Top 75+ List of Connotative Words To Use In Your Writing

Here is a list of connotative words that you can add to your writing.

Connotation is a vital part of communication. A writer uses connotative words to help the readers understand the overall message they are trying to convey. See our examples of the different types of connotative words in this article.

What Are Connotative Words?

List of connotative words
Connotative words are not related to the actual meaning of a word but add another layer of significance derived from emotions, personal interpretation, and ideas

There are two ways to define a word. First is a word’s denotative or literal meaning. The other is the term’s connotative sense referring to the feelings, emotions, and ideas associated with the word. Connotative words are not related to the actual meaning of a word but add another layer of significance derived from emotions, personal interpretation, and ideas.

AdolescentGenerousScrawny
AffordableGentleSecure
AntiqueHappySelective
AstuteHyperactiveSentimental
BoldImmatureSerious
CalculativeImpulsiveSharp-tongue
ChattyIn-shapeSkinny
CheapInexpensiveSlim
ChildishInnocentSmug
ChildlikeInterestedSober
ConceitedInterestingSoft
ConfidentInquisitiveSteadfast
ConversationalJabberingStringy
CourageousLackadaisicalStrong-willed
CowardlyManicStubborn
CrammedMeticulousTenacious
DecrepitNosyThin
DifferentObsessiveThrifty
DiligentOldTimid
EasygoingPeculiarUnique
EgotisticalPickyUse
ElatedPryingVintage
EmployQuestioningWitty
ExploitRelaxedWell-dressed
FilledSatedWorkaholic
FrugalSavingYoung

Positive Connotative Words

Positive connotative words evoke a favorable emotional response from the reader or listener. A positive connotation indicates a good association of the word in the context when used. 

  1. Antique

My grandfather owns many beautiful antique pieces of furniture.

  1. Bold

He’s bold enough to argue with the boss because he knows he’s in the right.

  1. Chatty

Layla will become chatty once she gets comfortable with you.

  1. Childlike

His childlike innocence makes him easy to get along with.

  1. Courageous

His father was a courageous warrior.

  1. Easygoing

The company’s new CEO is an easygoing guy.

  1. Elated

The king was elated at the birth of his first-born son, his successor.

  1. Employ

How many people do we need to employ to increase production?

  1. In-shape

Doing calisthenics exercises keeps you in-shape.

  1. Inexpensive

My mother prefers buying inexpensive items to save money.

  1. Innocent

He’s innocent until the courts find him guilty.

  1. Interesting

The new teacher is looking for a way to make her daily lessons more interesting.

  1. Inquisitive

Inquisitive kids usually become top students.

  1. Meticulous

The event organizer is meticulous in planning and preparing the event.

  1. Sated

Eating his mother’s cooking makes him sated.

  1. Slim

The government and health professionals are working hard to slim down the number of people infected with the virus.

  1. Steadfast

Even though the opponent of the other team is strong, our basketball team remains steadfast.

  1. Thrifty

My mom is a very thrifty woman who doesn’t like wasting anything.

  1. Unique

Aika wants to have a unique theme for her upcoming birthday party.

  1. Vintage

She loves to wear vintage clothes that are hard to find.

Neutral Connotative Words

Neutral connotative words come with additional meaning but don’t have a positive or negative association. They are usually the closest to the word’s actual meaning. Here are the neutral connotations of the positive connotative words above. 

  1. Adolescent 

Positive: Innocent

Father said the best part of everyone’s life is being an adolescent.

  1. Affordable 

Positive: Inexpensive

My friend needs to move out of her apartment soon, but there is no affordable place to rent near her work.

  1. Confident 

Positive: Courageous

The president is confident that he can strengthen the country’s economy. 

  1. Conversational 

Positive: Chatty

Ellen uses a conversational style in writing her essays, so they are easy to read.

  1. Different

Positive: Unique

Ian is looking for a different hairstyle this year, something he has never done before.

  1. Filled

Positive: Sated

The waiter filled our glasses with Domaine Leroy Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, one of the best wines in the world.

  1. Happy

Positive: Elated

Our class was very happy when our professor announced that we’d go on a school field trip next month.

  1. Interested

Positive: Inquisitive

I’m interested in your marketing plan, but how confident are you that it will boost our sales this year?

  1. Old

Positive: Vintage

My boyfriend loves to collect old things with sentimental value.

  1. Questioning

Positive: Interested

The students’ constant questioning makes the teacher feel appreciated.

  1. Relaxed

Positive: Easygoing

It was a lovely dinner with a relaxed atmosphere.

  1. Saving 

Positive: Thrifty

My sister is saving her gold and silver jewelry to bequeath to her daughter when she is of legal age.

  1. Secure

Positive: Confident

We need to secure the deal to get this year’s bonus.

  1. Selective

Positive: Meticulous

Our boss is very selective about the people he meets and partners with.

  1. Tenacious

Positive: Steadfast

Clyde is the most tenacious candidate for the Student Council President position.

  1. Thin

Positive: Slim

Having a thin body doesn’t mean you’re healthy.

  1. Timid

Positive: Gentle

Because of his timid voice, we can’t hear and understand what he is saying.

  1. Use

Positive: Employ

You need to know how to use an electronic device these days to get a job quickly.

  1. Well-dressed 

Positive: Stylish

Jay is a fashionista, invariably well-dressed wherever he goes.

  1. Young

Positive: Childlike

Go and travel while you’re still young. 

Negative Connotative Words

These words evoke bad or negative emotions when used in a sentence. People include negative connotative words to describe someone or something in an unpleasant way. Check the terms below with equivalent neutral connotations and how to use them in a sentence.

  1. Cheap

Neutral: Affordable

Most contractors avoid cheap construction materials because of their inferior quality.

  1. Childish

Neutral: Young

Tyrone’s childish behavior deters people from befriending him.

  1. Conceited

Neutral: Confident

Most of her coworkers avoid her because of her conceited nature.

  1. Crammed

Neutral: Filled

The house was crammed with trash; it was unlivable.

  1. Decrepit

Neutral: Old

The story is about a decrepit older man who lives alone in the woods far from the city.

  1. Egotistical 

Neutral: Secure

The people are plotting to overthrow their insufferable, egotistical, selfish king.

  1. Exploit

Neutral: Use

Big corporations exploit their workers with below minimum pay and terrible working conditions.

  1. Immature

Neutral: Adolescent

Despite being 30 years old, he’s still immature and condescending.

  1. Jabbering 

Neutral: Conversational

I hate when the train is full of people jabbering on their mobile phones.

  1. Lackadaisical

Neutral: Relaxed

His lackadaisical attitude towards finding a job makes me want to kick him out of the house.

  1. Manic

Neutral: Happy

She suffered another manic episode about her dead baby coming back to life.

  1. Nosy

Neutral: Questioning

Sometimes the press is too nosy about the life of a politician or celebrity to the point that there is no more privacy.

  1. Peculiar

Neutral: Different

I want to go to the police and report that a peculiar person is following me, but I don’t have any evidence.

  1. Picky

Neutral: Selective

Elena is very picky about who she chooses to talk to or be with in her life.

  1. Prying

Neutral: Interested

He’s earnest about not wanting anyone prying into his affairs.

  1. Scrawny

Neutral: Thin                   

I want to ask my dad why most of his construction workers have scrawny bodies.

  1. Skinny

Positive: In-shape

Many bullied and teased my friend at school because of her skinny legs.

  1. Stingy

Neutral: Saving

After mourning her stingy husband’s death, Sharon is now free to buy whatever she wants.

  1. Stubborn

Neutral: Tenacious

Our pediatrician said that the more we nag my youngest son, the more stubborn he will be.

  1. Workaholic

Positive: Diligent

His mother wants to talk to him about being too workaholic that he doesn’t realize he’s already neglecting himself.

Other Connotative Words 

Many connotative words exist because people use them in different situations and ways in both verbal and non-verbal communication. In writing and speaking, you have to choose the right words to avoid misunderstandings caused by misinterpretations. 

Take note of the connotative words below to expand your knowledge about connotations further:

  1. Astute (Positive)

For the next election, look for a leader who’s astute and hungry for change.

  1. Calculative (Neutral)

The army general is very calculative and observant of his enemies before he plans an attack.

  1. Cowardly (Negative)

Jake wants to have the lead part, not the supporting character, but he’s too cowardly to complain.

  1. Diligent (Positive)

The teacher thinks Miguel is more diligent than the other students and hopes to be his classmates’ role model.

  1. Frugal (Positive)

The newborn’s parents pray that their child will be intelligent, hardworking, and frugal.

  1. Generous (Positive)

Although they are poor, Celeste’s family is still very kind and generous to other people.

  1. Gentle (Positive)

Tommy is a lovely boy, gentle and caring, all thanks to her parents.

  1. Hyperactive (Negative)

Our professor said there’s a chance that our research will be used in treating hyperactive kids.

  1. Impulsive (Positive)

His impulsive decision to lower their new products’ price resulted in more sales and good feedback.

  1. Obsessive (Negative)

She’s becoming increasingly obsessive about cleanliness wherever she goes, and people find it weird.

  1. Sentimental (Positive)

My mother doesn’t want to leave because she has a strong sentimental attachment to our old house.

  1. Serious (Positive)

Shine is working hard to pass law school; he’s serious about becoming a lawyer.

Do you want to expand your judicial dictionary? Here is a list of legal words to know.

  1. Sharp-tongue (Negative)

Janine has a sharp-tongue; she thinks it’s normal to criticize people constantly.

  1. Sober (Positive)

I will soon complain to the landlord about the noisy drunkards next door, so they will at least be sober.

  1. Smug (Negative)

I think he’ll be unbearably smug about winning the election.

  1. Soft (Neutral)

Leon is a man with a soft personality; he’s very emotional and cries at sad scenes in movies.

  1. Strong-willed (Positive)

That student is very strong-willed, and if he decides to drop out of school, nothing will be able to stop him.

  1. Witty (Positive)

She always has a witty answer to any question.Do you want to develop your essay skills? Here is a list of essay writing skills all writers need to master.

Author

  • Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.