Emotion Words Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Emotion Words

In this lesson, you'll discover more words to describe feelings and emotions, especially those that describe intense or extreme experiences.

Are you frustrated when you try to describe how much you hate homework or the noise from the people next door? Or when you try to tell your parents how much you love them?

Do you ever sputter and stammer when you want to explain exactly why you dislike spiders, no matter how small they are?

Is it hard for you to explain exactly why you like your favorite singer or your favorite team or your favorite book?

You're not alone. Our strongest emotions are the most complicated. As you learned in the previous lesson, there are thousands of words you could use to explain what you're thinking and feeling, both for yourself and when you want to describe your emotions and beliefs to others. The better able you are to define your emotions, the stronger your word power will be, and the better able you'll be to communicate with others.


Remember that many words have different grammatical forms, so learning one word may really mean you've learned several. Think of the word anger. As a noun, it describes a strong feeling of displeasure. As a verb, it describes the act of making someone else angry. And in its adjective form, angry, it describes the person feeling the extreme displeasure.

Here are some useful words to describe extreme feelings. As you read the list, write down any additional words you can think of to describe strong emotions you've had.

Words That Describe Extreme Emotion

1. contempt. The feeling that someone or something is inferior or not worthy of respect; the state of being thought of as inferior. Some major league players feel contempt for minor league players who have ambitions for greater glory.
2. delirious. The feeling of uncontrolled excitement or happiness. The cheerleaders were delirious with joy when their team made it to the finals.
3. despise. To think of something or someone with contempt, hatred, or disgust. The coach despised his team's lack of commitment to regular practice.
4. envy. To be unhappy because someone else has possessions or qualities. The elementary school students envied the middle school kids' privileges at recess and lunchtime.
5. furious. Filled with rage or fury; full of energy or speed, as in a furious storm. The teacher was furious when all the students failed to do their homework, and the students were equally furious when the teacher assigned them another essay to write.
6. gluttonous. Eating excessively, or doing things to an extreme. The team mascot, who loved to make jokes on himself, was considered a glutton for punishment.
7. horrified. Intensely fearful or revolted by something or someone. The parents were horrified by their children's love of horror movies.
8. jealous. Feeling resentment because of another person's success, qualities, or possessions. The pep squad seemed jealous of all the attention the cheerleaders got when they appeared in new uniforms.
9. obsessed. Having intense or excessive interest or concern for something or someone. The team was obsessed with the idea of making the final playoffs.
10. petrified. Being so frightened that one is unable to move. The thought of losing three games in a row petrified the team, and so they arranged an extra practice session.
11. prejudiced. Having a strong opinion without consideration of the facts; creating a negative impact on someone else. The community was prejudiced about raising taxes, fearing that homeowners with lower incomes would feel they were being prejudiced.
12. terrified. Being seriously frightened; seriously frightening someone else. The popularity of horror movies suggests that many movie fans love being terrified.

Practice Exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Emotion Words Practice Exercises

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