List of Descriptive Adjectives

Stacy Zeiger
boy writing

Looking for a way to improve your homeschooler's writing? Helping your child use descriptive adjectives in his writing is one way in which you can help your child improve his prose dramatically.

Focus on having your child practice replacing commonly used adjectives, such as "mad," with some of these more descriptive alternatives in order to create a clearer picture while writing. Many of these adjectives help focus the writing. For example, saying someone is "ecstatic" and someone is "content" are two very different ways to say someone is "happy".

Ways to Say Mad/Angry

  • Angry
  • Frustrated
  • Upset
  • Irate
  • Furious
  • Heated
  • Bitter
  • Cross
  • Cranky
  • Annoyed

Ways to Say Sad

  • Forlorn
  • Disappointed
  • Blue
  • Down
  • Glum
  • Tearful
  • Sorrowful
  • Depressed
  • Unhappy
  • Miserable

Ways to Say Nice

  • Sweet
  • Friendly
  • Kind
  • Likable
  • Pleasant
  • Lovely
  • Amicable
  • Polite
  • Warm
  • Cordial

Ways to Say Happy

  • Delighted
  • Ecstatic
  • Joyful
  • Content
  • Elated
  • Jubilant
  • Perky
  • Upbeat
  • Jolly
  • Merry

Ways to Say Pretty

  • Beautiful
  • Handsome
  • Fair
  • Fine
  • Adorable
  • Glamorous
  • Alluring
  • Picture-perfect
  • Gorgeous
  • Lovely

Ways to Say Good

  • Well
  • Fine
  • Great
  • Acceptable
  • Agreeable
  • Okay
  • All Right
  • Nice
  • Satisfied
  • Positive

Ways to Say Tired

  • Fatigued
  • Worn out
  • Exhausted
  • Weary
  • Inactive
  • Frail
  • Weak
  • Sleepy
  • Droopy
  • Bored

Ways to Say Big

  • Huge
  • Giant
  • Gigantic
  • Enormous
  • Large
  • Gargantuan
  • Tremendous
  • Colossal
  • Massive
  • Humongous

Ways to Say Small

  • Teeny
  • Tiny
  • Miniature
  • Little
  • Wee
  • Baby
  • Itty-bitty
  • Mini
  • Petite
  • Teensy

Printable List of Adjectives

In addition to these adjectives, encourage your child to combine adjectives when describing items. For example, say "the adorable, brown dog" instead of just the "the red dog." Teach your child to use a thesaurus to liven up their writing and keep lists of new adjectives they discover. You can also try banning certain generic adjectives to help your child think outside the box to make his writing more lively. No matter what you do, keep in mind that the best way to become a better writer is to practice. Give your student ample opportunity to practice writing, and the skill will eventually flourish.

If you need help downloading the printable list, check out these helpful tips.

List of Descriptive Adjectives