Descriptive Adjectives | List of Useful Descriptive Adjectives in English

Adjectives are words that describe or modify a noun, which is a person, place, or thing. There are a few different kinds of adjectives, but descriptive adjectives are by far the most common. Other types of adjectives include demonstrative adjectives (like “this” or “that”) and quantitative adjectives (words that tell how much or how many). However, whereas those categories of adjectives each have just a handful of words, there is a virtually infinite number of descriptive adjectives.

Descriptive Adjectives

What Are Descriptive Adjectives?

Descriptive adjectives are basically exactly what they sound like: words that describe. Since they’re adjectives, they’re specifically words that describe a person, place, or thing (if you’re looking for words to describe verbs or other adjectives, check out adverbs). Descriptive adjectives are used to clarify or add detail to a sentence. They include colors, sizes, shapes, and many other such details.

Order of Descriptive Adjectives

Adjectives can be used one at a time, or several adjectives can be used for the same noun, using commas to separate them. While people who were born into English-speaking families or communities aren’t always aware of the rules involved, they can absolutely hear the difference if multiple adjectives appear out of order, so it’s a good rule to know. This order is as follows:

  • Demonstrative or quantitative adjectives
  • Quality or opinion
  • Size
  • Age
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Proper adjectives (adjectives based on names of people or locations)
  • Purpose

So, for example, a sentence might read, “I have ten, good, big, young, round, red, Storybook, egg-laying hens.” Any variation in order might take a moment to process for somebody who only speaks English.

List of Descriptive Adjectives

Now that you know what descriptive adjectives are and how to use them, let’s get to listing them! The following list is broken into categories: simple, compound, or proper adjectives.

Simple Descriptive Adjectives

Simple or common adjectives are just basic adjectives. They consist of a single word that isn’t a proper noun. Just like the other descriptive adjectives, these can be combined with other adjectives.

  • Adorable
  • Adventurous
  • Agreeable
  • Alive
  • Aloof
  • Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoying
  • Anxious
  • Arrogant
  • Ashamed
  • Attractive
  • Auspicious
  • Awful
  • Bad
  • Beautiful
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blushing
  • Bored
  • Brave
  • Bright
  • Brown
  • Busy
  • Calm
  • Careful
  • Cautious
  • Charming
  • Cheerful
  • Clean
  • Clear
  • Clever
  • Clumsy
  • Colorful
  • Comfortable
  • Concerning
  • Condemned
  • Confusing
  • Cooperative
  • Courageous
  • Creepy
  • Crowded
  • Cruel
  • Curios
  • Cute
  • Dangerous
  • Dark
  • Defiant
  • Delightful
  • Difficult
  • Disgusting
  • Distinct
  • Disturbed
  • Dizzying
  • Drab
  • Dull
  • Eager
  • Easy
  • Elated
  • Elegant
  • Embarrassed
  • Enchanted
  • Encouraging
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Envious
  • Evil
  • Exciting
  • Expensive
  • Exuberant
  • Faithful
  • Famous
  • Fancy
  • Fantastic
  • Fierce
  • Filthy
  • Fine
  • Foolish
  • Fragile
  • Frail
  • Frantic
  • Friendly
  • Frightening
  • Funny
  • Gentle
  • Gifted
  • Glamorous
  • Gleaming
  • Glorious
  • Good
  • Gorgeous
  • Graceful
  • Green
  • Grieving
  • Grumpy
  • Handsome
  • Happy
  • Healthy
  • Helpful
  • Helpless
  • Hilarious
  • Homeless
  • Horrible
  • Hungry
  • Hurt
  • Ill
  • Important
  • Impossible
  • Impromptu
  • Improvised
  • Inexpensive
  • Innocent
  • Inquiring
  • Itchy
  • Jealous
  • Jittery
  • Joyous
  • Kind
  • Knightly
  • Lazy
  • Lemony
  • Light
  • Lingering
  • Lively
  • Lonely
  • Long
  • Lovely
  • Lucky
  • Magnificent
  • Modern
  • Motionless
  • Muddy
  • Mushy
  • Mysterious
  • Naughty
  • Niche
  • Nervous
  • Nice
  • Nutty
  • Obedient
  • Obnoxious
  • Odd
  • Open
  • Orange
  • Outrageous
  • Outstanding
  • Panicked
  • Perfect
  • Pink
  • Plain
  • Pleasant
  • Poised
  • Poor
  • Powerless
  • Precious
  • Prickling
  • Proud
  • Purple
  • Puzzled
  • Quaint
  • Queer
  • Quizzical
  • Realistic
  • Red
  • Relieved
  • Repelling
  • Repulsive
  • Rich
  • Scary
  • Scenic
  • Selfish
  • Shiny
  • Shy
  • Silly
  • Sleepy
  • Smiling
  • Smoggy
  • Sore
  • Sparkly
  • Splendid
  • Spotted
  • Stormy
  • Strange
  • Stupid
  • Successful
  • Super
  • Talented
  • Tame
  • Tasty
  • Tender
  • Tense
  • Terse
  • Terrible
  • Thankful
  • Thoughtful
  • Tired
  • Tough
  • Troubling
  • Ugly
  • Uninterested
  • Unusual
  • Upset
  • Uptight
  • Varied
  • Vast
  • Victorious
  • Wandering
  • Weary
  • White
  • Wicked
  • Wide
  • Wild
  • Witty
  • Worrisome
  • Wrong
  • Yellow
  • Young
  • Zealous

Compound Descriptive Adjectives

Compound adjectives are adjectives for which more than one word makes up a single descriptor. These are generally hyphenated.

  • Baby-faced
  • Broken-hearted
  • Bull-headed
  • Freckle-faced
  • Full-time
  • Heavy-handed
  • High-heeled
  • High-spirited
  • Life-giving
  • Long-lasting
  • Long-winded
  • Middle-aged
  • Mouth-watering
  • Never-ending
  • Next-door
  • Old-fashioned
  • Part-time
  • Red-blooded
  • Self-centered
  • Short-haired
  • Short-tempered
  • Sure-footed
  • Thick-skinned
  • Thought-provoking
  • Tight-fisted
  • Well-known
  • Well-read
  • World-famous

Proper Descriptive Adjectives

Proper adjectives contain a proper noun. This is most often used for locations, but it can also be used for religions or philosophies.

  • Alpine
  • American
  • Asian
  • Arthurian
  • Brazilian
  • Chinese
  • Christian
  • Darwinian
  • European
  • French
  • Gregorian
  • Martian
  • Orwellian
  • Shakespearean
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Voltairian

Almost any proper noun can be made into an adjective if needed or desired.

That’s All for this Lesson

Descriptive adjectives are very helpful and are super present in everyday English. They help make your sentences more specific and your instructions more exact. Refer to this list as often as you want or need!

Descriptive Adjectives | Infographic

What Are Descriptive Adjectives? List of Useful Descriptive Adjectives in EnglishPin

What Are Descriptive Adjectives? List of Useful Descriptive Adjectives in EnglishPin

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reva
reva
2 months ago

pruufet

Johanna MQ
Johanna MQ
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing your valuable material

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