An Emotion Synonym Guide — Definition, Antonyms, and Examples

We frequently use the term “emotion” but rarely consider what alternative synonyms it might have as we write.

Synonyms help us enrich the quality of our writing and give the reader a crisper understanding of our text. Our minds may urge us to jot down the same old familiar words.

But we should learn more replacement words and choose suitable synonyms for each context. Below is an emotion synonym guide to help you enrich your vocabulary with similar and opposite meanings.

The Definition of Emotion

Based on the English Dictionary, ’emotion’ is a noun. It describes the strong perception of happiness, love, fear, anger, or hatred caused by a situation or the people you are around.

It can also describe the part of a person’s character which comprises their feelings instead of their thoughts. 

  • The man’s voice shook with emotion.
  • I was torn between reason and emotion
brown eggs with faces drawn to show different emotions.
Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Emotion Synonym — Exploring Words with Similar Meanings 

Some emotion synonym examples are feeling, sentiment, sensation, reaction, response, and passion. Other words with similar meaning are warmth, intensity, vehemence, ardour, and fire.


The term ‘feeling’ comes from Old English felan “to touch or have a sensory experience of; or sense something.” The term is closely linked to its current meaning.

It also refers to a physical or emotional experience or awareness. It refers to a showing of emotion or sensitivity. 

  • A feeling of utter joy burst through when I won. 
  • She was feeling cold outside. 


‘Sentiment’ is derived from the Latin verb sentire, meaning “to feel.” The term refers to a certain view, opinion, or attitude held or expressed by emotion. 

  • There’s no room for sentiment in that workplace. 
  • I agree with your sentiments regarding the project. 


‘Sensation’ was derived in the early 17th century from its Latin root sent and its variant form sens which means to “feel.” It refers to the stimulus in your body resulting from something that happens or is done to it. In other words, it denotes the ability to react as a result of touch. 

  • He felt a painful sensation in his stomach. 
  • There was a burning sensation on my skin.


The word ‘Ardor’ comes from the Latin word ardere, which means “to burn.” The term, quite relevant to its root, refers to a strong, intense emotion of love or enthusiasm for someone or something.

  • Her face was aflame with the ardor of love. 
  • They sang with real ardor


‘Passion’ comes from the Latin root pati, which means “to suffer.” It refers to intense enthusiasm towards or compelling irresistible desire for a person or thing. 

  • Naomi possessed a true passion for football. 
  • You could sense the passion in his eyes. 

Emotion Antonyms — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

Antonyms for emotion include indifference, apathy, coldness, insensibility, calmness, and coldness.


‘Indifference’ is derived from Latin indifferentia meaning “want of difference, similarity.” The term refers to someone’s lack of interest, concern, and sympathy. You may also refer to the term to describe mediocrity. 

  • The fact that she walked away proved her indifference
  • The indifference of Sarah’s midfield was noted. 


‘Apathy’ comes from the prefix a-, which means “without,” along with the Greek pathos meaning “emotion, feeling, suffering.” ‘Apathy’ refers to the lack or suppression of passion, interest, or emotion. 

  • The growing sense of apathy among teens baffles me. 
  • There is widespread apathy among students these days. 


‘Coldness’ is a term used in the sense that something is not appealing or is unfriendly. It also describes the quality of lacking warmth, affection, and empathy. 

  • He spoke to me with coldness in his voice.
  • The coldness in her heart towards me was very evident


‘Insensibility’ comes from the Late Latin insensibilis, meaning “that cannot be felt.” It refers to the fact of not being aware or concerned about someone or something or not being able to react to it. 

  • I do not appreciate your insensibility towards our important mission. 
  • The anesthetic will cause numbness and insensibility


The word ‘Calmness’ comes from the Old French calme, carme meaning “stillness, quiet, tranquility.” It refers to the tranquil state of being free from any sort of agitation or strong emotion. 

  • There was a calmness in his presence that I can’t quite explain. 
  • Her calmness under pressure was truly admirable. 

To Wrap Up

Hopefully, this emotion synonym guide was beneficial in helping you to learn more about the word “Emotion” – its definition, synonyms, and antonyms too! Knowing more words never hurts. You’ll be surprised how lively your writing can get by enhancing your vocabulary and using the right synonyms at the right time.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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