Table of Contents
Imagine your crush paying you a compliment. Which would you rather hear?
Chances are that you’d prefer that your romantic interest call you delightful rather than agreeable. But why is this the case if both have similar meanings?
It’s because words are much more than their literal definitions; they also carry different connotations and implications. To elaborate, agreeable is an apt adjective to describe a boss or colleague, but it’s not fitting for your spouse. On the other hand, delightful is the adjective you’d use to depict someone you’re fond of because it conveys a degree of closeness, whether romantic or platonic. That’s why adjectives matter—they help articulate your thoughts and feelings.
Below, we’ll review 35 unique adjectives you can use to describe someone, whether you’re offering them a compliment or for other purposes.
Unique Adjectives To Describe a Person
The list of adjectives you can use to describe someone is endless. They can be casual or formal, basic or advanced. Below, you’ll find adjectives that are somewhere in the middle ground—easy enough to incorporate into your vocabulary, but sophisticated enough to be deemed impressive.
When you hear the word chiseled, think of Hercules in the 1997 Disney movie, who has “strong and defined features as if formed with a chisel.” This adjective is mainly used to describe a man’s facial features or muscular physique.
His chiseled good looks caught the attention of all the women at the bar.
If a man gets a haircut, shaves his scruffy beard, puts on a neatly pressed tuxedo, and wears his fanciest and shiniest shoes, you can describe him as dapper, which is typically a masculine adjective that means “neat in looks and appearance.”
Tim got a haircut and is looking rather dapper today.
Graceful is an adjective that describes someone as “elegant and moving in a smooth, attractive way.” It’s the perfect word to use to describe a woman with a long and elegant dress who seems to be floating rather than walking.
She looked so graceful in that flowy white dress.
Have you ever met someone who just radiates positive energy? You can call that person radiant, which literally means “glowing brightly,” but this word is often used to describe someone’s look or aura.
She was known for her radiant demeanor, which seemingly put everyone under a spell.
Someone who is ravishing might make your jaw drop because they are “strikingly attractive, entrancing, and out-of-this-world beautiful.”
I’ll never forget how ravishing my wife looked on our wedding day.
When your date shows up wearing their best, most stylish clothes, they’re trying to make a good impression by appearing spiffy.
Wow, Jason! That’s quite the outfit. You look rather spiffy.
Bubbly is a fitting adjective to describe someone who is “enthusiastic and has a zest for life,” like your baby sister who gets excited at almost anything.
Dawn has a bubbly personality and is always the life of the party.
Someone who is jovial is “good-humored, cheerful, and friendly.” This is one of the more advanced adjectives on this list, so you may turn some heads when you use it.
His jovial personality was contagious, and soon everyone was in just as friendly a mood.
Your middle school art teacher who loved wearing different colored shoes, had three cats, and seven goldfish in her room? Yeah, you can call her quirky, which describes someone as “having a lot of unexpected and unusual traits in an interesting or appealing way.”
My brother has always been quirky, so it didn’t surprise me when he appeared in a colorful tuxedo at the party.
A vivacious woman is one who is “attractively lively, spirited, and animated.”
His three vivacious daughters always kept him on his toes.
Zesty food is spicy and bold, but enjoyable. Someone with a zesty personality is the same—“spunky but agreeable.”
She became class president in part because of her zesty personality.
You should be proud of yourself if someone says you’re adept because that means you’re “very skilled or thoroughly proficient at doing something.”
Mr. Pablo has been running the company for years and is adept at recognizing what issues should be addressed urgently and which ones can wait.
If you want to be a business person, make sure you’re astute or “good at reading the room, making observations, and using them to their advantage.”
He’s an astute businessman and knows exactly what to look for in potential investors.
Someone who has clear perspectives on various subjects and enjoys sharing their wisdom and knowledge with others can be deemed insightful.
I love listening to my grandma’s stories because she’s so insightful, and I always learn a lot from her.
Don’t be intimidated by this lengthy word. If you’re perspicacious, that means you’re “sharp, intelligent, and have a profound understanding of many things.”
My daughter is perspicacious and quickly learned to decipher Pig Latin.
Someone who is prudent is “wise, thinks about the future, and is careful not to take unnecessary risks.”
My twin brother and I are so different—while he’s always prudent, I can be careless sometimes.
A savvy person has practical knowledge and common sense. Street smart can be considered an informal synonym of this word.
My savvy best friend knows her way around the city and knows which restaurants have the best food for the lowest price.
Witty describes a person as having a quick and clever sense of humor, like your best friend who always has the best comebacks.
We love having him around because he’s so witty, and conversations with him are always a blast.
Why are you looking for negative adjectives to describe someone? We hope it’s because you're working on a project that requires descriptive writing, and not because you’re about to unleash a storm of fury on someone. In any case, the adjectives below are suitable to describe someone’s appearance, personality, or intellect when they’re not at their best.
Have you ever woken up in a panic because you’re late for class? You have no time to get ready, so you simply run out the door as you are, with your hair a mess and your clothes wrinkled. Yeah, that’s a disheveled look.
I knew something was wrong when his usually neat appearance was replaced by a disheveled one.
When you place your hand on a table only to realize it’s sticky and full of dirt, you can describe that table as grimy. Therefore, someone with a grimy appearance looks, well, dirty and perhaps as if they haven’t showered in a few days.
My toddler returned from his park play date grimy and covered from head to toe in mud.
Someone who is scrawny is “exceptionally thin, bony, and fragile-looking.” It’s what high-school boys sometimes call each other when they’re at the gym lifting weights.
I told Jeff that when I was thirteen, I was scrawny too, and I didn’t get muscles until I had been working out for three years straight!
If you have an important interview, the last thing you want to do is look slovenly, which means “untidy, careless, and dirty in appearance.”
After the breakup, I was in a slovenly state for a few months.
You may want to avoid bitter people because they’re “angry, resentful, and cynical” and often try to get you to be the same way.
The runner-up was bitter when I won first place, but I was friendly toward him either way.
Someone brash is overly assertive and aggressively confident, like that coworker who got fired for constantly telling the boss how things would improve if he were the one in charge.
His brash personality was really hard to get used to, so I had to transfer to another department.
Dull is another way to say boring. Hopefully, no one will ever call you this, as that would mean you’re uninteresting.
We broke up because he was dull and never wanted to do anything fun with me.
Someone who is lackadaisical is “carelessly lazy and never has any enthusiasm.”
While we were all excited about the party, Jerry was lackadaisical and brought everyone down.
Someone who is miserly is “greedy and extremely stingy with money.” In other words, don’t expect your miserly coworker to pitch in to buy your boss a bouquet of get-well flowers.
Betty is miserly, so I knew she wouldn’t want to donate anything to charity.
Pompous people are no fun because they think they’re better than everyone else.
No one wanted to be around Lucas since he was always so pompous.
Tact is a noun that refers to one’s ability to say things in a way that doesn’t offend others. So, if you’re tactless, that means you often “say and do things that annoy and offend people.”
I can’t believe she said that; she’s so tactless.
Hanging around your friend with a high IQ might make you feel like you’re dense, which means “stupid or slow to understand things.” But don’t worry, you’re probably not.
Failing the test three times had me wondering if I was dense.
Good luck trying to change your dogmatic lab partner’s mind, as a person described like this is “certain that their beliefs are right and that others should accept them, while being dismissive of any evidence to the contrary.”
The professor was too dogmatic for my liking, so I had to drop out of that class and find a more suitable one.
Watch out! There’s a monster behind you.
Did you fall for that? If so, you may be gullible, which means you “believe everything you hear and are easily tricked.”
I’m quite gullible, so I fall for all of my brother’s tricks.
Gulp. This word describes “someone who has no skills and is generally incompetent.”
Unfortunately, we had to fire him because he was inept.
Someone who is rigid is “not willing to change their ideas or behaviors,” which can sometimes be problematic.
She’s a rigid boss, so it always has to be her way, even with other people presenting good ideas.
When you’re shortsighted, you can only see what’s close to you. But shortsighted has another meaning: “not thinking of the future or the possible effects of what might happen.”
The company crumbled because of its shortsighted CEO, who took many unnecessary risks.
Find the Right Words
Adjectives are more than mere words that describe someone or something. Think of them as magical vessels that help express the nuances of your mind, perspectives, feelings, and emotions. And now, with this list of thirty-five unique adjectives, you have the fuel you need to ensure your words land exactly as you intend them to.
Remember, when it comes to adjectives, less is more. Using one or two precise adjectives rather than several vague ones is better.
So, if you’re having trouble finding the right word, LanguageTool can help. Not only does this multilingual writing assistant help you quickly access synonyms for any word, but it can also help you rewrite entire sentences, so you can express yourself as clearly as possible. Go ahead and try this stupendous tool—you won’t regret it!