Adjectives are words, or phrases naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
3answers
188 views

What is “outbearded”?

I was reading Scott's Woodstock the other day, and came upon the word outbearded. Searching with Google reveals nothing relevant and I am wondering what it means. The context is that Everard and a ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “subtle” a positive, neutral or/and negative word?

I wonder whether subtle is a positive, neutral or/and negative word? Looking up its definition, it seems that the word means things unclear for good reason. For example, I  wonder if subtle can ...
4
votes
6answers
400 views

How do you say 'self-important' when applied to a group of people?

I am writing a text about how the team "Leopard Trek" (Tour de France) is perceived by people in Luxembourg as a 'luxembourgish' team, even though it has an international roster of multiple countries. ...
3
votes
5answers
9k views

“Demonstratable” — a dictionary word, or just a well known hack?

Someone has just pointed out a mis-spelling on my site - demonstratable, as in "demonstratable experience of...". I can't see it in the New Oxford American Dictionary or the Oxford Dictionary of ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the adjective form of “turmoil”?

What is the adjective form of "turmoil"? Might it be "turbulent"? I have a feeling that that isn't it, though.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there any adjective synonymous to “to the point”?

Is there any adjective synonymous to "to the point"? For example, "Jack's and Jill's answers are quite to-the-point, but Mary's answer is the most-to-the-point one" EDIT: A better example: ...
1
vote
1answer
280 views

Is “what a badass of a barber!” correct?

If one wants to informally exclaim about the excellence of someone, say a barber, using the word badass, should one say "What a badass of a barber!"? Or is "What a badass barber!" more correct? Are ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Use of a comma within a descriptive phrase

In the sentence "Their work involves commercial solar heating systems," should there be a comma after the word "commercial"? These are solar heating systems for commercial use as opposed to private ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

What is an appropriate word for a third-tier item (primary, secondary, …)? [closed]

If a first-tier item is called primary, and a second-tier item is called secondary, what can third, and greater, -tier items be called?
2
votes
6answers
3k views

“Optimal” vs. “ideal”

I was wondering when to use which because both optimal and ideal convey the same meaning to me. For e.g., comparing these two usages: This is the optimal temperature for the machine to work ...
14
votes
4answers
12k views

“Nose” is to “nasal” as “ear” is to what?

If the adjective relating to the nose is nasal then what is the adjective relating to the ear? I don't think it's "aural". I think it begins with ot-.
1
vote
2answers
27k views

How to use the words ending with “-ly”?

First question: in the grammar world, where do the -ly ended words belong? Second question: how to use them correctly? Rarely (oops!), if ever, I get myself using -ly ended words in my writing. I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Any adjectives for the noun 'Renaissance'?

I have a blog titled 'Renaissance' which means revival of art and literature. I was keen on slightly changing the title of the blog by adding a proper adjective to the noun 'renaissance' but I could ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Adjective describing things that can be given value

Some things are valuable, i.e. they are of great worth or appreciated for whatever reason. Some other things, however, are not valuable at all to start with, but we can assign value to them by ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Which adjectives can describe verbs?

Certain nouns can also be verbs, i.e. run or play. Some adjectives can be applied to both forms of such a word, by switching the positioning: Run fast Fast run Play clean Clean play ...
2
votes
4answers
682 views

Adjective defining a property of an object that is possessed by many of those objects

Is there a word defining an object's property possessed by many similar objects? Something like this: Tommy bought a red balloon at the circus. Many kids have red balloons there. Hence ballon's ...
4
votes
8answers
433 views

How to express misusing a tool

I am not a native English speaker. I was wondering how to express the situation in which one uses a tool for something other than what it was meant to be, and in a bad way so that you are not doing ...
0
votes
3answers
435 views

Adjective describing the “finiteness” of something

I'm trying to find another term which means "finiteness". To me, it sounds too clumsy. Part of my mind gesticulates wildly toward a "-cy" suffix word to describe this, like "captaincy" or "valency"... ...
2
votes
1answer
286 views

Usage of “infinities”

What is the usage of the word infinities? Is the term infinite infinities correct, and how is it used?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Term for “constantly unsatisfied soul”

Is there a single word or phrase which can describe a person who is always slightly unsatisfied? Update: To provide more context, This person is slightly unsatisfied with all things of life. Does too ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Use of “completely rubbish”

I notice that it is rubbish means it is bad, but can we say it is completely rubbish meaning it is completely bad in everyday English? Do native speakers of English say that, other than the obviously ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Adjectives that do not have predicative position

I've read somewhere that some adjectives cannot be used in the predicative position; for example "this is a major problem" is acceptable, but "the problem is major" is not acceptable. I'm wondering ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Meaning of “be brought low”

Context (New York Times), The episode has been a sobering lesson in how even an agency that carries some 350,000 passengers over 104 miles of track every workday can be brought low by a seemingly ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

What's the difference between “false”, “counterfeit”, and “forged” when describing a document?

I'm reading Schengen Borders Code (2006R0562—EN) and in the Annex V Part B there's a list of reasons for refusing entry that includes (B) has a false/counterfeit/forged travel document As far as ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do we say someone who has read many books is “widely read”?

Why do we say someone who has read many books is "widely read," or "well-read"? (Though the latter has a hyphen, and it could be called a separate word. Still, it has its etymology.) Why didn't we ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I say “medium-term”, as with the adjectives “short-term” and “long-term”? Do they need prepositions?

I would like to use an adjective to express something in between the two adjectives short-term and long-term. Does medium-term make sense here? What is the adjective I can use? What preposition, if ...
1
vote
3answers
11k views

What does “dorsal” mean? [closed]

I'm having trouble with the adjective "dorsal", as different authorities have seemingly conflicting opinions. Tortora and Derrickson write in Principles of Anatomy and Physiology that the adjective ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

'Potential' as an adjective

Here is one of those things that I have simply never thought about until recently. I have a friend who speaks English as a second language and so still has a few overhanging errors in his speech; One ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Hyphenation in compound adjectives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: To hyphenate or not? When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? In the sentence "Portland is known to be ...
9
votes
5answers
44k views

Difference between “close” and “near”

What is the difference between the adjectives close and near? Are they totally synonymous? Is there some nuance that I'm missing? As a native speaker of Spanish, I can't see any difference, since ...
5
votes
1answer
191 views

Castleford dialect

I have recently heard the following from young children originating from Castleford, West Yorkshire: Yourn, meaning yours, hern, meaning hers, arn, meanig ours Could this be related to the ...
46
votes
3answers
45k views

“Maximum” vs. “maximal”

What is the difference in usage between maximum and maximal? When would you use one or the other? Maximum can be a noun or an adjective: This is the maximum it can be set to. This is the ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

What's a gay transsexual woman?

I know how it sounds but it's a serious question. I saw an article title about it on the Guardian today. If someone tells you that a person is a "gay transsexual woman", is it possible, logically, to ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Good and bad - suppletive adjectives

In English, there are three suppletive adjectives: good, bad and far. Their comparative and superlative forms derive from different stems, i.e., we have best instead of *goodest, worse instead of *...
3
votes
2answers
772 views

Meaning of “mints”

Context (New York Times), MINTS An organic fudge brownie awaits you in the room, along with a personalized welcome letter... First, I'm not sure if I'm on the right track or not (I'm wondering ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

If I change the part containing “conceivably”, does this sentence still have the same meaning?

I found a sentence in my programming book: Note that the delimiter does not have to be a bracket and could be conceivably any character. If I extracted the part: could be conceivably any ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Word meaning “two paragraphs previous”

Is there a word that can be used to mean two previous places? I want to reference something two paragraphs ago; former would work if it was only one before, and I cannot use penultimate because it may ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

Meaning of “sharp”

Context (New York Times): Still, rooms were large by the city’s pint-size standards, service was sharp, and for the moment, they offer some of the best values around. Does sharp here mean ...
0
votes
3answers
344 views

A word similar to lofty [closed]

I'm looking for an adjective that means lofty, intangible, hard to incorporate into every day life, not down-to-earth. It would describe an idea or concept. ETA: Example of sentence I would use it ...
1
vote
1answer
250 views

What is the meaning of ‘something blind’?

The phrase “Something ugly, slimy, and blind” is confusing me. Here are my questions. What does the 'blind' part mean? Is ‘something blind’ a special expression? (For I couldn’t find its example in ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does ‘you’re on’ mean ‘I agree’?

One dictionary says ‘you’re on’ is used tell someone that you accept a bet or an invitation to compete against them. Then why does it use ‘you’ instead of ‘I’? What’s the ‘on’? In terms of the meaning,...
9
votes
3answers
53k views

“Next Friday” vs. “This Friday” [duplicate]

Duplicate: What day is next Tuesday? I have always considered next Friday to be not this coming Friday, but the one after. This Friday is the Friday at the end of this week. I have a Canadian ...
2
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the opposite of “dogmatic”?

I'm trying to describe an approach that doesn't just blindly follow established opinion, but seeks validation through experimentation. Any ideas?
10
votes
3answers
524 views

Do listeners understand different adjective orders?

I found Adjective order, but I keep wondering if listeners actually understand what I mean when I don't follow that order. For example, if I say, "a lovely long white coat," I may change it to "a long ...
1
vote
1answer
709 views

Is ‘eclectic bunch’ trendy instead of simply saying ‘a group of different types of constituents'?

I found the words ‘eclectic bunch’ in the following sentence of a New York Times (July 29, 2011) article reporting increase in foraging in city parks, which is titled ‘Enjoy Park Greenery, City Says, ...
1
vote
1answer
235 views

Does ‘magnificent head’ sometimes mean ‘magnificent hair’?

While searching the Net, ‘magnificent head’ shows me a lot of lion’s heads, but I found ‘a woman with a magnificent head’ in a book. “Fleur Delacour, though she demonstrated excellent use of the ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Differences between “different”, “divergent”, “disparate” and “distinct”

What are the differences between different, divergent, disparate and distinct?
7
votes
7answers
16k views

“Ineffectual” vs “ineffective”

Skeptics argue that these kinds of initiatives are doomed to remain perennially peripheral and ineffectual. Intuitively, changing ineffectual to ineffective in the sentence above seems to leave ...
1
vote
0answers
179 views

Is there a difference between “elfish” and “elvish”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to use “Elven”, “Elvish” and “Elfic”? The dictionary seems to think that they are the same. Here are their definitions: Elfish: ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

A word that means "un-waning''

I wanted to use the word "unwaning" (or, perhaps, un-waning), as in "for his unwaning enthusiasm". However, no decent (online) dictionary I've consulted seems to recognize it. What other word would ...