Descriptive Words for Laughter

Smirk: Slight, often fleeting upturning of the corners of the mouth, completely voluntary and controllable;

Smile: Silent, voluntary and controllable, more perceptible than a smirk; begins to release endorphins;

Grin: Silent, controllable, but uses more facial muscles

Snicker: First emergence of sound with facial muscles, but still controllable

Giggle: Has a 50 percent chance of reversal to avoid a full laugh; sound of giggling is amusing; efforts to suppress it tend to increase its strength;

Chuckle: Involves chest muscles with deeper pitch.

Chortle: originates even deeper in the chest and involves muscles of torso; usually provokes laughter in others;

Laugh: Involves facial and thoracic muscles as well as abdomen and extremities; sound of barking or snorting;

Cackle: First involuntary stage; pitch is higher and body begins to rock, spine extends and flexes, with an upturning of head;

Guffaw: Full body response feet stomp, arms wave, thighs slapped, torso rocks, sound is deep and loud; may result in free flowing of tears, increased heart rate, and breathlessnessy strongest solitary laughter experience;

Howl: Volume and pitch rise higher and higher and body becomes more animated;

Shriek: Greater intensity than how; sense of helplessness and vulnerability;

Roar: Lose individuality; i.e., the audience roars!

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