusquely

Descant

Talk tediously or at length

Disclose

Make (secret or new) information known

Divulge

Make (secret or new) information known

Drawl

Speak in a slow, lazy way with prolonged vowel sounds

Enunciate

Say or pronounce clearly

Exclaim

Cry out suddenly, especially in surprise, anger, or pain

Express

Convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct

Gasp

Inhale suddenly with the open, out of pain or astonishment

Gossip

Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true

Guess

Estimate or suppose (something) without sufficient information to be sure of being correct

Gush

Speak or write with effusiveness or exaggerated enthusiasm

Hiss

Make a sharp sibilant sound as of the letter 's'

Imply

Strongly suggest the truth or existence of something not expressly stated

Insinuate

Suggest or hint (something bad or reprehensible) in an indirect and unpleasant way

Insist

Deman something forcefully, not accepting refusal

Jeer

Make rude and mocking remarks, typically in a loud voice

Jest

Speak or act in a joking manner

Lament

Express regret or disappointment over something considered unsatisfactory, unreasonable, or unfair

Lecture

Talk seriously or reprovingly to (someone)

Mumble

Say something indistinctly and quietly, making it difficult for others to hear

Murmur

A softly spoken or almost inaudible utterance

Order

An authoritative command, direction, or instruction

Placate

Make someone less angry or hostile

Prattle

Talk at length in a foolish or inconsequential way

Reassurance

Say or do something to remove the doubts and fears of someone

Rebuke

Express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions

Recall

Bring a fact, situation, or event back into one's mind, especially so as to recount it to others

Recite

Repeat aloud or declaim something from memory

Relate

Give an account of; narrate

Relent

Abandon or mitigate a harsh intention or cruel treatment

Remark

Say something as a comment

Repeat

Say again

Report

Give a spoken or written account of something that one has observed, heard, done, or investigated

Resume

Begin speaking again after a pause or interruption

Reveal

Make previously unknown or secret information known to others

Scold

Remonstrate with or rebuke angrily

Scream

Urgently and vociferously call attention to one's views or feelings, especially ones of anger or distress

Shout

Say something very loudly

Sigh

Emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling

Snap

Say something quickly and irritably to someone

Sneer

Smile or speak in a contemptuous or mocking manner

Sob

Say while crying noisily

Soothe

Gently calm

Spat

Utter in a hostile or aggressive way

Squeal

Say something in a high-pitched, excited tone

Stammer

Speak with sudden involuntary pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words

State

Express something definitely or clearly in speech or writing

Stutter

Utter with involuntary repetition of sounds

Suggest

Put forward for consideration. Can also mean to state or express something indirectly

Tease

Make fun of or attempt to provoke in a playful way

Tell

Communicate information, facts, or news to someone in spoken or written words

Threaten

Express one's intention to harm or kill

Utter

Say something aloud, though quietly

Urge

Try earnestly or persistently to persuade someone to do something

Verbalize

Speak, especially at excessive length and with little real content

Voice

Express something in words

Whisper

Speak very softly using one's breath without one's vocal cords, especially for the sake of privacy