Home | 200+ Descriptive Adjectives and Their Definitions

List of 200+ Descriptive Adjectives and Their Definitions

descriptive adjectives

In our last post, we explored the importance of using the right descriptive words, and how doing so can help you write.

In this post, we venture away from any plural noun, an adverb, or different words to improve your grammar. Instead we are going heavy on descriptive adjectives.

We go over everything that YOU need to know!

We will go over the different types of adjectives – which is a good lesson for anyone – that will improve you English skills.

This list of descriptive adjectives includes many of the common, as well as some less common, adjectives used in creative writing, and they can be used in all types of writing.

The following list is organized alphabetically with the definitions listed first and the common uses for each adjective afterward.

We’ve also included examples to show how these descriptive words can be used.

But first! Let’s break down all the different types of adjectives.

Table of Contents

What are interrogative adjectives?

Interrogative adjectives ask a question about the subject word, for example, What, Who, When, Why. And they always start with a capital letter. 

They usually begin with the letters W and H.

Examples of a interrogative adjectives

What do you think?

Which one do you like better?

Who was in charge of the order?

What are Possessive Adjective

When you use possessive adjectives (my, your, our, its, her, his, and their) before a noun, you are giving more information about the noun that follows.

Your bike was stolen.

My homework is late.

What is a compound adjective.

Compound adjectives are a combination of two or more words used to modify a noun or pronoun. This can happen in different ways.

The first way is by using an adjective and noun together as one word.

Example:

big picture

simple math

flat roof

empty bucket

fun run

The second way is by using two adjectives together.

Example:

nice and warm

soft and gentle

new and popular

What is a demonstrative adjective?

Demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those) are adjectives which point out the noun by indicating a certain example.

Example:

It is this book.

That is a good book.

This is my house.

What is a demonstrative adjective?

Demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those) are adjectives which point out the noun by indicating a certain example.

Example:

It is this book.

That is a good book.

This is my house.

What are Limiting Adjectives

In descriptive writing, adjectives are limiting adjectives when they identify a noun without telling us anything about the thing being described. What are specifically limiting adjectives

Let’s take a look at some examples: 

The tall man 

A good car 

He ran fast 

The small building 

I have a big yard 

She is a good student. 

The words “tall,” “good,” and “big” tell us nothing about the people or things being described.

What is a predicate adjective

A predicate adjective is a word or phrase placed after a linking verb and used to describe someone or something. 

Here are examples of Predicate Adjectives:

The water was cold . (cold is the predicate adjective) 

He is a smart young man. (young is the predicate adjective)

The students worked hard. (hard is the predicate adjective)

What are proper adjectives?

Proper adjectives are used to describe nouns and they don’t even have to be a proper noun:

Harry is a funny man.

The new dress looks pretty.

That was a fascinating movie.

In each case the adjective (funny, pretty, fascinating) describes what kind of thing the noun is.

Simple Adjectives

A Simple Adjectives Adjectives add detail to a noun in their simplest form; by describing, identifying, or quantifying the person, place, thing, or idea that a noun represents.

Meaning of Determiner in the English Language

What is a determiner in Grammar A determiner is a word that is used before a noun or noun phrase to indicate whether the noun is specific or non-specific.

For example, The and An are determiners, as well as many other words such as my, some, these, our, etc.

They clarify and make more specific what the noun will refer to. The, an and other similar words are called definite articles, because they can help to determine whether the noun is indefinite (referring to any member of a group) or definite (referring to a particular member of a group).

How to Choose the Right Adjective

Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to choose the right adjective?

We know that choosing the right word to describe something that you are writing about is hard.

If you are a blog writer or use article writing services, descriptive words can really make a difference.

When you are writing an article, it is not just about describing the topic in your own words but doing it in an exciting way to wow your audience. How do you do so?

The answer is simple; use lots of adjectives!

An adjective is a word that describes a noun

So, when you are writing, it is important to choose descriptive words so that your audience can have a clear image of what you are trying to describe. 

It can be anything ranging from a person to an object and everything in between.

What is a linking verb

A linking verb, sometimes known as a connecting verb, is a type verb that connects two different parts of a sentence

It can link two clauses, or it can link a subject with a noun complement. As the term suggests, the verb links these phrases together.

The most common way to use linking verbs is within compound sentences. 

Frequently, they’re used to connect two main clauses.

The main linking verb types are: is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been. 

linking verb Examples 

I like to read books, and I like to review them on my blog.

In this sentence, the first main clause uses the present tense version of “to like,” while the second clause uses the present tense version of “to review.”

Linking Verb: I am proud of you.

Controller Noun: My son is proud of his grades.

Linking verbs are also commonly used in conjunction with nouns to create a noun complement-a noun that characterizes the subject of a sentence.

List of Descriptive Adjectives and Their Definitions

abashed – embarrassed, ashamed, shy, abashed

abstemious – moderate in eating and drinking, sparing

abrasive – causing irritation or anger

abstruse – difficult to comprehend; incomprehensible

academic – of or pertaining to or like a student or a scholar

accede – agree, yield, accede

accident – by chance, without intention

acclivity – upward slope, rise, incline

acclimate – accustom to a particular climate or to unfamiliar circumstances

accost – approach and speak to someone in a forward manner

accretion – growth by addition of small amounts. I love this descriptive adjective.

accrue – descriptive language for collect, gather together by natural growth or accumulation

acerbic – sour, bitter, sharp, cutting in a manner that wounds feelings

achromatic – colorless

acicular – long thin rod-shaped; needle-shaped

acidic – having or denoting the properties of an acid; sharp

acquiescent – submissive or acquiescent

acquisitive avid – grasping; greedy; eager to gain by taking from others

adamant – insistent on having one’s own way; inflexible in one’s attitude or opinion; unyielding; obstinate

adduct – draw toward

aesthetic – artistic, beautiful, or pleasing in appearance… etc.

B

Baboonish – Of or pertaining to the species of apes

Baffling – Confusing or hard to understand.”

Bacchanalian – very happy and lively.

Brittle – Crisp, delicate, and easily broken; easily fractured or snapped.

Brawny – Having great strength; muscular and powerful.

Brainy – Having exceptional intelligence.

Brackish – Moderately salty, as a small lake or an area of water.

Baleful – harmful: malignant.

C

Capacious – Apt to hold or contain; spacious.

Capacity – The power, ability, or opportunity to contain or hold.

Confused – not be clear in one’s mind; to have no clear idea or concept of a situation or thing.

Cautious – proceeding from careful thought or consideration; deliberate: a cautious speech; cautious advice.

Cheerful – means full of cheer, but a couple of synonyms are happy, smiling.

Clumsy – clumsy in a physical manner; ungraceful

Competent – the ability to do something at the right time and in the right way

Concerned – to worry about something or be anxious about it.

Consonant A consonant is a speech sound

Certain – positive, definite, dependable.

Cheery – Just like cheerful, a couple of synonyms are happy, and glad.

Clownish – characteristic of a clown; ludicrous; buffoonish; silly

Competent – having the skill and knowledge to do something well.

Conscientious – thorough, careful, and vigilant.

D

Daedal – something that is intricate, complex, and cleverly designed with many details or intricacies. A great descriptive adjective.

Darling – beloved one.

Dashing – lively, energetic, and charming.

Dastardly – fiendishly or scoundrel.

Disagreeable – Unlikely to agree.

Disastrous – resulting in a disaster.  

Discouraging – To make somebody feel bad.

Disgusting – Gross.

Dishonest – Not honest.

Disillusioning – the feeling you get when your ideals are shattered.

Distant – Far away.

Distinctive – Something, especially a feature or quality that makes .someone or something stand out from the rest of a group.

Distorted – Not straightforward or direct; devious or deceitful; misleading or fallacious.

Displeasing – Causing displeasure or annoyance; annoying.

E

Eager – having or showing great desire, keenness, or impatience

Early riser – a person who gets up very early in the morning.

Easygoing – people who are relaxed and calm with their life.

Ebullient – filled with excitement and energy

Eccentric – deviating from the commonly or customarily accepted, usual, or normal.

Ecliptic – the process of omission.

Personality Adjectives 

Aggressive – of, relating to, or marked by aggression

Active – positive words for ready and able to take action.

Adventurous – full of adventure: an adventurous journey.

Agreeable – a desire to be in agreement with others.

Ambitious – having a strong desire for success or achievement.

Analytical – Advanced or careful consideration

Artistic – creativity or original ideas in any field of artistic endeavor.

Assertive – characterized by a confident assurance and readiness to defend one’s opinions or actions.

Authoritative – of or relating to an authority: of recognized or accepted authority

Beautiful – handsome, pretty

Calm – Suitable for a situation that requires patience and quiet behavior.

Caring – Feeling or showing concern for the well-being of others

Charismatic – the quality of being alluring or attracting; drawing power

Clever – observant, expeditious, and ingenious

Cooperative – agreeable, willing to work together towards a common goal

Courteous – having or showing courtesy : polite

Curious – hat describes a person who is curious or inquisitive.

Daring – having or showing a readiness to do bold or daring things

Decisive – acting with or characterized by quick, firm determination; resolute. 

Deliberate – to think about something carefully.

Dependable – worthy of being depended on.

Meticulous – Having extreme attention to detail.

Rational – Making judgments based on reason rather than emotions.

Spontaneous – Not planned or premeditated.

Haughty – having or showing an offensively superior attitude; behaving as if you are better than other people

descriptive adjectives for food

I got an email from a friend who is a professional food writer, and she said “We’re often asked to describe a dish or a meal using only words that describe food”, and here is an example of some adjectives and positive words to describe food.

Appetizing 

Palatable 

Gourmet – only used in singular form.

Glamorous

Tempting

Ambrosial

Delectable

Divine – Also only used in singular form.

Delicious

Yummy

Scrumptious

Savory

Sensuous

Dishy

Lovely

Sugary

Crackling – descriptive language for crisp, juicy, but not so sweet as to be cloying. Used to describe the fruit. 

Creamy – Smooth, rich, not at all lumpy. Used more to describe different type of dessert items.

Substantial – healthy with enough protein and fiber 

Light – low-calorie packaged foods ideal for dieting or reducing weight

Healthy – fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains

Low Carb Diet – cutting carbs from your diet and counting calories

Meat Eater-no plant-based items like fruits or vegetables.

Acidic – having acid

Bitter – having an unpleasantly sharp taste

Bland – tasteless or unseasoned

Buttery – of, or relating to butter; “buttery spread”; “a buttery flavor”

Citrusy – having the flavor of citrus fruit or juice.

Decadent – luxurious and sensuous; voluptuous

Delectable – very great pleasure and enjoyment from a meal.

Nationality Adjective

Nationality adjectives examples – The noun adjectives that refer to nationality, or similar concepts.

Lesson Example

1. American(a) 2. Antiguan 3. Argentine 4. Australian(a) 5. Austrian 6. Azerbaijani 7. Bahamian(a) 8. Barbadian 9. Belgian 10. Belizean(a) 11. Bermudan(a) 12. Bifrench 13. Bolivian(a) 14. Brazilian(a) 15. British (Briton, Briton, U.K., U.K.) 16. Bruneian 17. Bulgarian 18. Burkinabe [Burkina Faso] 19 . Cambodian(a) [Cambodia] 20 . Canadian(a) [Canada] 21 . Cape Verdean(a) [Cape Verde Islands] 22 .

Just for fun Spanish Adjectives

Note: This is just for fun, and while I think they are correct, I am not fluent in Spanish, and the gender rules might change them. So double check the gender rule and meaning before you use these adjectives.

Looking for Spanish Adjectives or want the definition of a Spanish adjective?.

Follow these quick examples on how to find them and their definitions:

‘aburrido’ is a Spanish adjective meaning ‘boring’.

‘fuera’ is a Spanish adjective meaning ‘outside’.

‘fuertemente’ is a Spanish adjective meaning ‘strongly’.

‘caliente’ is a Spanish adjective meaning ‘hot’.

‘seguro’ is a Spanish adjective meaning ‘sure’.

‘grande’ is a Spanish adjective meaning ‘big’.

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