100 English Adjectives (Includes Opposites, Example Sentences, and Pronunciation Guide)
Updated: May 2
This page features a list of English adjectives. It is ideal for beginner English learners, but it is beneficial for learners at higher skill levels as well.
(Note: This page is best viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.)
Adjectives are words that describe people, places, things, and situations. Grammatically, adjectives describe nouns. For example:
"It was a cold day."
"Why is it so quiet in here?"
"His brother is really tall."
As you can see, adjectives can be used in multiple parts of a sentence. However, remember that if you have an adjective and a noun next to each other, the adjective must come first in the vast majority of situations, as in "a cold day" above. Here are some more examples:
a big tree
an old man
a heavy box
Irregularities sometimes occur in poetry ("Once upon a midnight dreary") and in some formal constructions ("He was a man alone"), so do not be shocked if you open a book and see an adjective placed after a noun. However, in most situations, especially in speaking, adjectives come before nouns.
This list is intended for English learners who want to build their vocabulary and practice their speaking and pronunciation. I have included both the phonetic and IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) pronunciation systems for each adjective. I have also linked adjectives with their opposites, so the list is only semi-alphabetical. There is no preference given to one adjective over another in the order of the adjective opposites. Also, there are of course many other synonyms and possibilities for opposite adjectives which are not included in this resource. I encourage you to use this page as inspiration to continue your own English learning journey.
Finally, I recommend reading these adjectives and sentences out loud. By reading out loud, you are also practicing your speaking.
And now, on to the list.
Active [ ak-tiv ] / ˈæk tɪv /
"He has an active social life."
Lazy [ ley-zee ] / ˈleɪ zi /
"Apparently, her son is really lazy."
Alive [ uh-lahyv ] / əˈlaɪv /
"All of my grandparents are still alive."
Dead [ ded ] / dɛd /
"We saw a dead bird on our way to school."
Awake [ uh-weyk ] / əˈweɪk /
"Hey, are you awake?"
Asleep [ uh-sleep ] / əˈslip /
"Brenda is asleep in her room."
Big [ big ] / bɪg /
"This is a big classroom."
Small [ smawl ] / smɔl /
"I'd like a small black coffee, please."
Bright [ brahyt ] / braɪt /
"Could you turn down the lights? It's too bright in here."
Dim [ dim ] / dɪm /
"I need to replace one of the light bulbs. It's too dim in here in the evening."
Broken [ broh-kuhn ] / ˈbroʊ kən /
"He tried to sell me a broken guitar. Can you believe it?"
Whole [ hohl ] / hoʊl /
"The tiles are all whole. None of them are broken."
Busy [ biz-ee ] / ˈbɪz i /
"Are you busy tomorrow afternoon?"
Free [ free ] / fri /
"I'm free all day tomorrow."
Careful [ kair-fuhl ] / ˈkɛər fəl /
"He is always careful with his words."
Careless [ kair-lis ] / ˈkɛər lɪs /
"Don't be careless with your money."
Clean [ kleen ] / klin /
"Is your room clean?"
Dirty [ dur-tee ] / ˈdɜr ti /
"Could you please put the dirty dishes into the sink?"
Clear [ kleer ] / klɪər /
"I want a clear explanation."
Vague [ veyg ] / veɪg /
"These instructions are really vague."
Deep [ deep ] / dip /
"Can you swim in the deep end of the pool?"
Shallow [ shal-oh ] / ˈʃæl oʊ /
"Don't be afraid. The water is really shallow."
Delicious [ dih-lish-uhs ] / dɪˈlɪʃ əs /
"Thanks for dinner. It was delicious."
Disgusting [ dis-guhs-ting, dih-skuhs- ] / dɪsˈgʌs tɪŋ, dɪˈskʌs- /
"Don't talk while you're chewing your food. It's disgusting."
Durable [ door-uh-buhl, dyoor- ] / ˈdʊər ə bəl, ˈdyʊər- /
"I've had this jacket for over 10 years. The material is very durable."
Fragile [ fraj-uhl; British fraj-ahyl ] / ˈfrædʒ əl; British ˈfrædʒ aɪl /
"Careful with that box. Its contents are fragile."
Easy [ ee-zee ] / ˈi zi /
"She said her driving test was really easy."
Hard [ hahrd ] / hɑrd /
"Do you think it's hard/difficult to make friends as an adult?"
Empty [ emp-tee ] / ˈɛmp ti /
"My glass is empty. I'm going to get some more juice."
Full [ fool ] / fʊl /
"Her garage is full of junk."
Expensive [ ik-spen-siv ] / ɪkˈspɛn sɪv /
"That looks like an expensive pair of shoes."
Cheap [ cheep ] / tʃip /
"We're looking for a cheap place for lunch."
Fast [ fast, fahst ] / fæst, fɑst /
"How fast is your internet connection?"
Slow [ sloh ] / sloʊ /
"The service here is really slow."
Fat [ fat ] / fæt /
"Tim was fat in high school."
Skinny [ skin-ee ] / ˈskɪn i /
"Why are people so obsessed with being skinny?"
Flat [ flat ] / flæt /
"The Canadian prairies are very flat."
Bumpy [ buhm-pee ] / ˈbʌm pi /
"Put on your seatbelt. It's going to be a bumpy ride."
Formal [ fawr-muhl ] / ˈfɔr məl /
"I have to write a formal letter to apply for the position."
Informal [ in-fawr-muhl ] / ɪnˈfɔr məl /
"You don't have to wear fancy clothes. It's a very informal dinner."
Fragrant [ frey-gruhnt ] / ˈfreɪ grənt /
"That's a very fragrant perfume."
Smelly [ smel-ee ] / ˈsmɛl i /
"His room is really smelly. When was the last time he washed his bedsheets?"
Good [ good ] / gʊd /
"That was a good movie. I liked it a lot."
Bad [ bad ] / bæd /
"She's stuck in a bad situation."
Hard [ hahrd ] / hɑrd /
"This cake is hard as a rock! What did you do?!"
Soft [ sawft, soft ] / sɔft, sɒft /
"This pillow is really soft."
Heavy [ hev-ee ] / ˈhɛv i /
"Could you help me move this? It's really heavy."
Light [ lahyt ] / laɪt /
"I had a light dinner, so I'm going to have dessert."
High [ hahy ] / haɪ /
"Their prices are too high."
Low [ loh ] / loʊ /
"We liked most of the house, but the ceiling in the basement was too low."
Hollow [ hol-oh ] / ˈhɒl oʊ /
"Bamboo is a hollow plant."
Solid [ sol-id ] / ˈsɒl ɪd /
"This is made of solid metal."
Hot [ hot ] / hɒt /
"The stove is still hot."
Cold [ kohld ] / koʊld /
"It's cold outside today."
Light [ lahyt ] / laɪt /
"We picked a light colour for the bathroom walls."
Dark [ dahrk ] / dɑrk /
"Why is it so dark in here? I can barely see anything."
Modern [ mod-ern ] / ˈmɒd ərn /
"It's a very modern city."
Ancient [ eyn-shuhnt ] / ˈeɪn ʃənt /
"Wow! This place looks and feels ancient."
Old [ ohld ] / oʊld /
"Our car is really old."
Young [ yuhng ] / yʌŋ /
"You look so young. How old are you?"
Open [ oh-puhn ] / ˈoʊ pən /
"The store is open."
Closed [ klohzd ] / kloʊzd /
"The restaurant is already closed."
Polite [ puh-lahyt ] / pəˈlaɪt /
"She's a very polite person."
Rude [ rood ] / rud /
"Don't be rude to your uncle."
Public [ puhb-lik ] / ˈpʌb lɪk /
"This is a public event. Anyone can come."
Private [ prahy-vit ] / ˈpraɪ vɪt /
"She goes to a private school."
Quiet [ kwahy-it ] / ˈkwaɪ ɪt /
"It has been a quiet morning."
Loud [ loud ] / laʊd /
"Could you turn down the volume? It's too loud."
Sharp [ shahrp ] / ʃɑrp /
"This knife isn't sharp enough."
Dull [ duhl ] / dʌl /
"That was a dull movie." (dull can also mean "bland," "plain," or "boring")
Sick [ sik ] / sɪk /
"I can't come in to work today. I'm sick."
Healthy [ hel-thee ] / ˈhɛl θi /
"She gave birth to a healthy baby."
Simple [ sim-puhl ] / ˈsɪm pəl /
"I'm asking you a very simple question."
Complex [ kuhm-pleks ] / kəmˈplɛks /
"That game has very complex puzzles."
Smooth [ smooth ] / smuð /
"We don't have smooth roads where I live."
Rough [ ruhf ] [ ruhf ]
"I have had a rough day."
Stable [ stey-buhl ] / ˈsteɪ bəl /
"Their relationship wasn't stable."
Unstable [ uhn-stey-buhl ] / ʌnˈsteɪ bəl /
"Don't sit in that chair. It's unstable."
Straight [ streyt ] / streɪt /
"Can you draw a straight line?"
Crooked [ krook-id ] / ˈkrʊk ɪd /
"The table looks crooked."
Strong [ strawng, strong ] / strɔŋ, strɒŋ /
"I want to be strong."
Weak [ week ] / wik /
"That's a weak explanation."
Sweet [ sweet ] / swit /
"I prefer sweet snacks instead of salty snacks."
Salty [ sawl-tee ] / ˈsɔl ti /
"The chicken is too salty. How much salt did you use?"
Tall [ tawl ] / tɔl /
"Her sister is very tall."
Short [ shawrt ] / ʃɔrt /
"He's the short one in the family."
Thick [ thik ] / θɪk /
"I feel like drinking a nice thick chocolate milkshake."
Thin [ thin ] / θɪn /
"You're going to be cold if you wear such thin fabric in fall."
Tidy [ tahy-dee ] / ˈtaɪ di /
"Is your room tidy yet? You have been cleaning it for over an hour."
Messy [ mes-ee ] / ˈmɛs i /
"His bedroom floor is always messy."
Tight [ tahyt ] / taɪt /
"These pants are too tight. I need a bigger size"
Loose [ loos ] / lus /
"This shirt is nice and loose. I love it."
Tired [ tahyuhrd ] / taɪərd /
"I'm tired. I'm going to sleep."
Energized [ en-er-jahyzd ] / ˈɛn ərˌdʒaɪzd /
"I want to wake up feeling energized."
Warm [ wawrm ] / wɔrm /
"That looks like a warm jacket."
Cool [ kool ] / kul /
"We're expecting some cool temperatures this week."
Wide [ wahyd ] / waɪd /
"The roads in American are pretty wide."
Narrow [ nar-oh ] / ˈnær oʊ /
"This sidewalk is really narrow."
Wild [ wahyld ] / waɪld /
"There are a lot of wild animals living in that forest."
Tame [ teym ] / teɪm /
"Don't worry. The birds on the island are quite tame."
Thank you for learning English with me. If this list was useful to you, consider buying a PDF, e-Book, or paperback version of one of my books to continue boosting your English vocabulary. You will also help me to continue making quality learning resources for English learners and teachers. Thank you for your support! Until next time, I wish you much success.
Author's note: The phonetic and IPA spellings in this article were referenced from dictionary.com.