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Power Words: 1,900+ Examples for Writing Awesome Headlines

Published July 2, 2024
/ Updated July 2, 2024

Are you spending hours writing content, editing videos, and tweaking sales pages just to result in nobody visiting the page you spent so long creating? Then you likely didn’t make a strong enough connection to drive people there.

Sure, you can promote the content on social media, and you can run adverts that direct people towards the page and optimize the heck out of it to rank in search engines. However, all of that effort is going to waste if you’re publishing it under a bad headline.

Power words can turn a boring, stale headline into something your target audience can’t help but click.

In this guide, we’ll share what power words are, how to write a powerful headline, and a list of 180+ words that’ll make your headline stand out.

Ready? Let’s get to it.

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What Are Power Words?

Power words are exactly what you might expect: strong, powerful words that make someone take notice.

Also known as “power phrases”, they’re used in headlines for different types of content — such as emails, blog posts, and webinars. The goal? To make them stand out in a sea of same-old headlines.

Examples of power words.

Should you see a headline with any of those power words, you’re more likely to take notice, right? They appeal to us more than words we see every day, like “how to” or “tutorial”.

Take a look at these real-world examples — the power words are bolded:

HubSpot post on Hollywood pay gaps impact on marketing

What Makes Power Words Effective?

Are you wondering why you need to include power words in your headlines?

Marketers write headlines with one goal: to convince people to click-through and read their content — be that a blog post, case study, or landing page. We want people to see the headline and think they have no other choice but to read it.

Granted, most powerful words are single words, but small, simple changes in word choice can make a big difference in headline performance. That’s because power words grab a reader’s attention more quickly.

Not only that, but power words provoke an emotional response; they’re persuasive words that make your reader feel something. That emotional hook can be the difference between them clicking your content and scrolling right past it.

A Step-by-Step Process for Incorporating Power Words Into Headlines

Ready to start using power words in your own headlines? Follow these three, simple steps to make a boring headline 10x more powerful.

Step 1: Write Several Options for a Headline

It’s not uncommon for marketers to write a single headline and use it in the published piece.

The only problem with that is you’re probably not going to think of the best headline right off the bat. For this reason, copywriting pro, Joanna Weibe, recommends writing at least 50 headlines for every piece of content before deciding on the one.

We also recommend writing the headline after you’ve composed your draft. That way, you know exactly what you’ll be talking about, and you can avoid clickbait.

Before trying to squeeze power words into a headline you already have, play around with it using our Headline Analyzer Studio.

The goal is to make a list of as many high-scoring headlines as you can:

Example of headline version history in Headline Studio

Step 2: Incorporate Power Words to Raise Your Score

The next step of your headline writing process is to incorporate power words.

Refer to the master power word list at the bottom of this blog post. Pick one or two to add into your headline and watch the scores of each headline idea increase.

Word Balance results in Headline Studio

From your list of ideas that you’ve inputted into the Headline Analyzer Studio, choose the headline with the highest score.

Step 3: Track What Performs Best Over Time

If you repeat those simple steps every time you write a new headline, you’ll start publishing content with powerful, emotional headlines that hook your audience.

The final step is to track what performs best over time and use what you learn to continue writing better headlines. For example, some audiences respond to negative power words, such as “abandon” or “boycott” in headlines. Others prefer positive power phrases, like “exciting” and “godsend”. You won’t know what your audience prefers unless you test it.

To do this, sign into your Google Analytics account and view the “Top Pages” report. Is there a common denominator — or power word — that most of your top performing posts use?

Here is an example from SEMrush’s analytics:

Google Analytics example from SEMrush

You can also use Google Search Console’s Performance report to see which headlines have the highest organic click-through rates.

Your report will look something like this:

Google Search Console results

The Complete List of Power Words

Here are some of the most powerful words in the English language. Treat it as a cheatsheet to writing strong, clickable headlines for the content you’re creating:

abandon   entertaining   justice   ruined
abduct   enthrall   justifiably   ruining
abhor   enthusiastic   justified   ruins
ability   entitled   keen   sabotage
aboard   entrusted   kill   sad
absentee   envies   killed   sadden
absolve   envious   killing   saddened
absorb   envy   kills   sadly
abuse   envying   kind   safe
accept   erroneous   kinder   safely
accident   error   kiss   safety
accomplish   errors   kudos   salient
accuse   escape   lack   sappy
ache   escapes   lag   sarcastic
achieve   escaping   lagged   satisfied
acquit   esteemed   lagging   save
acrimonious   ethical   lags   saved
active   euphoria   lame   scam
adequate   euphoric   landmark   scams
admire   eviction   laugh   scandal
admit   evil   laughed   scandalous
admonish   exaggerate   laughing   scandals
adopt   exaggerated   laughs   scapegoat
adore   exaggerates   laughing   scapegoats
advance   exaggerating   launched   scare
advantage   exasperated   lawl   scared
adventure   excellence   lawsuit   scary
affect   excellent   lawsuits   skeptical
affection   excite   lazy   scold
afflict   excited   leak   scoop
afraid   excitement   leaked   scorn
aggravate   exciting   leave   scornful
aggression   exclude   legal   scream
aghast   excluded   legally   screamed
agog   exclusion   lenient   screaming
agonize   exclusive   lethargic   screams
agree   excuse   lethargy   secure
alarm   exempt   liar   secured
alas   exhausted   liars   secures
alert   exhilarated   libelous   self-confident
alienation   exhilarates   lied   self-deluded
alive   exhilarating   lifesaver   selfish
allergic   exonerate   lighthearted   selfishness
allow   exonerated   like   sentence
alone   exonerates   liked   sentenced
amaze   exonerating   likes   sentences
ambitious   expand   limitation   sentencing
ambivalent   expands   limited   serene
amuse   expel   limits   severe
anger   expelled   litigation   shaky
anguish   expelling   litigious   shame
animosity   expels   lively   shamed
annoy   exploit   livid   shameful
antagonistic   exploited   loathe   share
anti   exploiting   loathed   shared
anticipation   exploits   loathes   shares
anxiety   exploration   loathing   shattered
apathy   explorations   lobby   shock
apocalyptic   expose   lobbying   shocked
apology   exposed   lonely   shocking
appalled   exposes   lonesome   shocks
appease   exposing   longing   short-sighted
applaud   extend   loom   short-sightedness
appreciate   extends   loomed   shortage
apprehensive   exuberant   looming   shortages
approve   exultant   looms   shrew
ardent   exultantly   loose   shy
arrest   fabulous   looses   sick
arrogant   fail   loser   sigh
ashamed   failed   losing   significance
assassination   failing   loss   significant
asset   fails   lost   silencing
astonished   failure   lovable   silly
astound   failures   love   sincere
attack   fainthearted   loved   sincerely
attract   fair   lovelies   sincerest
audacious   faith   lovely   sincerity
authority   faithful   loving   single minded
avert   fake   lowest   skeptic
avid   fakes   loyal   skeptical
avoid   faking   loyalty   skepticism
await   fallen   luck   skeptics
award   falling   luckily   slam
awesome   falsified   lucky   slash
awful   falsify   lurk   slashed
awkward   fame   lurking   slashes
axe   fan   lurks   slashing
backs   fantastic   mad   sleeplessness
bad   farce   maddening   slick
bailout   fascinate   made-up   slicker
bamboozle   fascinated   madly   slickest
ban   fascinates   madness   sluggish
banish   fascinating   mandatory   smart
bankrupt   fatalities   manipulated   smarter
bankster   fatality   manipulating   smartest
bargain   fatigue   manipulation   smear
barrier   fatigued   marvel   smile
battle   fatigues   marvelous   smiled
beaten   fatiguing   marvels   smiles
beauties   favor   masterpiece   smiling
beautiful   favored   masterpieces   smog
belittle   favorite   matter   sneaky
beloved   favorited   matters   sobering
benefit   favorites   mature   solemn
bereave   favors   meaningful   solid
best   fear   meaningless   solidarity
betray   fearful   medal   solution
better   fearing   mediocrity   solutions
bias   fearless   meditative   solve
big   fearsome   melancholy   solved
bitter   fed up   menace   solves
bizarre   feeble   menaced   solving
blah   feeling   mercy   somber
blame   felonies   merry   soothe
bless   felony   mess   soothed
blind   fervent   messed   soothing
bliss   fervid   messing up   sophisticated
blithe   festive   methodical   sore
block   fiasco   mindless   sorrow
blockbuster   fidgety   miracle   sorrowful
bloody   fight   mirth   sorry
blurry   fine   mirthful   spam
boastful   fire   mirthfully   spammer
bold   fired   misbehave   spammers
bomb   firing   misbehaved   spamming
boost   fit   misbehaves   spark
bore   fitness   misbehaving   sparkle
bother   flagship   mischief   sparkles
boycott   flees   mischiefs   sparkling
brainwashing   flop   miserable   speculative
brave   flops   misery   spirit
breakthrough   flu   misgiving   spirited
breathtaking   flustered   misinformation   spiritless
bribe   focused   misinformed   spiteful
bright   fond   misinterpreted   splendid
brilliant   fondness   misleading   sprightly
brisk   fool   misread   squelched
broke   foolish   misreporting   stable
brooding   fools   misrepresentation   stabs
bully   forced   miss   stall
bummer   foreclosure   missed   stalled
buoyant   foreclosures   missing   stalling
burden   forget   mistake   stamina
calm   forgetful   mistaken   stampede
can’t stand   forgive   mistakes   startled
cancel   forgiving   mistaking   starve
cancer   forgotten   misunderstand   starved
capable   fortunate   misunderstanding   starves
captivated   frantic   misunderstands   starving
care   fraud   misunderstood   steadfast
cashing in   frauds   mock   steal
casualty   fraudulence   mocked   steals
catastrophe   fraudulent   mocking   stereotype
cautious   free   mocks   stereotyped
celebrate   freedom   monopolize   stifled
censor   frenzy   monopolized   stimulate
certain   fresh   monopolizes   stimulated
chagrin   friendly   monopolizing   stimulates
challenge   fright   moody   stimulating
chance   frightened   mope   stingy
chaos   frightening   moping   stolen
charge   frowning   motivate   stop
charm   frustrate   motivated   stopped
chastise   frustrated   motivating   stopping
cheat   frustrates   motivation   stops
cheer   frustrating   mourn   stout
cherish   frustration   mourned   straight
chic   fulfill   mournful   strange
childish   fulfilled   mourning   strangely
chilling   fulfills   mourns   strangled
choke   fuming   myth   strength
clarify   fun   naive   strengthen
clash   funeral   nasty   strengthened
classy   funerals   natural   strengthening
clean   funky   naïve   strengthens
clear   funnier   needy   stressed
clever   funny   negative   stressor
clouded   furious   negativity   stressors
clueless   futile   neglect   stricken
cocky   gag   neglected   strike
coerced   gagged   neglecting   strikers
collapse   gain   neglects   strikes
collide   gained   nerves   strong
combat   gaining   nervous   stronger
comedy   gains   nervously   strongest
comfort   gallant   nice   struck
commend   gallantly   nifty   struggle
commit   gallantry   noble   struggled
compassionate   generous   noisy   struggles
compelled   genial   nonsense   struggling
competent   ghost   nosey   stubborn
competitive   giddy   notorious   stuck
complacent   gift   novel   stunned
complain   glad   numb   stunning
comprehensive   glamorous   obliterate   suave
conciliate   glamorous   obliterated   substantial
condemn   glee   obnoxious   substantially
confident   gleeful   obscene   subversive
conflict   gloom   obsessed   success
confuse   gloomy   obsolete   successful
congratulate   glorious   obstacle   suffer
consent   glory   obstacles   suffering
consolable   glum   obstinate   suffers
conspiracy   godsend   odd   suing
constrained   good   offend   sulking
contagious   goodness   offended   sulky
contempt   grace   offender   sullen
contend   gracious   offending   sunshine
controversial   grand   offends   super
convince   grant   offline   superb
convivial   granted   ominous   superior
cool   granting   once-in-a-lifetime   support
cornered   grants   opportunities   supported
corpse   grateful   opportunity   supporter
costly   gratification   oppressed   supporters
courage   grave   oppressive   supporting
courtesy   gray   optimism   supportive
cover-up   great   optimistic   supports
coward   greater   optionless   survived
coziness   greatest   outcry   surviving
cramp   greed   outmaneuvered   survivor
crash   greedy   outrage   suspect
crazy   green wash   outraged   suspected
creative   green washing   outreach   suspecting
crestfallen   greenwash   outstanding   suspects
crime   greenwasher   overjoyed   suspend
criminal   greenwashers   overload   suspended
crisis   greenwashing   overlooked   suspicious
critic   greet   overreact   swear
criticism   greeted   overreacted   swearing
cruel   greeting   overreaction   swears
crush   greetings   overreacts   sweet
cry   greets   oversell   swift
curious   grey   overselling   swiftly
curse   grief   oversells   swindle
cut   grieved   oversimplification   swindles
cute   gross   oversimplified   swindling
cynical   growing   oversimplifies   sympathetic
damage   growth   oversimplify   sympathy
danger   guarantee   overstatement   tears
daredevil   guilt   overstatements   tender
daring   guilty   overweight   tense
darkest   gullibility   oxymoron   tension
dauntless   gullible   pain   terrible
dead   gun   pained   terribly
deadlock   hack   panic   terrific
deafening   hacked   panicked   terrified
dear   hacks   panics   terror
death   hail   paradise   terrorize
debonair   hailed   paradox   terrorized
debt   hails   pardon   terrorizes
deceit   hapless   pardoned   thank
decisive   haplessness   pardoning   thankful
dedicated   happiness   pardons   thanks
defeated   happy   parley   thorny
defect   hard   passionate   thoughtful
defender   hardier   passive   thoughtless
defer   hardship   passively   threat
defiant   hardy   pathetic   threaten
deficit   harm   pay   threatened
degrade   harmed   peace   threatening
dehumanize   harmful   peaceful   threatens
deject   harming   peacefully   threats
delay   harms   penalty   thrilled
delayed   harried   pensive   thwart
delight   harsh   perfect   thwarted
delighted   harsher   perfected   thwarting
delighting   harshest   perfectly   thwarts
delights   hate   perfects   timid
demand   hated   peril   timorous
demanded   haters   perjury   tired
demanding   hates   perpetrator   tolerant
demands   hating   perpetrators   toothless
demonstration   haunt   perplexed   top
demoralized   haunted   persecute   tops
denied   haunting   persecuted   torn
denier   haunts   persecutes   torture
deniers   havoc   persecuting   tortured
denies   healthy   perturbed   tortures
denounce   heartbreaking   pesky   torturing
denounces   heartbroken   pessimism   tout
deny   heartfelt   pessimistic   touted
denying   heaven   petrified   touting
depressed   heavenly   phobic   touts
depressing   heavy hearted   picturesque   tragedy
derail   help   pileup   tragic
derailed   helpful   pique   tranquil
derails   helping   piqued   trap
deride   helpless   piteous   trapped
derided   helps   pitied   trauma
derides   hero   pity   traumatic
deriding   heroes   playful   travesty
derision   heroic   pleasant   treason
desirable   hesitant   please   treasonous
desire   hesitate   pleased   treasure
desired   hid   pleasure   treasures
desirous   hide   poised   trembling
despair   hides   poison   tremulous
despairing   hiding   poisoned   tricked
despairs   highlight   poisons   trickery
desperate   hilarious   pollute   triumph
desperately   hindrance   polluted   triumphant
despondent   hoax   polluter   trouble
destroy   homesick   polluters   troubled
destroyed   honest   pollutes   troubles
destroying   honor   poor   true
destroys   honored   poorer   trust
destruction   honoring   poorest   trusted
destructive   honor   popular   tumor
detached   honored   positive   ugly
detain   honoring   positively   unacceptable
detained   hooligan   possessive   unappreciated
detention   hooligans   postpone   unapproved
determined   hope   postponed   unaware
devastate   hopeful   postpones   unbelievable
devastated   hopefully   postponing   unbelieving
devastating   hopeless   poverty   unbiased
devoted   hopelessness   powerful   uncertain
diamond   hopes   powerless   unclear
die   hoping   praise   uncomfortable
died   horrendous   praised   unconcerned
difficult   horrible   praises   unconfirmed
diffident   horrific   praising   unconvinced
dilemma   horrified   pray   uncredited
dire   hostile   praying   undecided
direful   hug   prays   underestimate
dirt   huge   prepared   underestimated
dirtier   hugs   pressure   underestimates
dirtiest   humorous   pressured   underestimating
dirty   humiliated   pretend   undermine
disabling   humiliation   pretending   undermined
disadvantage   humor   pretends   undermines
disadvantaged   humored   pretty   undermining
disappear   humoring   prevent   undeserving
disappeared   humors   prevented   undesirable
disappears   hunger   preventing   uneasy
disappoint   hurrah   prevents   unemployment
disappointed   hurt   prison   unequal
disappointing   hurting   prisoner   unequaled
disappointment   hurts   prisoners   unethical
disappointments   hypocritical   privileged   unfair
disappoints   hysteria   proactive   unfocused
disaster   hysterical   problem   unfulfilled
disasters   hysterics   problems   unhappy
disastrous   ignorance   profiteer   unhealthy
disbelieve   ignorant   progress   unified
discard   ignore   prominent   unimpressed
discarded   ignored   promise   unintelligent
discarding   ignores   promised   united
discards   ill   promises   unjust
disconsolate   illegal   promote   unlovable
disconsolation   illiteracy   promoted   unloved
discontented   illness   promotes   unmatched
discord   illnesses   promoting   unmotivated
discounted   imbecile   propaganda   unprofessional
discouraged   immobilized   prosecute   unresearched
discredited   immortal   prosecuted   unsatisfied
disdain   immune   prosecutes   unsecured
disgrace   impatient   prosecution   unsettled
disgraced   imperfect   prospect   unsophisticated
disguise   importance   prospects   unstable
disguised   important   prosperous   unstoppable
disguises   impose   protect   unsupported
disguising   imposed   protected   unsure
disgust   imposes   protects   untarnished
disgusted   imposing   protest   unwanted
disgusting   impotent   protesters   unworthy
disheartened   impress   protesting   upset
dishonest   impressed   protests   upsets
disillusioned   impresses   proud   upsetting
disinclined   impressive   proudly   uptight
disjointed   imprisoned   provoke   urgent
dislike   improve   provoked   useful
dismal   improved   provokes   usefulness
dismayed   improvement   provoking   useless
disorder   improves   punish   uselessness
disorganized   improving   punished   vague
disoriented   inability   punishes   validate
disparage   inaction   punitive   validated
disparaged   inadequate   pushy   validates
disparages   incapable   puzzled   validating
disparaging   incapacitated   quaking   verdict
displeased   incompetence   questionable   verdicts
dispute   incompetent   questioned   vested
disputed   inconsiderate   questioning   vexation
disputes   inconvenience   rage   vexing
disputing   inconvenient   rageful   vibrant
disqualified   increase   rainy   vicious
disquiet   increased   rant   victim
disregard   indecisive   ranter   victimize
disregarded   indestructible   ranters   victimized
disregarding   indifference   rants   victimizes
disregards   indifferent   rapture   victimizing
disrespect   indignant   raptured   victims
disrespected   indignation   raptures   vigilant
disruption   indoctrinate   rapturous   vile
disruptions   indoctrinated   rash   vindicate
disruptive   indoctrinates   ratified   vindicated
dissatisfied   indoctrinating   reach   vindicates
distort   ineffective   reached   vindicating
distorted   ineffectively   reaches   violate
distorting   infatuated   reaching   violated
distorts   infatuation   reassure   violates
distract   infected   reassured   violating
distracted   inferior   reassures   violence
distraction   inflamed   reassuring   violent
distracts   influential   rebellion   virtuous
distress   infringement   recession   virulent
distressed   infuriate   reckless   vision
distresses   infuriated   recommend   visionary
distressing   infuriates   recommended   visioning
distrust   infuriating   recommends   visions
distrustful   inhibit   redeemed   vitality
disturb   injured   refuse   vitamin
disturbed   injury   refused   vitriolic
disturbing   injustice   refusing   vivacious
disturbs   innovate   regret   vociferous
dithering   innovates   regretful   vulnerability
dizzy   innovation   regrets   vulnerable
dodging   innovative   regretted   walkout
dodgy   inquisition   regretting   walkouts
does not work   inquisitive   reject   wanker
dolorous   insane   rejected   want
don’t like   insanity   rejecting   war
doom   insecure   rejects   warfare
doomed   insensitive   rejoice   warm
doubt   insensitivity   rejoiced   warmth
doubted   insignificant   rejoices   warn
doubtful   insipid   rejoicing   warned
doubting   inspiration   relaxed   warning
doubts   inspirational   relentless   warnings
downcast   inspire   reliant   warns
downhearted   inspired   relieve   waste
downside   inspires   relieved   wasted
drag   inspiring   relieves   wasting
dragged   insult   relieving   wavering
drags   insulted   relishing   weak
drained   insulting   remarkable   weakness
dread   insults   remorse   wealth
dreaded   intact   repulse   wealthy
dreadful   integrity   repulsed   weary
dreading   intelligent   rescue   weep
dream   intense   rescued   weeping
dreams   interest   rescues   weird
dreary   interested   resentful   welcome
droopy   interesting   resign   welcomed
drop   interests   resigned   welcomes
drown   interrogated   resigning   whimsical
drowned   interrupt   resigns   wicked
drowns   interrupted   resolute   widowed
drunk   interrupting   resolve   willingness
dubious   interruption   resolved   win
dud   interrupts   resolves   winner
dull   intimidate   resolving   winning
dumb   intimidated   respected   wins
dump   intimidates   responsible   win-win
dumped   intimidating   responsive   wish
dumps   intimidation   restful   wishes
dupe   intricate   restless   wishing
duped   intrigues   restore   withdrawal
dysfunction   invincible   restored   woeful
eager   invite   restores   won
earnest   inviting   restoring   wonderful
ease   invulnerable   restrict   worn
easy   irate   restricted   worried
ecstatic   ironic   restricting   worry
eerie   irony   restriction   worrying
eery   irrational   restricts   worse
effective   irresistible   retained   worsen
effectively   irresolute   retreat   worsened
elated   irresponsible   revenge   worsening
elation   irreversible   revengeful   worsens
elegant   irritate   revered   worshiped
elegantly   irritated   revive   worst
embarrass   irritating   revives   worth
embittered   isolated   reward   worthless
embrace   itchy   rewarded   worthy
emergency   jailed   rewarding   wrathful
empathetic   jaunty   rewards   wreck
emptiness   jealous   rich   wrong
empty   jeopardy   ridiculous   wronged
enchanted   jewel   rig   yearning
encourage   jewels   rigged   youthful
endorse   jocular   rigorous   zealot
enemy   join   rigorously   zealots
energetic   joke   riot   zealous
engage   jokes   riots
engrossed   jolly   risk
enjoy   jovial   risks
enlighten   joy   rob
ennui   joyful   robber
enrage   joyfully   robed
enrapture   joyless   robing
enslave   joyous   robs
ensure   jubilant   robust
enterprising   jumpy   romance

Ready to Write Powerful Headlines?

Practice your use of power words and save this list for anytime you need help finding the perfect, added touch to your headlines. If you refer to it and follow these steps each time you write a headline for any piece of content, it’ll only be a matter of time before you see the results yourself.

There’s no doubt that power words make a good headline a million times stronger; not only do they stand out in crowded news feeds, but powerful headlines actually convince a person to take action.