Russian Words: Emotions

Young woman mood collage
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The Russian language has an abundance of words to describe emotions. Learn how to talk about feelings with these lists of Russian words for emotions, translations, and examples.


Russian Word English Word Pronunciation Examples
Радость Joy, happiness RAdast' Подпрыгивать от радости (patPRYghivat' at RAdasti)
- To jump for joy
Тревога Anxiety tryVOga Всепоглощающая тревога (fsyepaglaSHAyushaya tryVOga)
- All-encompassing anxiety
Грусть Sadness groost' Грусть всё не прогодит (groost' vsyo ny praHOdit)
- The sadness is not going away
Злость Anger zlost' От злости он не мог говорить (at ZLOSti on ne MOK gavaREET')
- He couldn't speak because of the anger he felt
Гнев Anger gnef Ну не гневись (noo ne gneVEES')
- Don't be cross
Ненависть Hatred NYEnavyst' Сильная ненависть (SEEL'naya NYEnavyst')
- Strong hatred
Неуверенность Doubt, uncertainty nyooVYErynnast' Неуверенность в себе (nyooVYErynnast' f syBYE)
- Lack of self-confidence
Сомнение Doubt saMNYEniye Поставить под сомнение (pasTAvit' pat saMNYEniye)
- To call into question
Счастье Happiness SHAStye Огромное счастье (agROMnaye SHAStye)
- Great happiness
Страх Fear strakh Под страхом смерти (patSTRAham SMYERti)
- Literally: under the threat of death. Meaning: if it kills me; (wouldn't do something even) to save one's life
Печаль Sadness pyCHAL' Сидит весь в печали (siDEET ves' f pyCHAli)
- He's there all sad
Испуг Fear eesPOOK Сильный испуг (SEEl'niy eesPOOK)
- To be very frightened
Любовь Love lyuBOF' Совет да любовь (saVYET da lyuBOF')
- Love and peace
Беспокойство Anxiety byspaKOIstva Извините за беспокойство (eezviNEEtye za byspaKOIstva)
- Sorry to bother you

Expressing Emotions

Russian culture allows for free expression of emotions, especially when surrounded by friends and family. When communicating with strangers or in formal situations, smiles are reserved for moments of genuine humor or happiness.

Russian Word English Word Pronunciation Examples
Радоваться To be joyful/happy RAdavatsa Радуйся жизни (RAdooisya ZHEEZni)
- Enjoy life
Бояться To be scared baYATsa Я не боюсь (ya ne baYUS)
- I'm not scared
Волноваться To worry valnaVATsa Что ты волнуешься? (SHTOH ty valNOOyeshsya)
- Why are you worried?
Печалиться/быть печальным/печальной To be sad pyCHAlitsa/byt' pyCHALnym/pyCHAL'nai Она печалится (aNAH pyCHAlitsa)
- She's feeling sad/down
Грустить To be sad groosTEET' Не грустите, друзья (ny groosTEEtye, drooZYA)
- Don't be sad, friends
Восторгаться To be excited, to admire vastarGATsa Она очень восторгалась (aNAH OHchen vastarGAlas')
- She spoke in very admiring tones
Обожать To adore abaZHAT' Я тебя обожаю (ya tyBYA abaZHAyu)
- I adore you
Любить To love lyuBEET' Ты любишь сладкое? (ty LYUbish SLATkaye)
- Do you have a sweet tooth?
Успокаиваться/быть спокойным/спокойной To calm down, to be calm oospaKAeevatsa/byt' spaKOInym/spaKOInai Давай успокоимся (daVAI oospaKOeemsya)
- Let's calm down
Быть довольным/довольной To be happy/content byt' daVOL'nym/daVOL'nai Ты довольна? (ty daVOL'na)
- Are you happy/are you happy now?
Быть счастливым/счастливой To be happy byt' shasLEEvym/shasLEEvai Он счастлив (OHN SHASlif)
- He's happy
Испугаться To be frightened eespoGATsa Не пугайся (ne pooGAIsya)
- Don't be frightened
Сомневаться To doubt, to be doubtful samnyVATsa Я очень в этом сомневаюсь (ya OHchen v EHtam samneVAyus)
- I doubt that very much

Emotions Idioms

Many Russian idioms and sayings warn against talking or smiling too much. Others describe a state of not being oneself when angry or happy. This table has some of the most popular idioms about emotions in Russian.

Russian Expression Literal Translation Meaning Pronunciation
Выходить из себя To come out of oneself To lose one's cool, to lose one's temper vyhaDEET' eez syBYA
Помешаться от ярости To go mad from fury To be furious pameSHATsa at YArasti
Быть вне себя от... To be outside of oneself from... To be beside oneself byt' vnye syBYA
Довести до белого каления To bring to the state of incandescence To infuriate, "to get on last nerve" davysTEE da BYElava kaLYEniya
Играть на нервах To play on nerves To irritate (on purpose) eeGRAT' na NYERvah
Выматывать всю душу To pull out all of one's soul To torment, to annoy to the point of exhaustion vyMAtyvat' VSYU DOOshoo
Любить до безумия To love to the point of madness To be madly in love lyuBEET' da byZOOmiya
Улыбаться как дурак To smile like a fool To smile when it is not appropriate oolyBATsa kak dooRAK
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Your Citation
Nikitina, Maia. "Russian Words: Emotions." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, Nikitina, Maia. (2020, August 29). Russian Words: Emotions. Retrieved from Nikitina, Maia. "Russian Words: Emotions." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 1, 2023).