Writing Enhancement: Astounding Adjectives

A list of more than 300 alluring adjectives to enhance both your writing skills and comprehension. While the words progress from simple to sophisticated, always remember that any and all adjectives offer value in a piece of writing!

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definitions & notes
only words

  1. minute

    infinitely or immeasurably small
  2. galvanizing

    affected by emotion as if by electricity; thrilling
    An extremely inspiring book or movie may be described as being simply "galvanizing".
  3. opportune

    suitable or advantageous especially for a particular purpose
    That was the
    opportune time to take advantage of the offer.
  4. engaging

    attracting or delighting
    English class ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. solemn

    dignified and somber in manner or character
  6. intrinsic

    belonging to a thing by its very nature
  7. tacit

    implied by or inferred from actions or statements
  8. distinguished

    standing above others in character or attainment
  9. potent

    having or wielding force or authority
  10. sincere

    open and genuine; not deceitful
  11. indifferent

    marked by a lack of interest
  12. precise

    sharply exact or accurate or delimited
  13. sovereign

    a nation's ruler usually by hereditary right
  14. diffident

    showing modest reserve
  15. lucrative

    producing a sizeable profit
    X didn't prove to be a very
    lucrative stock.
  16. amenable

    disposed or willing to comply
    He said he was
    amenable to making the changes we requested.
  17. melancholy

    a constitutional tendency to be gloomy and depressed
  18. eloquent

    expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively
  19. subservient

    compliant and obedient to authority
  20. denigrating

    harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign
    Defamatory
  21. subtle

    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
  22. inferior

    of or characteristic of low rank or importance
  23. exquisite

    delicately beautiful
  24. perpetual

    continuing forever or indefinitely
  25. tense

    taut or rigid; stretched tight
  26. effervescent

    marked by high spirits or excitement
  27. obstinate

    marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
  28. coarse

    rough to the touch
  29. impoverished

    poor enough to need help from others
  30. vulgar

    of or associated with the great masses of people
  31. bodacious

    unrestrained by convention or propriety
  32. triumphant

    experiencing victory
  33. tranquil

    free from disturbance by heavy waves
  34. dainty

    something considered choice to eat
  35. ardent

    characterized by intense emotion
  36. venerable

    profoundly honored
    SAT word!
  37. amiable

    diffusing warmth and friendliness
  38. benevolent

    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding
  39. haughty

    having or showing arrogant superiority
  40. vehement

    marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions
  41. vile

    morally reprehensible
  42. meek

    humble in spirit or manner
  43. illustrious

    widely known and esteemed
  44. animated

    having life or vigor or spirit
  45. refined

    cultivated and genteel
  46. integral

    existing as an essential constituent or characteristic
  47. convoluted

    highly complex or intricate
    Washington is often accused of comprising convoluted politicians in office.
  48. exalted

    of high moral or intellectual value
  49. disparaging

    expressive of low opinion
  50. trifling

    not worth considering
  51. scrupulous

    characterized by extreme care and great effort
  52. nebulous

    lacking definition or definite content
    Vague or unclear intentions may be described as "nebulous"
  53. spontaneous

    said or done without having been planned in advance
  54. eccentric

    conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
  55. devout

    deeply religious
  56. vexed

    troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances
  57. austere

    of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor
  58. orthodox

    adhering to what is commonly accepted
  59. trivial

    (informal) small and of little importance
  60. contingent

    determined by conditions or circumstances that follow
    The agreement is
    contingent upon your continuing to get good grades.
  61. barbarous

    able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
  62. zealous

    marked by active interest and enthusiasm
  63. forlorn

    marked by or showing hopelessness
  64. impartial

    free from undue bias or preconceived opinions
  65. wanton

    indulgent in immoral or improper behavior
    He slept with her, too? How
    wanton is he?
  66. monotonous

    sounded or spoken in a tone unvarying in pitch
    Dragging on
  67. intricate

    having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate
  68. candid

    openly straightforward and direct without secretiveness
  69. luminous

    softly bright or radiant
  70. homely

    cozy and comfortable
  71. incredulous

    not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving
  72. conclusive

    forming a decisive end or resolution
  73. suggestive

    tending to hint at something improper or indecent
    Look at that
    suggestive dress she's wearing!
  74. aloof

    remote in manner
  75. intermediate

    around the middle of a scale of evaluation
  76. shady

    sheltered from the sun's rays
  77. turbulent

    characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
  78. congenial

    suitable to your needs
  79. erroneous

    containing or characterized by mistakes
  80. palpable

    capable of being perceived
  81. magnanimous

    noble and generous in spirit
  82. rancid

    having an offensive smell or taste
  83. prudent

    marked by sound judgment
  84. malignant

    dangerous to health
  85. disinterested

    unaffected by concern for one's own welfare
  86. staid

    characterized by dignity and propriety
  87. indulgent

    given to yielding to the wishes of someone
  88. whimsical

    determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity
  89. brazen

    unrestrained by convention or propriety
  90. authoritative

    of recognized power or excellence
  91. reflective

    deeply or seriously thoughtful
  92. pragmatic

    concerned with practical matters
  93. economical

    using the minimum of time or resources for effectiveness
  94. invaluable

    having incalculable monetary or intellectual worth
  95. audacious

    disposed to venture or take risks
  96. compassionate

    showing or having sympathy for another's suffering
  97. deplorable

    of very poor quality or condition
  98. tumultuous

    characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
  99. affable

    diffusing warmth and friendliness
  100. unintelligible

    not clearly understood or expressed
    Often used as a synonym of unintelligent
  101. stolid

    having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
  102. ostensible

    appearing as such but not necessarily so
  103. antecedent

    preceding in time or order
  104. astounding

    bewildering or striking dumb with wonder
  105. affluent

    having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value
  106. fastidious

    giving careful attention to detail
  107. arid

    lacking sufficient water or rainfall
  108. lamentable

    bad; unfortunate
  109. uncanny

    surpassing the ordinary or normal
  110. quotidian

    found in the ordinary course of events
  111. reputable

    held in high esteem and honor
  112. paltry

    contemptibly small in amount or size
    That's quite a
    paltry dish you have there for a growing boy.
  113. ostentatious

    intended to attract notice and impress others
  114. auspicious

    indicating favorable circumstances and good luck
  115. amorous

    inclined toward or displaying love
  116. opulent

    rich and superior in quality
  117. bashful

    self-consciously timid
  118. pretentious

    creating an appearance of importance or distinction
  119. angelic

    having a sweet nature
    Innocent and pure
  120. licentious

    lacking moral discipline
    ...Certainly not angelic!
  121. fictitious

    formed or conceived by the imagination
  122. cultured

    marked by refinement in taste and manners
  123. alluring

    highly attractive and able to arouse hope or desire
  124. oblivious

    lacking conscious awareness of
  125. erratic

    liable to sudden unpredictable change
  126. intriguing

    capable of arousing interest or curiosity
  127. astute

    marked by practical hardheaded intelligence
  128. clairvoyant

    someone who can perceive things not present to the senses
    She had a
    clairvoyant sense of the future...
  129. resplendent

    having great beauty
  130. obstreperous

    noisily and stubbornly defiant
  131. incensed

    angered at something unjust or wrong
  132. discordant

    not in agreement or harmony
  133. naive

    marked by or showing unaffected simplicity
    I wouldn't call her crazy, but that decision nevertheless made her seem a bit
    naive.
  134. prosaic

    lacking wit or imagination
  135. revolting

    highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust
  136. reminiscent

    serving to bring to mind
  137. nimble

    moving quickly and lightly
  138. pungent

    strong and sharp to the sense of taste or smell
    What is that
    pungent smell?
  139. diabolical

    showing cunning or ingenuity or wickedness
  140. avid

    marked by active interest and enthusiasm
    I'm an
    avid fan of Vocabulary.com.
    Are you an avid fan of this list?
  141. adorable

    lovable especially in a childlike or naive way
  142. perplexing

    lacking clarity of meaning
  143. frigid

    extremely cold
  144. resentful

    full of or marked by indignant ill will
  145. woeful

    affected by or full of grief or sadness
  146. insidious

    working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
  147. opaque

    not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy
  148. deceptive

    designed to mislead either deliberately or inadvertently
  149. inordinate

    beyond normal limits
  150. sardonic

    disdainfully or ironically humorous
    Humorous or satyrical writing is often described as being sardonic.
  151. balmy

    mild and pleasant
  152. jubilant

    full of high-spirited delight
  153. rudimentary

    being in the earliest stages of development
  154. inestimable

    beyond calculation or measure
  155. prior

    earlier in time
    Simple alternative to "previous"
  156. promiscuous

    casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior
    No one wants to see your Cleveland!
  157. facetious

    cleverly amusing in tone
  158. contemplative

    deeply or seriously thoughtful
  159. provocative

    serving or tending to excite or stimulate
  160. conciliatory

    making or willing to make concessions
  161. nostalgic

    unhappy about being away and longing for familiar things
    We felt rather
    nostalgic after playing with a Koosh ball from our childhood!
  162. malevolent

    wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  163. tempestuous

    characterized by violent emotions or behavior
  164. taciturn

    habitually reserved and uncommunicative
  165. taut

    pulled or drawn tight
  166. immutable

    not subject or susceptible to change or variation
  167. lustrous

    reflecting light
    Not to be confused with "luscious".
  168. depraved

    deviating from what is considered moral or right or proper
  169. obsequious

    attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
  170. clandestine

    conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
  171. commendable

    worthy of high praise
    To commend someone for their work is to praise or appreciate them for what they've done.
  172. impromptu

    with little or no preparation or forethought
  173. aromatic

    having a strong pleasant odor
  174. disreputable

    lacking respectability in character, behavior or appearance
  175. vivacious

    vigorous and animated
  176. meager

    deficient in amount or quality or extent
  177. exorbitant

    greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation
    You're not being rational if you're being exorbitant.
  178. antagonistic

    characterized by feelings of intense dislike or hostility
  179. unconventional

    not conforming to standards
  180. surreptitious

    marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
  181. complaisant

    showing a cheerful willingness to do favors for others
  182. incipient

    only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
  183. refractory

    stubbornly resistant to authority or control
    His
    refractory demeanor made him an unworthy candidate for the job.
  184. ubiquitous

    being present everywhere at once
    Cell phones have become a
    ubiquitous aspect of society---nearly everyone has one!
  185. luscious

    having strong sexual appeal
  186. premeditated

    characterized by deliberate purpose and a degree of planning
  187. outlandish

    noticeably or extremely unconventional or unusual
  188. overt

    open and observable; not secret or hidden
  189. fervid

    characterized by intense emotion
  190. flamboyant

    tending to attract attention; marked by ostentatious display
  191. mundane

    found in the ordinary course of events
  192. incorrigible

    impervious to correction by punishment
  193. tantalizing

    arousing desire or expectation for something unattainable
  194. heinous

    extremely wicked or deeply criminal
    Never have I seen a crime quite so
    heinous.
  195. indubitable

    too obvious to be doubted
  196. smug

    marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction
  197. omniscient

    knowing, seeing, or understanding everything
  198. imperceptible

    impossible or difficult to sense
  199. convivial

    occupied with or fond of the pleasures of good company
  200. voracious

    devouring or craving food in great quantities
    I'm so voracious I could eat a horse!
  201. clarion

    loud and clear
  202. inane

    devoid of intelligence
    Unintelligible
  203. torpid

    in a condition of biological rest or suspended animation
  204. detrimental

    causing harm or injury
  205. tawdry

    tastelessly showy
  206. trite

    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
  207. colloquial

    characteristic of informal spoken language or conversation
  208. candescent

    glowing from great heat
  209. cogent

    powerfully persuasive
  210. ravishing

    stunningly beautiful
    Also used to describe extreme hunger. A person voracious enough to eat a horse may describe themselves as "ravishing" for food.
  211. intrusive

    tending to enter uninvited
  212. asperity

    harshness of manner
  213. outlandish

    noticeably or extremely unconventional or unusual
    Barbara's purple house is somewhat
    outlandish; personally, though, I like it.
  214. effulgent

    radiating or as if radiating light
  215. pristine

    immaculately clean and unused
  216. torrid

    characterized by intense emotion
    Be careful not to conflate this with "torpid"
  217. reprehensible

    bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure
  218. fallacious

    containing or based on incorrect reasoning
  219. forthright

    characterized by directness in manner or speech
  220. inconspicuous

    not prominent or readily noticeable
  221. nefarious

    extremely wicked
  222. fortuitous

    lucky; occurring by happy chance
  223. redolent

    having a strong pleasant odor
  224. indeterminate

    not fixed or known in advance
  225. abhorrent

    offensive to the mind
  226. cryptic

    having a secret or hidden meaning
  227. enlightening

    tending to increase knowledge or dissipate ignorance
  228. preeminent

    greatest in importance, degree, or significance
  229. factious

    dissenting with the majority opinion
  230. scurrilous

    expressing offensive, insulting, or scandalous criticism
  231. calamitous

    having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences
  232. bona fide

    not counterfeit or copied
  233. recalcitrant

    stubbornly resistant to authority or control
  234. egotistical

    having an inflated idea of one's own importance
  235. lethargic

    deficient in alertness or activity
  236. poignancy

    a quality that arouses emotions, especially pity or sorrow
    Marley and Me was notorious for its
    poignancy---eliciting tears in even the most macho of men.
    A moment is often described as being "poignant".
  237. brassy

    resembling the sound of a brass instrument
  238. altruistic

    showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others
  239. somnolent

    inclined to or marked by drowsiness
  240. illusory

    having the nature of something unreal or deceptive
  241. bombastic

    ostentatiously lofty in style
  242. prosy

    lacking wit or imagination
  243. neglectful

    not showing due care or attention
  244. malleable

    easily influenced
    Malleable metal is metal that has been heated to be moved or shaped more easily. Likewise, malleable people are people easily influenced, shaped or changed by those around them. Most children begin very malleable and lose this malleability over time. In psychology, the phenomena is known as plasticity.
  245. inconsequential

    lacking worth or importance
  246. scraggy

    having a sharply uneven surface or outline
    Atop the
    scraggy mountain even the most skilled of hikers may struggle.
  247. cantankerous

    stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
  248. illusive

    based on or having the nature of a fantasy
  249. quintessential

    representing the perfect example of a class or quality
  250. chipper

    having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air
  251. macho

    used of men; markedly masculine in appearance or manner
  252. gargantuan

    of great mass; huge and bulky
  253. extemporaneous

    with little or no preparation or forethought
    I extemporaneously created a list on Vocabulary.com.
  254. ambrosial

    worthy of the gods
  255. myopic

    lacking foresight or scope
  256. meretricious

    tastelessly showy
    A sports car is considered
    meretricious by some.
  257. listless

    marked by low spirits; showing no enthusiasm
  258. idiosyncratic

    peculiar to the individual
  259. sleazy

    morally degraded
  260. amnesic

    of or relating to or caused by amnesia
  261. archetypal

    of an original type after which other things are patterned
  262. nugatory

    of no real value
    A nugget of gold
  263. slumberous

    inclined to or marked by drowsiness
  264. euphonious

    having a pleasant sound
  265. euphoric

    characterized by a feeling of well-being or elation
  266. mesmerizing

    attracting and holding interest as if by a spell
  267. atypical

    not representative of a group, class, or type
    Simple, yet effective in writing
  268. phantasmal

    resembling or characteristic of a phantom
  269. titillating

    pleasantly and superficially exciting
  270. scrumptious

    extremely pleasing to the sense of taste
  271. egocentric

    limited to or caring only about yourself and your own needs
  272. incommodious

    uncomfortably or inconveniently small
    A bit of an old-fashioned word.
  273. cacophonous

    having an unpleasant sound
  274. scabrous

    rough to the touch, as if covered with scales or projections
  275. crepuscular

    like or relating to twilight; dim
    Dogs are known for being
    crepuscular, being most active at sunrise and sunset.
  276. deviant

    a person whose behavior does not conform to social norms
  277. empathetic

    showing ready comprehension of others' states
    Sympathy is showing an understanding of another's emotions. Empathy is personally identifying with another's emotions (putting yourself in someone another's shoes).
  278. moronic

    having a mental age of between eight and twelve years
  279. duplicitous

    marked by deliberate deceptiveness
  280. limpid

    clear and bright
  281. tenebrous

    dark and gloomy
  282. luminescent

    emitting light not caused by heat
  283. somniferous

    sleep inducing
  284. persnickety

    characterized by excessive attention to trivial details
  285. delusory

    causing one to believe what is not true or fail to believe what is true
  286. reputable

    held in high esteem and honor
    John is a very
    reputable surgeon --- he'll get the job done right.
  287. snoopy

    offensively curious or inquisitive
    Don't go snooping through my house!
  288. applaudable

    worthy of high praise
  289. pedantic

    marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning
  290. loopy

    informal or slang terms for mentally irregular
  291. languid

    lacking spirit or liveliness
  292. benign

    not dangerous to health; not recurrent or progressive
    The tumor we once thought cancerous was found to be
    benign.
  293. capricious

    determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity
  294. laconic

    brief and to the point
    A
    laconic individual isn't very talkative.
    Usually used to describe words (e.g. a laconic individual isn't very talkative).
  295. satyrical

    of or relating to or having the characteristics of a satyr
  296. quixotic

    not sensible about practical matters
    One of the coolest words of all time (in my humble opinion) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Antonym of "pragmatic"
  297. frivolous

    not serious in content, attitude, or behavior
  298. formidable

    extremely impressive in strength or excellence
  299. gregarious

    temperamentally seeking and enjoying the company of others
  300. vapid

    lacking significance or liveliness or spirit or zest
    He seemed a bit
    vapid despite having won the game.
  301. keen

    intense or sharp
  302. arbitrary

    based on or subject to individual discretion or preference
  303. inevitable

    incapable of being avoided or prevented
  304. sparse

    not dense or plentiful
  305. ambiguous

    having more than one possible meaning
  306. spurious

    plausible but false
  307. incandescent

    characterized by ardent emotion, intensity, or brilliance
  308. extroverted

    at ease in talking to others
    My
    extroverted husband does the schmoozing at parties.
    Antonym of "introverted". An introverted classmate may not talk to others around them.
  309. malicious

    having the nature of threatening evil
  310. nihilistic

    relating to a complete rejection of moral values and beliefs
    Jeffrey Dahmer was known for being a nihilist.
  311. liberal

    showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
  312. conservative

    resistant to change
  313. conscientious

    characterized by extreme care and great effort
  314. hypothetical

    a conjectural possibility or circumstance
  315. garrulous

    full of trivial conversation
    My conversation with Sam about the weather was
    garrulous.
    Small talk.
  316. ulterior

    lying beyond what is openly revealed or avowed
  317. wistful

    showing pensive sadness
  318. pensive

    deeply or seriously thoughtful
  319. esoteric

    understandable only by an enlightened inner circle
  320. xenophobic

    having abnormal fear or hatred of foreigners
  321. zany

    ludicrous or foolish
    Eccentric yet humorous (e.g. a clown).
  322. obsolete

    no longer in use
    Hardcover dictionaries are becoming
    obsolete with the rise of websites like vocabulary.com.
  323. obscure

    not clearly understood or expressed
  324. onerous

    burdensome or difficult to endure
  325. frenetic

    fast and energetic in an uncontrolled or wild way
    Love this word!
  326. eclectic

    selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas
  327. resilient

    recovering readily from adversity, depression, or the like
  328. disdainful

    showing arrogant superiority to those one views as unworthy
  329. variegated

    having an assortment of colors
  330. imperative

    requiring attention or action
  331. loquacious

    full of trivial conversation
  332. banal

    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    The word "plethora" has become quite
    banal among writers.

    See "hackneyed"
  333. analogous

    similar or equivalent in some respects
    You've probably heard the word "analogy". Dog is to mammal as eagle is to bird. Boy is to girl as man is to woman. An analogy is a likening of two sets of items that would otherwise remain unconnected. Analogous items are items somehow linked together in a fashion similar to that of an analogy.
  334. jaunty

    having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air
  335. tyrannical

    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
  336. cynical

    believing the worst of human nature and motives
    Not to sound
    cynical, but I think the show will be a flop.
  337. ethereal

    characterized by unusual lightness and delicacy
  338. fervent

    characterized by intense emotion
    A
    fervent speech was delivered to Congress by the President with regard to the new Bill in works.
  339. ominous

    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
  340. jaded

    exhausted
    I'm still a bit
    jaded from work but I'll try my best to help.
    ...after a long day of learning vocab!
  341. feral

    wild and menacing
    That
    feral beast is going to eat me!
  342. tangible

    perceptible by the senses, especially the sense of touch
  343. exasperated

    greatly annoyed; out of patience
  344. liable

    subject to legal action
  345. hackneyed

    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    See "banal"
  346. hasty

    excessively quick
  347. salient

    conspicuous, prominent, or important
  348. unanimous

    in complete agreement
  349. impetuous

    characterized by undue haste and lack of thought
  350. qualitative

    involving distinguishing attributes
  351. quaint

    attractively old-fashioned
  352. rational

    consistent with or based on or using reason
    Let's not jump to any conclusions and do something irrational now...
  353. nascent

    being born or beginning
  354. latent

    potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
  355. miscellaneous

    consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
  356. mischievous

    naughtily or annoyingly playful
  357. morose

    showing a brooding ill humor
  358. judicious

    marked by the exercise of common sense in practical matters
  359. pompous

    puffed up with vanity
    See egocentric
  360. vain

    having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  361. stoic

    seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive
    He was quite
    stoic in his answers to police.
  362. earnest

    devout or heartfelt
  363. retroactive

    affecting things past
  364. shrewd

    marked by practical hardheaded intelligence
    Shrewd often has a negative connotation. Crafty, sly and even manipulative are often used interchangeably with "shrewd"
  365. shallow

    not deep or strong; not affecting one deeply
    Shallow people are often harsh, cold or indifferent toward others' emotions.
Created on March 24, 2012
(updated October 15, 2012)