List of Adjectives

This is a list of adjectives that I have put together for ESL/EFL students and teachers. It is not in any way trying to be a comprehensive list, as that would be just to difficult to learn and memorize!

I have therefore chosen about five of the most common words for each topic.

Did you know that when you use more than one adjective to describe a noun or pronoun, you can't just put them in any order you like! There are guidelines determining the order in which the adjectives need to go. If you would like a free lesson plan using this adjective list, combined with the rules about their order, then have a look at my lesson on Ordering Adjectives.

Appearance Adjectives

ugly (things) drab, hideous, unsightly, frightful, plain, awful
beautiful (things) lovely, magnificent, marvelous, stunning, exquisite
happy cheerful, delighted, upbeat, chipper, jolly
unhappy dejected, despondent, dismal, downcast, bleak
thin (nice) petite, slender, slight, slim
thin (not nice) scrawny, emaciated, haggard, skinny
fat (nice) well-built, stocky, plump, chubby
fat (not nice) flabby, obese
big colossal, humongous, immense, mammoth, massive
small puny, scrawny, minuscule, tiny, diminutive
few sparse, meager, paltry, scarce
many abundant, substantial, numerous, bountiful, ample


witty to be cleaver and funny
zealous to have a lot of enthusiasm
relieved to be free, released from a burden or pain
eager enthusiastic, keen
obedient willing to listen to authority
agreeable readily agrees, pleasing
easy-going someone who is easy to get along with
grumpy bad-tempered
chatty someone who talks alot
rude impolite


crooked not straight
hollow empty inside
shallow not deep
curved rounded
steep with a high gradient or pitch
triangular with three sides
semi-circular half a circle

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