List of strong verbs



List of Strong Verbs: 300 Powerhouse Words for Nonfiction Writers

by Harry Wallett

You know the feeling–you’re working on a piece and the words just seem flat. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Have you ever wondered how to inject some excitement into your prose without going overboard?

One of the secrets to making your writing more engaging is using strong verbs. They add vigor and clarity, transforming your work into a captivating read.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve compiled a list of 300 strong verbs divided into six groups to punch up your work. But we won’t stop there. We’ll also provide tips on how to use them effectively so you can make the most of their power.

Our goal is to help you create more engaging, dynamic, and vivid pieces that will leave your nonfiction readers feeling both informed and entertained.

So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of strong verbs. By the time you’re done with this post, you’ll have a treasure trove of linguistic gems to enhance your nonfiction writing.

Let’s go!

300 Strong Verbs to Elevate Your Nonfiction Writing

As a nonfiction writer, your choice of verbs can make all the difference in the world. Strong verbs not only help you convey your message more effectively, but they also add precision to your writing.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of 300 strong verbs, divided into six groups, that’ll take your nonfiction writing to new heights. They’ll help you add depth and dimension to your writing:

Action Verbs

Action verbs are your best friends when it comes to keeping your reader’s attention. They help you convey movement and energy–making your writing more dynamic.

By incorporating these verbs into your nonfiction work, you’ll create a stronger connection with your readers and invite them to experience the action alongside you.

Whether you’re writing about a historical event, a scientific discovery, or a personal experience, action verbs can are particularly useful when you want to add pace and urgency to your writing, making your narrative more gripping and exciting.

Here’s are some action-packed verbs that’ll take your nonfiction writing to the next level:

  1. Accelerate
  2. Advance
  3. Amble
  4. Bolt
  5. Bounce
  6. Bound
  7. Capture
  8. Charge
  9. Climb
  10. Dash
  11. Devour
  12. Dive
  13. Emerge
  14. Evolve
  15. Extinguish
  16. Flee
  17. Flinch
  18. Forge
  19. Glide
  20. Grapple
  21. Hover
  22. Hurdle
  23. Hustle
  24. Ignite
  25. Inflate
  26. Invigorate
  27. Jolt
  28. Juggle
  29. Jump
  30. Kindle
  31. Knock
  32. Leap
  33. Lunge
  34. March
  35. Muster
  36. Navigate
  37. Nurture
  38. Oscillate
  39. Outrun
  40. Plunge
  41. Propel
  42. Quicken
  43. Quiver
  44. Race
  45. Revolve
  46. Surge
  47. Swerve
  48. Thrive
  49. Traverse
  50. Unleash
  51. Uproot
  52. Vanish
  53. Vault
  54. Whirl
  55. Wrestle
  56. X-ray (as in examining)
  57. Yield
  58. Zigzag
  59. Zip
  60. Zoom

Descriptive Verbs

Descriptive verbs play a crucial role in making your nonfiction writing come alive. They help you paint a vivid picture in your reader’s mind, allowing them to fully grasp the essence of your message.

When you use descriptive verbs effectively, your readers will feel like they’re right there with you, experiencing your story firsthand.

These verbs add depth, clarity, and engagement to your writing, making it more relatable and appealing. They can turn a mundane description into a captivating one, capturing your reader’s imagination and holding their interest.

The following descriptive verbs are perfect for when you want to showcase the finer details or create an immersive atmosphere:

  1. Absorb
  2. Adorn
  3. Billow
  4. Blossom
  5. Blur
  6. Cascade
  7. Churn
  8. Crumble
  9. Dapple
  10. Disperse
  11. Drizzle
  12. Emanate
  13. Engulf
  14. Flare
  15. Flicker
  16. Flutter
  17. Glint
  18. Glisten
  19. Gnarl
  20. Hiss
  21. Hover
  22. Illuminate
  23. Infuse
  24. Intertwine
  25. Jostle
  26. Jumble
  27. Jumble
  28. Kindle
  29. Knot
  30. Linger
  31. Loom
  32. Melt
  33. Murmur
  34. Nourish
  35. Nudge
  36. Ooze
  37. Oscillate
  38. Permeate
  39. Pulsate
  40. Quake
  41. Quench
  42. Radiate
  43. Ripple
  44. Saturate
  45. Shimmer
  46. Swirl
  47. Tangle
  48. Throb
  49. Undulate
  50. Unfurl
  51. Veer
  52. Vibrate
  53. Waver
  54. Wither
  55. Wobble
  56. Wrinkle
  57. Xerox (as in duplicate)
  58. Yield
  59. Zest
  60. Zigzag

Persuasive Verbs

Persuasive verbs are the secret sauce that can elevate your nonfiction writing from good to great. They’re the key to convincing your readers, swaying their opinions, and inspiring them to take action.

By using persuasive verbs effectively, you’ll be able to make a compelling case for your ideas, while also adding credibility and authority to your work.

Whether you’re writing a persuasive essay, an op-ed piece, or a call-to-action, these verbs will help you communicate your message in a powerful and influential manner.

They can also be used subtly in your writing to emphasize specific points or to steer your readers towards a particular conclusion.

Here’s a collection of persuasive verbs that will help get there quickly:

  1. Advocate
  2. Affirm
  3. Amplify
  4. Augment
  5. Bolster
  6. Buttress
  7. Champion
  8. Coax
  9. Compel
  10. Convince
  11. Corroborate
  12. Counter
  13. Debunk
  14. Defend
  15. Demystify
  16. Emphasize
  17. Endorse
  18. Enlist
  19. Foment
  20. Fortify
  21. Foster
  22. Galvanize
  23. Garner
  24. Generate
  25. Highlight
  26. Hone
  27. Illustrate
  28. Implore
  29. Inspire
  30. Instigate
  31. Justify
  32. Kindle
  33. Lend
  34. Magnify
  35. Mobilize
  36. Motivate
  37. Negotiate
  38. Nudge
  39. Nurture
  40. Optimize
  41. Overcome
  42. Persuade
  43. Pledge
  44. Propel
  45. Quash
  46. Quell
  47. Rally
  48. Reassure
  49. Refute
  50. Reinforce
  51. Steer
  52. Stimulate
  53. Sway
  54. Tackle
  55. Tout
  56. Uncover
  57. Underscore
  58. Validate
  59. Verify
  60. Vouch

Emotional Verbs

Emotional verbs hold the power to evoke deep feelings and emotions in your readers. They can make your nonfiction writing more relatable and memorable.

When used effectively, emotional verbs help you connect with your readers on a deeper level, drawing them into your story and making them care about the outcome.

These verbs are particularly useful in personal essays, memoirs, or any nonfiction writing where you want to convey the emotional landscape of your story. They can also be used to create empathy, build tension, or provide insight into your inner thoughts and feelings:

  1. Abhor
  2. Adore
  3. Alleviate
  4. Bewilder
  5. Blush
  6. Cherish
  7. Commiserate
  8. Console
  9. Crave
  10. Delight
  11. Despair
  12. Dread
  13. Enamor
  14. Enthral
  15. Exasperate
  16. Fascinate
  17. Fret
  18. Fume
  19. Grieve
  20. Grumble
  21. Hesitate
  22. Hope
  23. Infatuate
  24. Inspire
  25. Intrigue
  26. Jeer
  27. Jolt
  28. Kindle
  29. Lament
  30. Loathe
  31. Marvel
  32. Mollify
  33. Mourn
  34. Nourish
  35. Nurture
  36. Nuzzle
  37. Obsess
  38. Overwhelm
  39. Panic
  40. Placate
  41. Provoke
  42. Quell
  43. Quicken
  44. Rejoice
  45. Relish
  46. Resent
  47. Savor
  48. Seethe
  49. Soothe
  50. Taunt
  51. Tremble
  52. Unnerve
  53. Uplift
  54. Venerate
  55. Vex
  56. Wince
  57. Worship
  58. Yawn
  59. Yearn
  60. Zeal

Verbs for Comparison and Contrast

Verbs for comparison and contrast are essential tools for nonfiction writers. These verbs allow you to highlight similarities and differences between ideas, objects, or situations–making your writing more insightful and engaging.

Comparison and contrast verbs are particularly useful in essays, articles, and other nonfiction writing where you need to analyze, evaluate, or make connections between different aspects of your topic.

They can be used to present contrasting viewpoints, emphasize key points, or simply to illustrate the complexity of an issue.

Here’s a list of verbs for comparison and contrast to help you make your nonfiction writing more analytical and thought-provoking:

  1. Align
  2. Approximate
  3. Balance
  4. Blend
  5. Coincide
  6. Commensurate
  7. Compare
  8. Conform
  9. Congruent
  10. Connect
  11. Contest
  12. Contrast
  13. Converge
  14. Coordinate
  15. Correlate
  16. Counteract
  17. Deviate
  18. Differentiate
  19. Discriminate
  20. Disparage
  21. Distinct
  22. Diverge
  23. Divert
  24. Dominate
  25. Dwarf
  26. Echo
  27. Eclipse
  28. Elapse
  29. Emanate
  30. Emphasize
  31. Emulate
  32. Enhance
  33. Equal
  34. Escalate
  35. Exceed
  36. Impinge
  37. Integrate
  38. Intersect
  39. Merge
  40. Mimic
  41. Offset
  42. Oppose
  43. Outperform
  44. Outshine
  45. Overlap
  46. Overshadow
  47. Parallels
  48. Resemble
  49. Rival
  50. Shadow
  51. Simulate
  52. Supersede
  53. Surpass
  54. Synchronize
  55. Tally
  56. Transcend
  57. Trump
  58. Undermine
  59. Unify
  60. Vie

Verbs for Analysis and Explanation

Verbs for analysis and explanation also play a crucial role in nonfiction writing. They help you present complex ideas, arguments, or data in a clear and easily understandable manner.

These verbs allow you to dig deep into your topic, offering your readers a more detailed and nuanced understanding of your subject.

Using these verbs will enable you to effectively break down concepts, interpret information, and communicate your findings to your readers. They’ll also contribute to the overall clarity and coherence of your writing–making it more enjoyable to read and easier to follow:

  1. Analyze
  2. Articulate
  3. Ascertain
  4. Assess
  5. Attribute
  6. Authenticate
  7. Break down
  8. Categorize
  9. Clarify
  10. Classify
  11. Comprehend
  12. Consolidate
  13. Contemplate
  14. Convey
  15. Decode
  16. Deduce
  17. Define
  18. Delve
  19. Demystify
  20. Describe
  21. Dissect
  22. Distinguish
  23. Divide
  24. Elaborate
  25. Elicit
  26. Elucidate
  27. Enumerate
  28. Establish
  29. Evaluate
  30. Examine
  31. Explain
  32. Expound
  33. Extrapolate
  34. Ferret out
  35. Identify
  36. Illuminate
  37. Illustrate
  38. Infer
  39. Interpret
  40. Investigate
  41. Isolate
  42. Itemize
  43. Outline
  44. Parse
  45. Pinpoint
  46. Plumb
  47. Ponder
  48. Postulate
  49. Probe
  50. Reflect
  51. Resolve
  52. Reveal
  53. Review
  54. Scrutinize
  55. Separate
  56. Specify
  57. Synthesize
  58. Systematize
  59. Theorize
  60. Unravel

7 Tips for Using Strong Verbs in Nonfiction Writing

Now that you’ve got a hefty list of strong verbs, here are some tips for using them effectively:

  1. Choose the right verb for the context. Strong verbs can’t work their magic if they don’t fit the situation.
  2. Balance strong verbs with other language elements. Your writing should have a nice mix of strong verbs, adjectives, and other parts of speech.
  3. Avoid overusing strong verbs. While they’re great, too many strong verbs can make your writing feel overwhelming.
  4. Use strong verbs to create vivid imagery. By choosing verbs that evoke specific images in your readers’ minds, you can make your nonfiction writing more engaging and memorable.
  5. Replace weak or generic verbs with more precise ones. If you find yourself using plain-sounding words like “do,” “make,” or “go,” consider whether a stronger, more specific verb might better convey your meaning.
  6. Vary your verbs throughout your writing–using a diverse range of strong verbs helps maintain your readers’ interest and prevents your writing from becoming monotonous.
  7. Consider the tone and style of your writing. While strong verbs are generally a good choice, make sure they align with the overall tone and style you’re aiming for in your nonfiction piece. Some verbs may be too informal or jarring for certain contexts.

In Conclusion

And there you have it–300 strong verbs to spice up your nonfiction writing. By now, you should have a solid understanding of the power that strong verbs hold in nonfiction writing.

With these versatile verbs at your disposal, you’ll be equipped to breathe new life into your work and create pieces that are engaging, dynamic, and vivid.

But don’t forget, using strong verbs effectively is an art in itself. Make sure to choose the right verb for the context, balance strong verbs with other language elements, and avoid overusing them.

As a nonfiction writer, your mission is to inform, educate, and inspire your readers. By incorporating strong verbs into your writing, you’ll not only make your prose more captivating but also build trust and credibility with your audience.

So, go ahead, experiment with these linguistic gems, and watch as your writing gets transformed!

Harry Wallett is the Managing Director of Cascadia Author Services. He has a decade of experience as the Founder and Managing Director of Relay Publishing, which has sold over 3 million copies of books in all genres for its authors, and looks after a team of 50+ industry professionals working across the world.

Harry is inspired by the process of book creation and is passionate about the stories and characters behind the prose. He loves working with the writers and has shepherded 1000s of titles to publication over the years. He knows first-hand what it takes to not only create an unputdownable book, but also how to get it into the hands of the right readers for success.

Books are still one of the most powerful mediums to communicate ideas and establish indisputable authority in a field, boosting your reach and stature. But publishing isn’t a quick and easy process—nor should it be, or everyone would do it!

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