Tone is often defined as what the author feels about the subject. What the reader feels is known as the mood.
Absurd illogical; ridiculous; silly; implausible; foolish Accusatory suggesting someone has done something wrong, complaining Acerbic sharp; forthright; biting; hurtful; abrasive; severe Admiring approving; think highly of; respectful; praising Aggressive hostile; determined; forceful; argumentative Aggrieved indignant; annoyed; offended; disgruntled Ambivalent having mixed feelings; uncertain; in a dilemma; undecided Amused entertained; diverted; pleased Angry incensed or enraged; threatening or menacing Animated full of life or excitement; lively; spirited; impassioned; vibrant Apathetic showing little interest; lacking concern; indifferent; unemotional Apologetic full of regret; repentant; remorseful; acknowledging failure Appreciative grateful; thankful; showing pleasure; enthusiastic Ardent enthusiastic; passionate Arrogant pompous; disdainful; overbearing; condescending; vain; scoffing Assertive self-confident; strong-willed; authoritative; insistent Awestruck amazed, filled with wonder/awe; reverential Belligerent hostile; aggressive; combatant Benevolent sympathetic; tolerant; generous; caring; well meaning Bitter angry; acrimonious; antagonistic; spiteful; nasty Callous cruel disregard; unfeeling; uncaring; indifferent; ruthless Candid truthful, straightforward; honest; unreserved Caustic making biting, corrosive comments; critical Cautionary gives warning; raises awareness; reminding Celebratory praising; pay tribute to; glorify; honour Chatty informal; lively; conversational; familiar Colloquial familiar; everyday language; informal; colloquial; casual Comic humorous; witty; entertaining; diverting Compassionate sympathetic; empathetic; warm-hearted; tolerant; kind Complex having many varying characteristics; complicated Compliant agree or obey rules; acquiescent; flexible; submissive Concerned worried; anxious; apprehensive Conciliatory intended to placate or pacify; appeasing Condescending stooping to the level of one’s inferiors; patronising Confused unable to think clearly; bewildered; vague Contemptuous showing contempt; scornful; insolent; mocking Critical finding fault; disapproving; scathing; criticizing Cruel causing pain and suffering; unkind; spiteful; severe Curious wanting to find out more; inquisitive; questioning Cynical scornful of motives/virtues of others; mocking; sneering Defensive defending a position; shielding; guarding; watchful Defiant obstinate; argumentative; defiant; contentious Demeaning disrespectful; undignified Depressing sad, melancholic; discouraging; pessimistic Derisive snide; sarcastic; mocking; dismissive; scornful Detached aloof; objective; unfeeling; distant Dignified serious; respectful; formal; proper Diplomatic tactful; subtle; sensitive; thoughtful Disapproving displeased; critical; condemnatory Disheartening discouraging; demoralising; undermining; depressing Disparaging dismissive; critical; scornful Direct straightforward; honest Disappointed discouraged; unhappy because something has gone wrong Dispassionate impartial; indifferent; unsentimental; cold; unsympathetic Distressing heart-breaking; sad; troubling Docile compliant; submissive; deferential; accommodating Earnest showing deep sincerity or feeling; serious Egotistical self-absorbed; selfish; conceited; boastful Empathetic understanding; kind; sensitive Encouraging optimistic; supportive Enthusiastic excited; energetic Evasive ambiguous; cryptic; unclear Excited emotionally aroused; stirred Facetious inappropriate; flippant Farcical ludicrous; absurd; mocking; humorous and highly improbable Flippant superficial; glib; shallow; thoughtless; frivolous Forceful powerful; energetic; confident; assertive Formal respectful; stilted; factual; following accepted styles/rules Frank honest; direct; plain; matter-of-fact Frustrated annoyed; discouraged Gentle kind; considerate; mild; soft Ghoulish delighting in the revolting or the loathsome Grim serious; gloomy; depressing; lacking humour;macabre Gullible naïve; innocent; ignorant Hard unfeeling; hard-hearted; unyielding Humble deferential; modest Humorous amusing; entertaining; playful Hypercritical unreasonably critical; hair splitting; nitpicking Impartial unbiased; neutral; objective Impassioned filled with emotion; ardent Imploring pleading; begging Impressionable trusting; child-like Inane silly; foolish; stupid; nonsensical Incensed enraged Incredulous disbelieving; unconvinced; questioning; suspicious Indignant annoyed; angry; dissatisfied Informative instructive; factual; educational Inspirational encouraging; reassuring Intense earnest; passionate; concentrated; deeply felt Intimate familiar; informal; confidential; confessional Ironic the opposite of what is meant Irreverent lacking respect for things that are generally taken seriously Jaded bored; having had too much of the same thing; lack enthusiasm Joyful positive; optimistic; cheerful; elated Judgmental critical; finding fault; disparaging Laudatory praising; recommending Light-Hearted carefree; relaxed; chatty; humorous Loving affectionate; showing intense, deep concern Macabre gruesome; horrifying; frightening Malicious desiring to harm others or to see others suffer; ill-willed; spiteful Mean-Spirited inconsiderate; unsympathetic Mocking scornful; ridiculing; making fun of someone Mourning grieving; lamenting; woeful Naïve innocent; unsophisticated; immature Narcissistic self-admiring; selfish; boastful; self-pitying Nasty unpleasant; unkind; disagreeable; abusive Negative unhappy, pessimistic Nostalgic thinking about the past; wishing for something from the past Objective without prejudice; without discrimination; fair; based on fact Obsequious overly obedient and/or submissive; fawning; grovelling Optimistic hopeful; cheerful Outraged angered and resentful; furious; extremely angered Outspoken frank; candid; spoken without reserve Pathetic expressing pity, sympathy, tenderness Patronising condescending; scornful; pompous Pensive reflective; introspective; philosophical; contemplative Persuasive convincing; eloquent; influential; plausible Pessimistic seeing the negative side of things Philosophical theoretical; analytical; rational; logical Playful full of fun and good spirits; humorous; jesting Pragmatic realistic; sensible Pretentious affected; artificial; grandiose; rhetorical; flashy Regretful apologetic; remorseful Resentful aggrieved; offended; displeased; bitter Resigned accepting; unhappy Restrained controlled; quiet; unemotional Reverent showing deep respect and esteem Righteous morally right and just; guiltless; pious; god-fearing Satirical making fun to show a weakness; ridiculing; derisive Sarcastic scornful; mocking; ridiculing Scathing critical; stinging; unsparing; harsh Scornful expressing contempt or derision; scathing; dismissive Sensationalistic provocative; inaccurate; distasteful Sentimental thinking about feelings, especially when remembering the past Sincere honest; truthful; earnest Sceptical disbelieving; unconvinced; doubting Solemn not funny; in earnest; serious Subjective prejudiced; biased Submissive compliant; passive; accommodating; obedient Sulking bad-tempered; grumpy; resentful; sullen Sympathetic compassionate; understanding of how someone feels Thoughtful reflective; serious; absorbed Tolerant open-minded; charitable; patient; sympathetic; lenient Tragic disastrous; calamitous Unassuming modest; self-effacing; restrained Uneasy worried; uncomfortable; edgy; nervous Urgent insistent; saying something must be done soon Vindictive vengeful; spiteful; bitter; unforgiving Virtuous lawful; righteous; moral; upstanding Whimsical quaint; playful; mischievous; offbeat Witty clever; quick-witted; entertaining Wonder awe-struck; admiring; fascinating World-Weary bored; cynical; tired Worried anxious; stressed; fearful Wretched miserable; despairing; sorrowful; distressed
Source for words:
Patterson, Amanda. "155 Words to Describe an Author's Tone." Writers Write. https://writerswrite.co.za/155-words-to-describe-an-authors-tone. Accessed 9 Jan. 2018.