What word should I use to describe something that is not very loud? for example

I am sick of his loud alarm, it always wakes me up.

Should I use light alarm or ringtone or something else?

  • 3
    Quiet and its synonyms? Jan 30, 2013 at 6:42
  • I GET ANNOYED WHEN PEOPLE YELL LOUDLY WITH ALL CAPS. Especially when they obnoxiously attempt to ALARM me. It would be more effective if they wrote to me in the gentle quietness of usual lower case, and only YELL occasionally. Jan 30, 2013 at 8:04

5 Answers 5


I would use the terms "soft" or "gentle".


You can use either calm or soft!


In this context, I would go for hushed, muffled or subdued.

Eg: This darn alarm is so hushed/muffled/subdued that I can hardly hear it!


In the context of phone ringtones (and TV remote controls) it increasingly means silent, rather than of low sound volume, but...

muted - (of a sound or voice) quiet and soft

...seems potentially appropriate to me ("...I wish he'd get an alarm with a more muted tone.")

As can be seen from many instances of the muted tones of in Google Books, besides the literal sense, it's also often used figuratively (of pastel colours, subdued lighting, etc.)


In this case I would suggest unobtrusive

unobtrusive : Not undesirably noticeable or blatant; inconspicuous.

Since I expect that to be in any way effective, the alarm must still be audible. Otherwise at the far other end of the spectrum from loud is inaudible.

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