Sometimes I think of things I wish I’d added to my Master Lists for Writers book. I’ll probably release a new edition someday, but in the meantime, I just put them on the blog.

When I was writing The Phoenix Codex, I sometimes took way too much time thinking about how to describe anger or other emotions. If my main character, Cassie, got angry enough, wild animals attacked whoever pissed her off, so she became very aware of how her anger feels.

Even when you’re just looking for a few words or a phrase, you can get bogged down. With that in mind, here are ways to say someone felt angry in a more vivid way than “he felt angry.”

Here’s something I can’t stress enough, though. Usually, you don’t need to do this at all! There are a lot of ways to show someone is angry. For instance…

their words (“Shut up.”)

their volume (“Shut up!”)

their facial expressions (scowling)

their gestures (waving a finger in someone’s face)

their body language (clenching fists)

their actions (aggressively loading the dishwasher)

their reported thoughts (“he wanted to smash something”)

their internal monologue (How could she have done this to him?)


But once in a while, you want to describe your point of view character’s internal feelings of anger.



Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list. There are one hundred phrases here. A few of them hint at physiological reactions to the emotion of anger, and some employ similes. You can adapt them or mix them up a little, and they’ll probably make you think of more.

The ones that contain a verb can be turned into a phrase. For instance, “she was breathless with anger” can be used in a sentence like, “Breathless with anger, she stood up and walked out.’

Oh, and you can probably change some of these to describe hatred or loathing.


Master List of Ways to Describe Anger #lists for writers #words #phrases #how to describe emotions #descriptions of anger


he smoldered with resentment

rage flowed through her like lava

molten anger rolled through him

rage gripped her

anger poured through her

her temper sparked

anger stirred within her

his fury sprang to life

rage nearly consumed her

raw anger shot through him

rage pulsed through his veins

anger thrummed through her veins

anger flooded his veins

rage quickened her blood

she felt a flash of irritation

he felt a flicker of irritation

his anger spiked

anger rushed through her

anger overpowered her

rage overtook him

fury overcame her

he swallowed down his frustration

she tamped down her irritation

he mastered his anger

he kept his frustration in check

fury roared through her mind

a fresh swell of rage rose in her

anger rose in him like a tide

anger welled up in his chest

fury vibrated through her being

he burned with anger

irritation pricked at him

inwardly, she was seething

he trembled with rage

she shook with fury

he was quivering with anger

her resentment grew inside her like a tumor

his resentment festered in him

anger spread through him

rage filled her

his irritation flared

it roused her anger

it woke her anger

his edge of irritation had returned

fury surged through her

he went cold with fury

she was breathless with anger



he was wordless with rage

he was almost choking on his rage

nearly suffocating on her fury

she was simmering with anger

he was boiling with anger

a wave of fury crashed through her

he was running on sheer anger

her frustration kicked in

fury twisted inside of her

she was a ball of pure anger

she was about to explode with rage

he felt about to burst from rage

she was in a red rage

rage ran red through his brain

he stoked his anger

a vortex of anger swirled inside him

she fought the chaos of her rage

he tried to still his rage

he pressed down his anger

she struggled against her anger

he bit back his anger

anger heated her blood

rage seared through him

anger swept over her

resentment clouded her thoughts

he was blind with rage

she felt a jolt of anger

anger hardened her heart

rage beat at her heart

rage churned inside of him

he felt drunk on his rage

anger ripped through him

anger rippled through her

fury tore through her

inside, he was smoking with anger

his anger was mounting

her anger coiled in her stomach

he felt a stab of anger

she felt the anger building

he could taste blood

her irritation crackled

she was immobilized by fury

he was brimming with hostility

anger settled over her

rage throbbed in her like a heartbeat

rage pounded in him like a drumbeat

flames of anger licked through him

rage seized her

resentment blossomed within her

his anger felt good

she felt a cleansing anger

he felt a sick anger

he marinated in resentment



It actually took me a really long time to think about all of these! 🙂 I hope it’s a helpful list! I’m going to make a few more for other emotions. If you don’t want to miss those, be sure to follow the blog, if you aren’t already — there’s a place to sign up below.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great (and anger-free) week!