Emotional Vocabulary Words Study Guide

Updated on Jul 15, 2011

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Emotional Vocabulary Words Practice Exercises

The words in this lesson are used when talking or writing about people's emotions, or feelings. You may use them when having a close, personal conversation with someone you care about. They may come up when you're talking to a doctor or having a discussion with your school counselor. You might use them in a letter to a special friend or even in a report about how you responded to something you read or saw.

It's extremely helpful to have a wide variety of words to choose from when you're trying to explain how you feel about something or attempting to understand how someone else feels. They provide clarity and detail that might otherwise be lost or misunderstood. Emotions are hard enough to understand without using vague terms like okay, so-so, all right, or whatever when someone asks how you are.

Study these words and use them when you can. They'll make your communication more effective.

Note: These words are primarily adjectives, but remember, by adding an -ly ending to some, they become adverbs. Presto chango!


  • abashed ashamed or embarrassed
  • acquiescent willing to carry out the demands, orders, or wishes of others without protest or complaint
  • angst a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish
  • apathetic having or showing little to no emotion; uninterested or indifferent
  • bellicose eager to fight; hostile
  • candid outspoken, honest, sincere, free from subterfuge or lies
  • contrite sincerely remorseful, filled with a sense of guilt and the need to be forgiven
  • credulous willing to believe or trust too easily, gullible
  • disconsolate totally unhappy, without any solace or comfort possible; gloomy
  • ebullient overwhelmed with enthusiasm, bubbling up with high spirits
  • effervescent lively, sparkling, vivacious
  • enamored inspired or captivated by love; unreasonably fond
  • facetious not meant to be taken seriously or literally; amusing
  • impotent lacking in power or ability; utterly unable to do something effectively; sterile
  • jaded worn out or wearied through overwork; dulled or dissipated
  • lewd obscene or indecent; usually characterized by lust
  • petulant showing sudden, impatient annoyance or irritation, typically over something minor
  • taciturn inclined to silence, reluctant to join conversations or social situations; dour
  • vociferous crying out noisily; clamorous
  • zealous devoted, characterized by passionate action or diligence

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Emotional Vocabulary Words Practice Exercises

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