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18 Overused Words to Replace When Writing

Words, Words, Words

There are many words that when writing we tend to overuse.  Sometimes, when we are in the middle of expressing a thought on paper, we just cannot think of a better term other than “very” or “said” to get our thought down, so we simply write the word and move one.

Why does word choice matter?

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As a result of using overused words, we end up using words that many other essay writers will use, making our paper or piece look just like the others.  Furthermore, we might end up using the same word repeatedly.  Lastly, what does the word “very” mean anyway?  It is not very descriptive; and is not a word to use to accurately explain our intended message.  This is just one example of an overused word that does little to make our paper unique.  Check out our list of words that we recommend you replace in your writing, and lists of replacement words you can use to make your essay stand out.

1. Bad

25 Words to Use Instead of “Bad”


abominable, appalling, atrocious, awful, beastly, careless, cheap, crummy, defective, dire, dreadful, erroneous, faulty, frightening, gross, horrid, inferior,  inadequate, incorrect,  lousy, poor, raunchy, rough, shocking, unacceptable

2. Big

25 Words to Use Instead of “Big”


bulky, burly, colossal, considerable, enormous, fat, gigantic, gross, heavyweight, hefty, huge, humungous, husky, immense, jumbo, mammoth, massive, monster, oversize, sizable, thundering, titan, tremendous, vast, voluminous, whopping

3. Funny

21 Words to Use Instead of “Funny”


amusing, capricious, comical, clever, droll, engaging, entertaining, hilarious, humorous, hysterical, joking, jolly, laughable, merry, playful, priceless, rich, riot, silly, whimsical,  witty

4. Good

25 Words to Use Instead of “Good”


admirable, agreeable, commendable,  excellent, exceptional, fabulous, fantastic, favorable  great, honorable, marvelous, neat, phenomenal, pleasing, positive, precious, satisfactory, spectacular, splendid, super, superb, valuable, wonderful, wondrous, worthy

5. Happy 

25 Words to Use Instead of “Happy”


beaming, blissful, cheerful, chipper, delightful, ecstatic, elated, excited, glad, gleeful, intoxicated, joyful, jubilant, lively, merry, mirthful, overjoyed, peppy, perky, playful,  pleased, sparkling, thrilled, tickled , upbeat

6. Know

17 Words to Use Instead of “Know”


appreciate, apprehend, catch, comprehend, conceive, discern, envision, estimate, experience, fathom, gauge, grasp, imagine, learn, measure, notice, perceive, realize, recognize, see, think , understand

7. Laugh

18 Words to Use Instead of “Know”


burst, cackle, chuckle, crow, exult, giggle, grin, guffaw, howl, rejoice, roar, shriek, snicker, snort, teehee, titter, whoop, yuck

8. Like

22 Words to Use Instead of “Like”


admire, adore, appreciate, care, cherish, commend, devoted, embrace, esteem, exalt, fancy, fond, glorify, honor, idolize, love, prize, respect, revere, treasure, value, worship

9. Little

21 Words to Use Instead of “Little”


bitsy, dainty, delicate, diminutive, infant, microscopic, mini, minor, minute, modest, petite, puny, short, slight, slim, slender,  small, teensy,  teeny, tiny, undersized

10. Look

22 Words to Use Instead of “Look”


behold, bore, eye, fix, flash, focus, gander, gawk, gaze, glance, glare, inspect, leer, notice, observe, peel, regard, squint, stare, survey, view

11. Mad

21 Words to Use Instead of “Mad”


angry, annoyed, enraged, furious, heated, irate, irritable, offended, outraged, exasperated, incensed, boiling, upset, riled, livid, aggravated, fuming, steamed, cross, indignant

12. Nice

25 Words to Use Instead of “Nice”


amiable, charming, cordial, courteous, delightful, favorable, friendly, genial, gentle, gracious, helpful, inviting, kind, lovely, obliging, peaceful, peachy, pleasant, polite, swell, sympathetic, tender, welcoming, well-mannered, winning

13. Pretty

20 Words to Use Instead of “Pretty”


attractive, beautiful, cute, appealing, sweet, gorgeous, striking, eye-catching, alluring, charming, pleasing, pleasant, lovely, delightful, fascinating, desirable, stunning, graceful, fair, elegant

14. Sad

21 Words to Use Instead of “Sad”


depressing, gloomy, miserable, cheerless, distressed, heartbroken, discouraged, bitter, melancholy, pessimistic, somber, sorrowful, sorry, wistful, blue, dejected, despondent, downcast, forlorn, grieved, troubled

15. Said

36 Words to Use Instead of “Said”


alleged, argued, asked, asserted, babbled, bellowed, bragged, commented, complained, cried, declined, demanded, denied, encouraged, expressed, giggled, growled, hissed, inquired, lied, moaned, nagged, rebuked, rebutted, replied, rejected, retorted, roared, scolded, shrieked, shrugged, stated, taunted, vowed, warned, whined, whispered, yelled

16. Ugly

20 Words to Use Instead of “Ugly”


awful, beastly, deformed, disfigured, foul, frightful, grotesque, grisly, gross, gruesome, hideous, homely, plain, repelling, repugnant, revolting, unattractive, uninviting, unseemly, unsightly

17. Very

33 Words to Use Instead of “Very”


awfully, chiefly, clearly, completely, deeply , dreadfully, enormously, especially, , exceedingly, exceptionally, extraordinarily, extremely, evidently, fantastically, greatly infinitely, immeasurably, immensely, incredibly, intensely, mainly, notably, obviously, outstandingly, particularly, remarkably, seriously, significantly, tremendously, uniquely, unusually, vastly, wholly

18. Went

35 Words to Use Instead of “Went”


avoid, bolt, bound, depart, exit, escape, flee, fly, hike, hop, jaunt, jolt, journey, jump, leap, leave, lurch, march, mosey, move, pace, parade, pass, progress, retreat, saunter, scoot,  skip, split, step, stride, stroll, tour, travel, vanish

What do you think of our list?  Are there any others you would add?  Tell us and we will make a chart for you of replacement words.

Thanks for reading!

Oxford Tutoring

(949) 681-0388


Oxford Tutoring specializes in K-12 tutoring in English, mathematics, science and test preparation. We provide skill building and homework help in private, one-on-one sessions coordinated with our student’s classroom programs, but focused on the way in which each student learns. Working to better each student’s academic success, Oxford Tutoring personalizes our tutoring approach to best meet the education needs of our students.

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