Common Negative Adjectives in English and How They Are Used…

Negative adjectives can be hurtful even when they are truthful! Have you ever been so upset with someone that you said some things that you didn’t mean? Or maybe you did mean it. Maybe you described their character in words that weren’t necessarily nice. Maybe you were put in a situation that you were not very happy about. Sometimes bad people or situations elicit negative responses from us. These negative responses or words are called negative adjectives.

Negative Adjectives

What is the definition of a negative adjective?

Negative adjectives are basically descriptive words that we use to describe someone’s character in a bad way. We can use them to describe places or situations that we don’t like.

List of negative adjectives and their meanings and examples

Below is a list I have complied of several negative adjectives and their meanings and an example of how they are used in a sentence.


  • Meaning: Someone with a very unfriendly manner towards others.
  • Example: She was aloof about how she made him feel.


  • Meaning: angry, violent feelings towards someone
  • Example: He was hostile about being fired from his job.


  • Meaning: feeling no sympathy for others
  • Example: They were so callous towards their boss when his wife died.


  • Meaning: Not nice or pleasant to any of the senses
  • Example: Raymond had a nasty habit of lying and cheating.


  • Meaning: Not trusting anyone, believing that all people are bad or dishonest
  • Example: People who are cynical usually don’t believe in trust or in love.


  • Meaning: Overwhelming pride in one’s own accomplishments or abilities
  • Example: She is so vain that she stands in the mirror looking at herself for hours.


  • Meaning: Being too interested in one’s own self.
  • Example: Rachel is so self-centered that she thinks of no one but herself.


  • Meaning: lying to get one’s way
  • Example: She is a very deceitful person.


  • Meaning: wanting something right now, not wanting to wait
  • Example: Cody was impatient to get his paycheck.


  • Meaning: refusing to stop doing something, demanding one’s own way
  • Example: My dog is so stubborn that he absolutely refuses to walk with a leash.


  • Meaning: protecting one’s self when there is no reason to
  • Example: He got defensive when confronted about the missing money.


  • Meaning: unclear meanings or intentions
  • Example: She was vague in her directions.

These are just a few examples of negative adjectives that can be used when describing undesirable people, places, or things.

Places, people, and situations are sometimes very unpleasant. Negative adjectives help people to describe their negative and unflattering opinions about people or situations. These descriptive words can be used for writers to bring a story to life. It helps the reader understand that a character’s personality is distasteful or to explain how bad a certain situation really is. Negative adjectives can be used to describe any and everything that is not pleasant. Negative adjectives are usually used as a verbal reaction towards something or someone who has hurt you or made you mad. Words like these are frequently used during an argument. Although they may be used correctly and maybe accurate, they are words meant to insult, not compliment.

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List of Common Negative Adjectives with Their Meanings and ExamplesPin

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