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Words to Describe Facial Expressions

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The rules of English can be different when you write in the language and when you speak in the language. Facial expression is an important form of non-verbal communication.For example on a Monday morning, when you sit in that conference room putting your face in the computer, you give out an absent look. In short, you are not interested in what’s happening around as your mind is wandering elsewhere.

Usually, when describing a person’s facial expressions we fall short of words. A writer needs to use good descriptions for facial expressions in order to help the reader visualize the character and get the right emotion. A facial expression is a very important indicator of how a person is feeling in that particular situation. For instance, she was beaming. It means she was smiling broadly or grinning. It is important to read other people’s facial expressions to understand the emotion that might be running in their mind, which they may never speak out loudly.

Facial expressions

15 English words to describe facial expressions

Upbeat or bleak, how would you define a facial expression when you narrated your new marketing idea? These are just two words that can define facial expressions, but the English language is full of such words. Let us look at some commonly used words.


1. Appealing – a look of approval or agreement
2. Winced – a look of sudden pain
3. Puzzled – a facial expression for confusion
4. Big smile – a facial expression to describe a smile that goes from ear to ear
5. Dirty look – a word to describe an angry face
6. Glazed over – an expression to describe lack of interest or emotion
7. Long face – a facial expression to show unhappiness or disappointment
8. Beatific – a look of happiness or content
9. Curious – a look of excitement
10. Deadpan – a facial expression to show interest when a person is mocking
11. Doleful – a look of sadness
12. Expressionless – a look that does not give away the emotion underneath
13. Grave – a look that expresses seriousness and worry
14. Radiant – a facial expression for happiness
15. Unreadable - a person’s eyes, face or voice, does not give away what the person is thinking

In conclusion

Facial expressions can be described in a number of interesting ways. Stay tuned to our blogs to learn more about phrases that can be used to describe expressions. You can also join our online spoken English class and get the confidence to speak English with confidence.


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