123 sounds for writers

September 8, 2015

When I’m writing, I always find myself wondering what certain things sound like and how I am going to make my reader hear what I hear. What does it sound like when a glass break against a concrete floor? In order to make it easier for myself in finding the right word, I went on a massive search on the internet and I dug deep into my dictionary to find words that would describe sounds. Then I compiled all of this into one single document and added it to my Scrivener template, so that I now get easy access to my own dictionary of sounds every time I sit down to write.

So I figured, that if I have use for this long list of “sound words”, then maybe other do to. So here is my list of 123 words to describe sound. Enjoy.

Oh, and before we get started: if anyone have additional words to add to the list, I’d be happy to hear them.

  1. Bang: a loud sudden sound, often a metallic explosive sound
  2. Bark: short bursts, like that from a dog
  3. Beat: a single regular sound or a series of regular sounds, especially of two things hitting together
  4. Beep: a short high pitch tone
  5. Bellow: a deep loud roar, typically in pain or anger
  6. Blare: a loud, harsh sound, like that of a trumpet
  7. Blast: loud continuous music or other noise
  8. Bleat: the weak, wavering cry made by a sheep, goat, or calf
  9. Bong: a low-pitched, resonant sound of the kind made by a large bell
  10. Boom: a loud, deep, resonant sound
  11. Bray: the loud, harsh cry of a donkey or mule
  12. Bump: the sound of something hitting against something solid
  13. Buzz: a low, continuous humming or murmuring sound, made by or similar to that made by an insect
  14. Cackle: the clucking cry of a bird such as a hen or a goose
  15. Cheep: a short, high squeaky cry made by a young bird
  16. Chime: a melodious ringing sound when a bell or a metal bar or tube, is struck
  17. Chink: the sound that is made when two glass or metal objects hit each other
  18. Clack: the short loud sound of one hard object hitting against another
  19. Clang: a loud, resonant metallic sound
  20. Clangor: the noise made when metal is hit
  21. Clank: a loud, sharp sound made by pieces of metal being struck
  22. Clap: an explosive sound, especially of thunder, or the short hard sound of clapping hands
  23. Clash: a loud sound made when two metal objects hit each other
  24. Clatter: a series of loud short noises made when a hard object hits against another hard object or surface
  25. Clink: a short high sound that glass or metal objects make when they hit each other
  26. Clip-clop: the sound that a horse’s hooves make when the horse is walking
  27. Clop: the sound that a horse’s hooves (= feet) make when they hit the ground
  28. Cluck: the short, low sound made by a hen
  29. Clump : the sound of heavy steps.
  30. Clunk: a low sound made when one hard heavy object hits another.
  31. Crack: a sudden sharp or explosive noise indicating something broke
  32. Crackle: a sound made up of a rapid succession of short sharp noises
  33. Crash: a loud noise like the sound of two hard things hitting each other and breaking.
  34. Creak: the sound when an object, usually wooden, is being moved or when pressure is applied
  35. Dingdong: The sound of two metal objects hitting each other, like chimes or a bell, can also be mechanical
  36. Drop: when a fluid substance hits a hard surface
  37. Drum: the sound of something continuously hitting a surface
  38. Echo: a noise that is repeated because the sound hits a surface and returns.
  39. Fizz:  the sound of a liquid as it produces bubbles of gas
  40. Flop: the movement or sound of something that is not hard or made of metal falling against something else.
  41. Glug: a hollow gurgling sound or sounds as of liquid being poured from a bottle
  42. Gnash: the sound of teeth being grind together
  43. Gobble: the gurgling sound of a turkey
  44. Grating: unpleasant harsh sound, like two objects being repeatably rubbed against each other
  45. Growl: a growling sound made by a hostile animal
  46. Grumble: a low rumbling sound
  47. Gurgle: a hollow bubbling sound like that made by water running out of a bottle
  48. Hammering: the sound of someone hitting something very hard several times.
  49. Hiss: a sharp continuous sound as of the letter s
  50. Hoot: a low, wavering musical sound which is the typical call of many kinds of owl
  51. Howl: a long, doleful cry uttered by an animal such as a dog or wolf
  52. Hum: a low, steady continuous sound like that of a bee
  53. Jangle: a noise made when metal objects hit each other.
  54. Jingle: a light ringing sound such as that made by metal objects being shaken together
  55. Kachink: the short ringing sound like that from winning on slot machines at a casino, often used in reference to money
  56. Knock: a sudden short sound caused by a blow, especially on a door to attract attention or gain entry
  57. Mew: a high-pitched crying noise like that from a cat or gull
  58. Moan: a long, low, breathing sound made by a person expressing physical or mental suffering or sexual pleasure
  59. Murmur: a softly spoken or almost inaudible utterance
  60. Neigh: a characteristic high whinnying sound made by a horse
  61. Patter: a repeated light tapping sound like that of rain against a window
  62. Peal: a loud repeated or reverberating sound of thunder or laughter, or a loud ringing of bells
  63. Pop: a light explosive sound, like that of a corked bottle being opened
  64. Pounding: the sound of repeated hard hits or loud noise
  65. Pulsing: a rhythmic throb, like that of a beating heart
  66. Purr: a low continuous vibratory sound, like that of a cat
  67. Rap: a quick, sharp knock or blow
  68. Rasp: an unpleasant sound like the one made by two rough surfaces rubbing together.
  69. Rat-a-tat: a series of short sharp sounds made by someone knocking on a door.
  70. Rattle: the sound that something makes when it rattles.
  71. Ricochet: the sound or action of a moving object ricocheting off a surface.
  72. Ring: a clear resonant sound, as a bell when struck
  73. Rippling: a low continuous flowing sound like that of running water
  74. Roar: a full, deep, prolonged cry uttered by a lion or other large wild animal
  75. Rumble: a continuous deep, resonant sound like distant thunder
  76. Rushing:  a rapid flow or surge of something, like flowing water or maybe a speeding car passing by
  77. Rustle: a soft, muffled crackling sound like that caused by the movement of dry leaves or paper
  78. Scrape: the sound caused by something rubbing against a hard surface.
  79. Scratch : a sound made by moving something sharp or rough against a hard surface.
  80. Scream: a long, loud, piercing cry or cries expressing extreme emotion or pain
  81. Scrunch: a sound like something hard being crushed.
  82. Shriek: a high-pitched piercing sound or words, especially as an expression of terror, pain, or excitement
  83. Sizzle: a hissing sound, as of food frying or cooking
  84. Slam: an instance of something slamming down or slamming shut, or the noise made by this.
  85. Slap: the sound of a slap or something similar hitting a surface.
  86. Smack: a loud sound made when something hits a surface.
  87. Snap: a sudden, sharp cracking sound or movement
  88. Snarl: an aggressive growl, like that of a dog
  89. Snort: an explosive sound made by the sudden forcing of breath through one’s nose
  90. Splash: the sound of liquid hitting something, or the sound of something falling into a liquid.
  91. Splat: the sound made by a wet object hitting something hard.
  92. Splosh: the noise that a liquid makes when it moves around.
  93. Sputter: a series of soft explosive or spitting sounds
  94. Squawk: a loud, harsh, or discordant noise made by a bird or a person
  95. Squeal: a long, high-pitched cry or noise
  96. Squelch: a soft sucking sound made when pressure is applied to liquid or mud
  97. Squish: soft wet wound of a liquid being pressed out from something
  98. Stamp: the hard short sound of something being put down forcibly onto something else, like a foot against the floor
  99. Swish: hissing or rustling sound, like that of a fast moving car passing
  100. Swoosh: the sound produced by a sudden rush of air or liquid
  101. Tap: light repetitive blows, like a finger against a table
  102. Tattoo: a rhythmic tapping or drumming
  103. Throb: a strong, regular beat or sound
  104. Thud: a low sound made by something heavy falling or hitting something.
  105. Thump: a low loud sound that is made when something heavy hits something else.
  106. Thunder: a loud rumbling or crashing noise heard after a lightning flash due to the expansion of rapidly heated air
  107. Thwack: a short loud sound like something flat hitting a surface hard.
  108. Tick: a regular short, sharp sound, especially that made by a clock or watch
  109. Tick-tock: regular short, sharp sound, especially that made by a clock or watch
  110. Tinkle: a light, clear ringing sound
  111. Toot: a short, sharp sound made by a horn, trumpet, or similar instrument
  112. Trill: a quavering or vibratory sound, especially a rapid alternation of sung or played notes
  113. Twang: strong ringing sound such as that made by the plucked string of a musical instrument or a released bowstring
  114. Twitter: series of short, high-pitched calls or sounds
  115. Wail: a prolonged high-pitched cry of pain, grief, or anger
  116. Whack: the sound of hitting someone or something with a lot of force
  117. Wheeze: a forced whistling or rattling sound, the in the chest as a result of obstruction in the air passages
  118. Whine: a long, high-pitched complaining cry
  119. Whir: a low, continuous, regular sound of something rapidly rotating or moving
  120. Whisper: a soft sound made using one’s breath rather than one’s throat, especially for the sake of secrecy
  121. Yap: a sharp, shrill bark
  122. Yelp: a short, sharp cry, especially of pain or alarm
  123. Zap: a sharp sudden fizzing sound like that of electricity

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