350+ Sensory Words: The Ultimate List

Sensory words. Your brain has to work harder without them.

Imagine this scenario.

Your trip to tropical lush Hawaii has finally arrived.

You’re sunbathing on the illuminated, smooth, white sandy beach.

You close your eyes in peace. Smell the crisp sea air. Hear gentle waves crashing on the shallow shoreline.

But, wait.

You haven’t even arrived at your stiff airplane seat yet. You can’t help but keep on breathing in the recycled and musty air.

The new mother behind you can’t get her high-pitched baby to stop crying the whole way through.

Next thing you know… a pulsating migraine behind your eyes.

Are you able to visualize the setting?

example of sensory details utilizing sensory words for a beach scene

Sensory details are also known as sensory words. And they help your readers grasp your text through the use of words that appeal to the human senses.

Sprinkle them around in your sentences to make your copy even more effective!

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” How do convey a clear message to your readers?

This is where sensory details come into play.

Table of contents: The Ultimate List of Sensory Words

What are sensory words in copywriting?

Sensory details contain effective words used in helping readers experience copy through powerful visualization using the human senses. They act as tools to foster the imagination process for your readers.

In fact, studies show that certain words stimulate our brains differently than other words. Specifically sensory words, where they activate the somatosensory cortex.

Imagine looking at a black and white photograph.

Now compare that black and white photograph to a colored photo. Where you see more vivid detail, luminescence, and aspect of the image.

Chances are your visual experience is more enhanced looking at the colored photo. Whereas a black and white photo may seem lackluster.

The same concept applies to copy using sensory details. They bring life into your copy that energizes your reader’s experience.

Examples of sensory words

The senses consist of visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, taste, and even kinesthetic qualities:

Sensory ‘sight’ words describe visual elements

Words that describe color, aspect, shape, size, and appearance.

Examples:

  • The fresh pear was lush after a day’s rain.
  • The new massive building set a new world record.
  • Her cheeks were swollen as soon as her allergies kicked in.

Sensory ‘touch’ words describe texture

Examples:

  • The plant’s leaves were dry and brittle after having no water.
  • I’m looking for a scarf as soft as a baby’s skin.
  • The chief used a rough stone to sharpen his knife.

Sensory ‘hearing’ words describe sound

Examples:

  • It was dead-quiet in the abandoned house, you could hear your breathing.
  • He threw the glass bottle in the bin that made a satisfying clink.
  • After the concert, her voice became raspy after screaming so much.

Sensory ‘smell’ words describe olfactory attributes

Examples:

  • The putrid-smelling trash can was left to rot.
  • With Spring in the air, the flowers began to release a fragrant aroma.
  • Grandma’s house is always musty when we come over.

Sensory ‘taste’ words describe the perception of taste or flavor

Examples:

  • The small pepper tasted spicier than the bigger one.
  • I forgot about the toast in the oven that it tasted burnt.
  • The green banana wasn’t ready to eat that it tasted bitter.

Where can you use sensory words?

Check out the differences in these sentences with and without the use of sensory words. Keep in mind how you feel after reading each sentence. Are you able to understand one sentence over the other more clear?

Service descriptions

  • Without the use of sensory words: Window cleaning service for all your glass, inside and out.
  • With the use of sensory words: Spotless and shimmering window cleaning service for all your filthy glass, inside and out.

Product descriptions

  • Without the use of sensory words: In-house guacamole and lime with a side of tortilla chips.
  • With the use of sensory words: Fresh-picked guacamole mixed with a juicy punch of lime and a side of crunchy oven-baked tortilla chips.
advertisement of apple macbook utilizing sensory details and sensory words

Business emails

  • Without the use of sensory words: Sorry for the late reply, I have been getting a lot of requests!
  • With the use of sensory words: Sorry for the late reply, I have been swamped with massive requests!

Headlines

  • Without the use of sensory words: I teach people how to write better.
  • With the use of sensory words: I teach people how to grow their writing skills.
sensory words in headlines

Reviews and testimonials

  • Without the use of sensory words: The band performed well.
  • With the use of sensory words: The band did a show-stopping performance.
use of sensory words in reviews and testimonials

Blog titles

  • Without the use of sensory words: How to be confident at work.
  • With the use of sensory words: How to radiate confidence at work.
blog post headline using sensory words for a carrot cake recipe

The ultimate list of sensory words

Sight words 👁️

ColossalRoundVibrant
DullUglyBulky
CongestedSwollenIrregular
TallGiganticOpaque
RadiatingVividBizarre
TinyShinyTowering
WrinklyBrightGloomy
MountainousPaleShimmer
FoggySandyDazzle
SpongyPrettyGushy
ClutteredMuscularGraceful
UntidyAshenSpiky
TawnyTransparentDismal
DimFrilledRotund
CrystallineEnormousGaudy
StifledCushionedMetallic
GrotesqueShowySpacious
FoamyLustrousOrnate
WavyClearLavish
SkinnyBrazenBushy
AbrasiveSloppyLeathery
PetiteErectFiery
GrainyDistortedGrand
MassiveDeepChubby
CrookedLongStriped
BlurredBrownAngular
ColorfulGlossyGlittery
DarkKnottyMisty
ExoticNeatDrab
MattedColorlessSleek
StubbyBlotchedCrowded
DaintySpottyTubular

Sound words 👂

PopBuzzChirp
MuffledEchoingHoarse
QuietHissScreech
NoisyWhistleStomp
CacophonyMellowPlacid
ResonantWailingMonotone
ThudCroakJangle
SizzleYellMumble
BlareChattySilent
HushTingleClang
TunefulCommotionLyrical
ExplodeBrashMurmur
SereneBangHubbub
RustleSwishThwack
PierceLoudClink
CrackleThunderFaint
SnoreWhimperRaspy
StutterBoomWhine
TearCrunchCry
MelodiousPlopSpeechless
SplashBarkRoar
DiscordHarmonicSnarl
CooingJingleBlast
MoanSqueakDeafening

Touch words 🖐️

RoughSlipperyHeavy
RockyTenderCoarse
FragileColdSticky
PaddedVarnishedSolid
FrigidHardKnotted
HairySlimyDry
DirtyMushyOily
CoolTepidSloppy
SilkyGrittyFurry
WoolenFuzzyElastic
FirmLeatheryDrenched
LightweightAbrasiveThick
SharpWoollyGreasy
JaggedDelicateDusty
RubberyStonyStinging
NarrowHotJagged
DampTenderFleshy
IcyMushyWaxy
SoftItchyDense

Smell words 👃

RancidAromaPutrid
FloralJuicySpicy
SmokyRottenGooey
YummySweetFragrant
RedolentFaintComforting
OdorlessWhiffPiquant
RoseyPheromoneGassy
RepulsiveDankBillowy
BouquetGarlickyIncense
LoamyWoodsyClean
TemptingSicklyAiry
BitterVileHorrid
FoulSniffBody Odor
ScentFreshLilac
IntoxicatingHeadyFunky
DeliciousBlandPiney
RobustSweatyRipe
FetidDelicateEvocative
LadenStuffyFusty
BrinyDoggyGaseous
GamyHeavenlyBalmy
PungentDecayedStale
StinkyRankMusk
ReekCitrusyStench

Taste words 👅

FruityAcidicChewy
TartSourAppetizing
ExquisiteToothsomeLingering
CrispTantalizingSavory
ZestyCheesyTasteless
SaltyMintyFishy
PiquantScrumptiousSaccharine
DeliciousAgedTender
QuenchPleasingNutty
MeltedNutritiousBittersweet
OvercookedFlatMoldy
MildPlainEarthy
DroolingHeartyFlavorsome
SeasonedTaintPalatable
AlkalineMedicinalDoughy
RichDulcetButtery
FlakeyMouthwateringDelectable
PulpUnflavoredSear
WateryFizzyCreamy
BrackishAmbrosiaFatty
LimyFillingDelightful
NectarDivineLush
FlavorfulBurntTangy
RawFermentedMalty
SpoiledYeastyWoody

Do you see the impact of sensory details?

Copywriting is all about communication.

Sensory words link the connection to help your readers easily understand your copy through their senses.

Your sentences need to be structured for a human being with feelings to interpret your copy.

Not a robot.

Copywriting is the art of bringing people together by solving problems through the human senses.

So, it is important to avoid writing one-dimensional copy without sensory words.

You can also combine sensory words with power words to take your writing even higher.

Engage with your readers on a human level with sensory details.