A list of adjectives with which you can describe anything

If you need to describe something—anything—you need a list of adjectives at your disposal. A comprehensive adjectives list can bring your descriptions to life, so read on for everything you need to know about this descriptive element of English vocabulary.

What is an adjective?

The definition of "adjective" explains it as a word that modifies or describes a noun; for example, "green" or "happy." Adjectives typically describe, delimit, or specify quantity, as "nice" in "a nice day," "other" in "other people," or "all" in "all dogs." There are several different types of adjectives.

1. Predicate Adjectives

As the name indicates, a predicate adjective is an adjective that is used in the predicate of a sentence—the part of a sentence that asserts or denies something, often containing a verb and the object of the sentence. It is an adjective that is used in the predicate with a copulative or factitive verb and has the same referent as the subject of the copulative verb or the direct object of the factitive verb, as "sick" in "He is sick" or "It made him sick."

Predicate adjective examples

Her dress was purple.
The train is late.
The baby stayed quiet all night.
Jim's band plays too loud!
The weather looks good.

2. Possessive Adjectives

A possessive adjective is a pronominal adjective expressing ownership. A list of possessive adjectives is as follows:
  • my
  • your
  • his
  • her
  • its
  • our
  • their
  • whose

Possessive adjective examples

My sister is coming later.
I like your idea.
The airline canceled its early flight to New York.
Our team won.
Whose jacket is this?

3. Demonstrative Adjectives

A demonstrative adjective denotes or belongs to a class of determiners used to point out the individual referent or referents intended. The following is a list of demonstrative adjectives:
  • this
  • that
  • these
  • those

Demonstrative adjective examples

This book is mine.
That woman is her mother.
These particular students are extremely bright.
I haven’t finished going over those papers yet.

4. Adjective Clauses

An adjective clause, also known as a relative clause, is a dependent clause introduced by a relative pronoun, adjective, or adverb, either expressed or deleted. It describes the subject of the sentence.

Adjective clause examples

The dining room, which is downstairs, is too dark.
Here's the letter (that) I wrote. ("That" is understood and so it does not have to appear in the sentence.)
My mom, whose vision is terrible, wears glasses at all times.
John, who visits frequently, is ill.

5. Adjectives of Degree

The form of an adjective can change based on what it is describing. A positive adjective is the ordinary form of a word (e.g. "bright"), while a comparative adjective conveys a sense of greater intensity of the adjective (e.g. "brighter"), and a superlative adjective reflects the greatest intensity of the adjective (e.g. "brightest").
Speakers of vernacular dialects often use double comparatives and superlatives such as "more higher” and "most fastest." Although such constructions may seem redundant or even illogical, standard and nonstandard varieties of all languages are replete with such constructions. In English, the redundant comparative dates back to the 1500s. Prior to this, in Old and Middle English, suffixes, rather than a preceding "more" or "most," almost always marked the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs, regardless of word length. In the Early Modern English period (c. 1500-1800), "more" and "most" constructions became more common. The Modern English rule governing the distribution of -er/-est and "more/most" had not yet arisen, and such forms as "eminenter," "impudentest," and "beautifullest" occurred together with constructions like "more near," "most poor," and "most foul." Double markings were commonly used to indicate special emphasis, and they do not appear to have been socially disfavored. Even Shakespeare used double comparatives and superlatives, as in Mark Antony's statement, "This was the most unkindest cut of all" from Julius Caesar. Nowadays, although double comparatives and superlatives are not considered standard usage, they are kept alive in vernacular dialects.

Positive Adjectives

A positive adjective is the usual form of an adjective, as opposed to its comparative or superlative form.

Positive adjective examples

  • good
  • cold
  • hot
  • loud
  • clean
  • dirty

Comparative Adjectives

A comparative adjective relates to or is the intermediate degree of comparison of adjectives.

Comparative adjective examples

  • better
  • colder
  • hotter
  • louder
  • cleaner
  • dirtier

Superlative Adjectives

A superlative adjective is the extreme degree of comparison of an adjective. It expresses the highest or a very high degree of quality. In English, the superlative degree is usually marked by the suffix -est.

Superlative adjective examples

  • best
  • coldest
  • hottest
  • loudest
  • cleanest
  • dirtiest
Check out some of the most popular adjectives and their synonyms in the Thesaurus:
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