I am looking for a verb to explain a tone that implies that the speaker is disgruntled, similar to what an employer would sound like while firing an employee for a stupid mistake that has caused a lot of harm to the company. For example, the word growl or hiss has the undertone of anger or frustration.

A phrase to explain the same (e.g., "an edge in the voice") will also help.


The term gruff comes to mind:

  • abrupt or taciturn in manner.

    • "penetrate a gruff exterior and you will find him affable"
    • synonyms: abrupt, brusque, curt, short, blunt, bluff, no-nonsense;
  • (of a voice) rough and low in pitch.

    • "she spoke with a gruff, masculine voice"
    • synonyms: rough, guttural, throaty, gravelly, husky, croaking, rasping, raspy, growly, hoarse, harsh;
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Consider a harsh tone of voice.

Example: Depending on their temperament, young children may be easily frightened or made anxious by a harsh tone of voice used by a parent whom they normally trust and rely upon.

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