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+1000 Adjectives to help you write brilliant essays

NO – Avoid using these words at all costs

ExaggeratedPowerfulBetterUnique
InterestingGoodEffectiveBad
DescriptiveGreatPositiveNegative
Realistic

Words which describe SITUATIONS

How stimulating or stable a situation is

Sluggish
Stagnant
Fluid
Fast-flowing
Settled
Stable
Secure
Safe
Humdrum
Unremarkable
Comfortable
Easy
Changeable
Uncertain
Unpredictable
Poised
Delicate
Precarious
Perilous
Dangerous
Turbulent
Volatile
Novel
Refreshing
Challenging
Stimulating
Difficult
Problematic
Awkward
Uncomfortable

How promising a situation is

Promising
Opportune
Tantalising
Bleak
Unpromising
Grave
Grim
Ominous
Urgent
Desperate
Perilous
Dangerous
Weak
Vulnerable
Helpless
Strong
Commanding
Triumphant
Victorious

What is the mood or atmosphere of the situation?

Mysterious
Eerie
Tense
Uncomfortable
Awkward
Intimate
Relaxed
Poignant
Sad
Cool
Frosty
Hostile
Turbulent
Supportive
Friendly
Light
Warm
Humorous
Calm
Still
Thoughtful
Reflective
Meditative
Prayerful
Lively
Busy
Morbid
Bleak
Sombre
Sober

What is a relationship like?

Hostile
Strained
Awkward
Distrustful
Suspicious
Distant
Cool
Respectful
Cordial
Easy
Relaxed
Friendly
Good-humoured
Close
Intimate
Trusting
Loyal
Caring
Affectionate
Passionate
Fiery
Turbulent
Changeable
Imbalanced (explain why!)
Competitive
Indifferent

What is the power balance in a relationship like?

e.g. One character is equal to the other
Equal to…
Superior to…
Dominant over…
Influential over…
Responsible for…
Reliant on…
Deferent to…
Dependent on…
Submissive to…

Words which describe CHARACTERS

Attributes, Qualities, Weaknesses

When faced with situations, she is…

Experienced
Mature
Innocent
Naive
Impressionable
Inquisitive
Curious
Absorbed
Focused
Indifferent
Uninterested
Distant
Decisive
Self-assured
Daring
Adventurous
Bold
Timid
Cautious
Insecure
Optimistic
Upbeat
Pessimistic
Defeatist
Complacent
Relaxed
Purposeful
Urgent
Panic-stricken

When faced with decisions, she is…

Loyal
Committed
Courageous
Principled
Methodical
Rational
Wise
Prudent
Judicious
Balanced
Cautious
Wary
Cunning
Shrewd
Canny
Pragmatic
Opportunistic
Fickle
Presumptuous
Complacent
Impulsive
Reckless
Wild
Defiant
Calculating
Cold
Objective
Sentimental
Volatile
Unpredictable
Changeable
Ponderous
Indecisive
Dithering
Ruthless
Uncompromising
Compliant
Harsh
Spiteful
Vindictive
Receptive
Open-minded
Merciful
Forgiving
Understanding

When faced with challenges or opportunities he is…

Quick
Sharp
Canny
Savvy
Informed
Expert
Observant
Perceptive
Resourceful
Inventive
Imaginative
Versatile
Adaptable
Flexible
Resilient
Spirited
Buoyant
Patient
Persistent
Tough
Composed
Coolheaded
Objective
Mature
Rational
Reasonable
Logical
Sensible
Realistic
Practical
Excitable
Fanciful
Visionary
Ignorant
Ill-informed
Weak
Brittle
Cowardly
Panicky
Flappable
Impatient
Childish
Simplistic
Stubborn
Defiant
Stoical
Philosophical
Thoughtful
Reflective
Fanciful
Excitable
Delusional
Confrontational
Direct
Evasive
Submissive
Complacent
Lazy
Suspicious
Wary
Sceptical
Accepting
Credulous

Attitude, Tone, Approach

When thinking about himself, he is

Proud
Conceited
Arrogant
Self-pitying
Smug
Grounded
Humble
Modest
Ambitious
Self-critical
Self-doubting
Insecure
Hesitant
Ponderous

When others are relying on her, she is…

Flaky
Forgetful
Unreliable
Reliable
Dependable
Determined
Considerate
Loyal
Selfish
Fickle
Lazy
Incompetent
Conflicted

When talking about a topic or to a person, she is…

How willing you are to reveal your feelings

Open
Playful
Guarded
Secretive
Coy
Cryptic
Flirtatious

How respectfully, sincerely, or formally you approach the topic

Ironic
Sarcastic
Light
Relaxed
Casual
Flippant
Irreverent
Dismissive
Sincere
Frank
Heartfelt
Earnest
Respectful
Reverent
Professional
Formal
Conversational
Colloqial

The state of mind in which you approach the topic

Thoughtful
Reflective
Meditative
Doubtful
Questioning
Hesitant
Intense
Impassioned
Distressed
Tormented
Calm
Collected
Composed
Insecure
Anxious
Weary
Panicked
Stressed
Vigilant
Alert
Interested
Engrossed
Absorbed
Preoccupied
Distracted
Bored
Passive
Puzzled
Troubled
Concerned
Quizzical
Fixated
Obsessed

Attitudes adopted towards the topic

Confident
Affirmative
Relaxed
Complacent
Indifferent
Open-minded
Receptive
Curious
Inquisitive
Indifferent
Uninterested
Prejudiced
Skewed
Doubtful
Sceptical
Cynical
Disappointed
Regretful
Mournful
Enthusiastic
Excited
Hopeful
Upbeat
Optimistic
Plaintive
Forlorn
Dismayed
Despairing
Defiant
Insistent
Motivated
Disapproving

Attitudes or positions adopted towards people

Bitter
Resentful
Spiteful
Patronising
Condescending
Contemptuous
Scornful
Loyal
Thankful
Respectful
Reverent
Worshipful
Admiring
Sympathetic
Pitying
Affectionate
Curious
Interested
Indifferent
Suspicious
Trusting
Protective
Possessive
Admiring
Worshipful
Deferent
Approachable

Emotions or feelings drawn out by a topic, event, or situation

Shock
Alarm
Confusion
Calm
Relaxation
Peacefulness
Fear
Terror
Horror
Jealousy
Envy
Resentment
Guilt
Remorse
Regret
Shame
Embarrassment
Grief
Sadness
Distress
Anguish
Anxiety
Worry
Frustration
Stress
Joy
Happiness
Pleasure
Amusement
Delight
Love
Affection
Lust
Longing
Desire
Anger
Hatred
Confidence
Sureness
Doubt
Insecurity
Relief
Reassurance
Disgust
Repulsion
Distaste
Numbness
Nothingness
Fulfilment
Completeness
Contentedness
Happiness
Loneliness
Ambivalence (‘torn’)

Words which describe THINGS

Things you can touch and hold

Texture or consistency

Dry
Rough
Chunky
Smooth
Even
Bumpy
Wavy
Fresh
Crisp
Crunchy
Squelchy
Bubbly
Soft
Downy
Feathery
Fluffy
Hard
Firm
Stony
Rubbery
Leathery
Wooden
Metallic
Springy
Chewy
Bouncy
Silky
Luxurious
Gravelly
Sandy
Grainy
Thick
Viscous
Syrupy
Sticky
Thin
Watery
Stringy
Tough
Dry
Tender
Juicy
Coarse
Crude
Fine
Sandy
Powdery
Pure
Refined

Complexion (of skin)

Healthy
Ripe
Bright
Shiny
Lustrous
Rich
Pure
Flawless
Mottled
Blotchy
Speckled
Streaked
Withered
Sunken
Sickly
Pale
Dark
Dull

Constitution

Solid
Whole
Hollow
Empty
Broken
Fragmented
Incomplete
Layered
Plump
Swollen
Withered
Shrunken
Limp

Temperature

Hot
Cold
Scalding
Cool
Tepid
Mild
Warm
Weight
Heavy
Weighty
Leaden
Light
Airy

Resistance

Brittle
Stiff
Malleable
Flexible
Bendy
Wobbly
Limp
Delicate
Flimsy
Weak
Tough
Resistant
Strong
Solid
Secure

Moisture

Wet
Damp
Moist
Juicy
Dry
Arid
Parched
Barren

Things you can see but maybe also feel or hear

Shape

Rounded
Curved
Straight
Flat
Jagged
Spiky
Square
Angular
Blunt
Dull (not sharp)
Piercing
Sharp
Tall
Towering
Looming
Thick
Fat
Squat
Stocky
Thin
Meagre
Slight
Sleek
Slim
Lean
Bulky
Chunky
Neat
Compact
Trim

Colour

Bold
Vibrant
Pale
Pallid
Watery
Metallic
Natural
Earthy
Electric
Artificial

Motion, movement, process

Calm
Still
Busy
Active
Rolling
Smooth
Gentle
Subtle
Discreet
Gradual
Free
Unrestrained
Flowing
Fluent
Agile
Supple
Elegant
Graceful
Natural
Effortless
Practised
Coordinated
Ceremonious
Improvised
Amateur
Rhythmic
Mechanical
Repetitive
Stiff
Restricted
Jerky
Jagged
Violent
Forceful
Random
Irregular
Abrupt
Sudden
Disjunct
Persistent
Constant
Gradual
Incremental
Disorganised
Chaotic
Expert
Skilful
Refined
Clumsy
Awkward
Energetic
Spritely
Purposeful
Direct
Lack-lustre
Weak
Half-hearted
Lengthy
Drawn-out
Sustained
Brief
Fleeting
Pedestrian
Meandering
Drifting
Stealthy

Familiarity and value

Exotic
Wild
Magical
Precious
Commonplace
Ordinary
Prosaic
Domestic
Everyday
Cheap

Spaces and Places

Distribution, arrangement, or design (in time or space)

Clustered
Concentrated
Dense
Grouped
Spread-out
Scattered
Separated
Plentiful
Full
Sparse
Minimalist
Revealing
Formal
Arranged
Patterned
Adjacent
Juxtaposed
Uniform
Alternating
Decreasing
Weakening
Increasing
Growing
Intensifying
Dotted
Lined-up
Messy
Cluttered
Chaotic
Sprawling
Improvised
Rustic
Rudimentary
Run-down
Neat
Tidy
Compact
Orderly
Organised
Modern
Schematic
Constant
Relentless
Sporadic
Random
Regular
Frequent
Occasional
Rare
Isolated
Loose
Baggy
Tight
Suffocating
Protective
Covered
Imposing
Grand
Vast
Cavernous
Expansive
Spacious
Luxurious
Plush
Intricate
Complex
Decorative
Ornamented
Plain
Minimalist
Diminutive
Squat
Cramped
Plain
Austere
Decorative
Plush
Lavish
Layered

Hospitability

Welcoming
Cosy
Inviting
Comfortable
Amenable
Accommodating
Fertile
Plentiful
Hostile
Uninviting
Threatening
Intimidating
Barren
Harsh
Empty
Functional

Effects that these things can have on you

Attention-grabbing
Shocking
Surprising
Provocative
Stimulating
Exciting
Energising
Overwhelming
Awesome
Tiring
Exhausting
Draining
Unnerving
Disconcerting
Disturbing
Weakening
Deadening
Stultifying
Imposing
Intimdating
Daunting
Reassuring
Comforting
Soothing
Relaxing
Calming
Inviting
Welcoming
Charming
Appealing
Tempting
Tantalising
Seductive
Stifling
Suffocating
Frustrating
Agitating
Dispiriting
Discouraging
Disappointing
Intriguing
Mesmerising
Captivating
Inspiring
Pleasing
Gratifying
Uninviting
Fulfilling
Rewarding
Devastating
Mortifying
Embarrassing

Judgments you can make about experiences, processes, or outcomes

Worthwhile
Rewarding
Satisfying
Accomplished
Complete
Futile
Wasteful
Pointless
Disappointing
Underwhelming
Encouraging
Promising
Flattering
Empowering
Invigorating
Eye-opening
Revelatory
Thought-provoking
Humbling
Chastening
Haunting
Disturbing
Exciting
Thrilling
Disconcerting
Unnerving
Enlightening
Enriching
Educational
Confusing
Confounding
Frustrating
Unresolved
Incomplete
Messy

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