Say if someone asked you a yes/no question, and you make that note of assent with your throat to let them know that yes is the answer to the question, how would you describe that through writing? I don't just want to say 'She made a note of assent' or whatever... Is there an actual descriptive word, or onomatopoeic word I can use?

  • If you're looking for an adjective the most appropriate word is 'guttural'
    – Mitch
    Jul 11, 2015 at 6:34

4 Answers 4



"She made a grunt of assent"

  • Or "She grunted her assent".
    – Jim
    Jul 10, 2015 at 23:30
  • Growl is also used for less passive grunts.
    – stevesliva
    Jul 11, 2015 at 5:50

1. "Uh–huh" (open mouth)

interjection \two əm's or two ən's separated by the voiceless sound h; ˈəⁿ-(ˌ)həⁿ, (ˌ)əⁿ-ˈ\

Definition of UH-HUH

—used to indicate affirmation, agreement, or gratification


2."Mmm-hmm" (closed mouth)




  1. of or relating to the throat.
  2. harsh; throaty.
  3. Phonetics. pertaining to or characterized by a sound articulated in the back of the mouth, as the non-English velar fricative sound

"She made a guttural reply"


Experimenting with Google Ngram, and trying "* of assent,* of dissent"-- the machine suggests that "murmur of assent" is the big winner here.

I have to +1 "grunt" as suggested above, and "growl," and "sigh" and whatever other sound or gesture seems appropriate.

  • 1
    A murmur of assent is given by a crowd; not an individual.
    – Tushar Raj
    Jul 11, 2015 at 7:03

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