Serious Tone Words (With Examples)

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A list of serious tone words to describe the writer’s serious attitude towards a subject matter in a story.

Related: 200 Tone Words (With Sentence Examples)

Below is the list of some serious tone words which can be used to give a serious perspective to a topic in a story. General examples are also included with every serious tone word in the list to help you understand any tone words easily.

Related: Sad Tone Words

Tone Words For Serious (with Examples)

1. Apathetic

: feeling or showing no interest, concern, or emotion

Example- Most people remain apathetic to the problems of the homeless.

2. Austere

: stern or strict in manner, appearance or attitude; grave, somber

Example- Reading this novel, you can easily notice the author’s austere writing style.

3. Compliant

: willingly doing what they are asked to do; submissive; obedient

Example- The manager wanted a compliant team, but he got the opposite.

4. Contemplative

: thinking deeply in a serious and calm way; thoughtful

Example- After a stressful day, Tom went for a contemplative walk.

5. Critical

: criticising; finding fault; crucial, or deciding.

Example- Her critical gaze was a sign for everyone to change and improve.

6. Demeaning

: causing someone to lose the respect of others; damaging or lowering someone’s reputation

Example- The mayor’s speech was found demeaning to a group of people.

7. Depressing

: sad, gloomy; feeling of miserable dejection; low in spirits

Example- The most depressing part of working with the new CEO is his abusive behavior.

8. Dignified

: someone serious, calm, controlled, impressive and therefore deserves respect

Example- He was the only dignified man in the whole office.

9. Earnest

: serious and determined; sincere; showing the depth of feelings

Example- Alan is a great teacher and an earnest man.

10. Grave

: very bad, serious, worrying, critical, important

Example- John didn’t know that he had made a grave mistake.

11. Grim

: severe, stern, or forbidding

Example- Her expressions were so grim that made everybody leave.

12. Pensive

: thinking deeply or seriously, often on a sad subject

Example- He woke up in a pensive mood.

13. Philosophical

: having or showing a calm attitude towards disappointments or difficulties

Example- John has seen so much in life that now he stays philosophical at all worst situations.

14. Pragmatic

: dealing with something in a practical way rather than following theoretical approach, fixed ideas, or rules

Example- He took a pragmatic approach to learn the new language.

15. Restrained

: very calm, unemotional, and controlled

Example- His voice remained restrained, even after the plan fails.

16. Somber

: very serious, or sad; dark, dull and gloomy

Example- He gazed at her with a somber face.

17. Solemn

: very serious and without any humor or cheerfulness

Example- His job makes him look solemn.

18. Stern

: serious; severe or hard in nature

Example- When the police caught him, he started giving them a stern look.

19. Tragic

: extremely sad, mournful, shocking, pathetic, awful, dreadful; often involving death and suffering

Example- The word war 2 is one of the biggest tragic events in human history.

20. Thoughtful

: absorbed in thoughts; mindful; thinking seriously.

Example- Adam always has a thoughtful expression on her face.

Read our list of feeling words to help you add better emotions and texture to your story.

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a YA short story author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. Neel’s magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.