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)

6
votes
4answers
16k views

Why are the people of the United States called “Americans” when the whole continent is “America” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are the United States often referred to as America? Is it because there wasn't a proper adjective like "United Staterns" or something? Why are Canadians not called ...
9
votes
4answers
74k views

“Ironic” vs. “ironical”

Being that this highly related question primarily asked whether ironical is actually a word (and if it is used regionally), I'm interested to know whether there is a difference between it and ironic ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Etymology of the color name “orange”

Etymonline shows orange c.1300, from O.Fr. orenge (12c.), from M.L. pomum de orenge, from It. arancia, originally narancia (Venetian naranza), alteration of Arabic naranj, from Pers. narang, ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Is an “informed guess” the same as an “educated guess”?

Do these phrases convey the same meaning? Is an informed guess by definition, also, an educated guess?
1
vote
5answers
907 views

“Virulent bacteria”

I read Health officials were worried enough about an unusually virulent outbreak of food-borne illness from the E. coli bacteria, This seems so wrong. Is there a name for it? (mixed metaphors,...
2
votes
2answers
638 views

What is the correct form of “advance” in the sentence: “My advance search”?

Which form is correct? My advance search. My advanced search. I ask this in comparison to "simple" that does not have a 'ed' form. My simple search.
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Correct capitalisation of “Machiavellian”?

Does the adjective Machiavellian always have a capital letter? For example: The Machiavellian Iago manipulates Othello into believing his wife, Desdemona, had an affair. Not sure if this is ...
8
votes
6answers
23k views

Word for not knowing about something

I would like to know some word choices (can be a noun, adjective,...) for not knowing about something, with a positive connotation with a negative connotation in a neutral way For example, I ...
14
votes
4answers
55k views

“Plausible” vs. “possible”

I am looking to find the difference between possible and plausible. Here is what Apple's dictionary gives for each word: Possible: Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or ...
5
votes
4answers
881 views

Is it common to use the borrowed noun-adjective form for borrowed French phrases?

Lately, something has struck me. I've been hearing several expressions in English, some clearly borrowed from French and preserving their noun-adjective form. Some examples are: Attorney General ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

When is the use of “north” more appropriate than “northern” and vice versa?

North, South, East, West, can be used as adjectives, but so can Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western. What rules, if any, govern which is appropriate when?
5
votes
4answers
27k views

“Too serious” vs “too seriously”

I know the vast majority of people say "Don't take yourself too seriously", as found correct by basically every native speaker I've asked about this (often accompanied by incredulous looks). What ...
3
votes
1answer
13k views

Opposite of “arrogant”/“having attitude”

Are self-abased and humble both opposite to arrogant or having attitude? What are their differences? What are words for the opposite to arrogant, respectively in a positive, negative, and neutral way?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the adjective “vain” considered offensive when applied to a person?

I am given to understand by the Chambers Dictionary and Webster's that vain can be understood as thoughtless, empty-headed, useless, which all sound rather strong to me. Is it likely that a native ...
2
votes
3answers
918 views

A “Decadent” Cheesecake?

Is the adjective "decadent" suitable to be used in the context "a decadent cheesecake"?
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Preventative vs. preventive

In this answer about the non-word disabilitated, the word preventative is compared (unfavourably, if my reading of the implication is correct) to preventive. However, I have always used preventative, ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

“Hirable” or “hireable”

What is the correct adjective form of the word hire? I have seen references to both hireable and hirable. I checked using Google's Ngram viewer book search and it appears that both have been in use ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Is the use of a hyphen between “non” and an adjective strictly necessary?

Do I need to put a "-" between "non" and an adjective? As an example in physics we say "a non isolated photon", "non tight photon"... The context is very formal (paper publications and similar). Is ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

What does “high” add to the meaning of this sentence of Tagore's poem?

Do not seat your love upon a precipice because it is high. What is the meaning of the word high in this sentence?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

The difference between “shy” and “ashamed”

What is the difference between shy and ashamed as in the following example? He is not shy to tell the truth. He is not ashamed to tell the truth.
6
votes
2answers
5k views

How did “everloving” become a completely generic intensifier?

Most of the uses of the word everloving I can think of involve either vulgar or violent contexts, so you must excuse the following example: He'd finally crossed my last nerve, so yesterday, me and ...
9
votes
5answers
14k views

“Lower number” vs. “smaller number”

Is −9 a smaller number than −8? And is −9 a lower number than −8? What is the difference between lower and smaller here?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it, “It seems different”, but “It comes across differently”?

Both phrases describe the manner, appearance, air, etc, of a subject. Why does the former use an adjective to modify the subject, while the latter uses an adverb to modify the verb phrase?
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Alternative to “separately from”?

I want to say something like: The system stores the crazygonuts data separately from the data feed. I think this is wrong (maybe I am wrong in that), but I'm not sure exactly why. One ...
4
votes
2answers
22k views

The adjective “dashing”: can it be used to describe a woman?

Can you say of a woman that she is "dashing", meaning that she looks stupendous, graceful etc.?
5
votes
9answers
44k views

Is the word “epic” being used correctly these days?

You know what I mean. The word "epic" has been overused for quite some time now. I was recently referred to Wiktionary as a trusted source, and I see this example in use: (colloquial) Extending ...
2
votes
2answers
310 views

Opposites, when dealing with adjectives and objects together

If we have the sentence, "Bob had blinding love for Susan." would the opposite be: "Bob had blinding hatred for Susan" or: "Bob had clear hatred for Susan"?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the word “savvy” in this context?

I'm not a native speaker of English. I wish to know what the word savvy means in this context: network-savvy
4
votes
2answers
5k views

To use “test” as an adjectival noun, is the proper form “test” or “testing”?

When I write a document, I am confused when to use test or testing in my document. For example, which one makes a better statement below? A test engineer vs A testing engineer software test tool vs ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it correct to say that something is “claustrophobic” if it makes someone feel claustrophobic?

For example, people often refer to an elevator as claustrophobic, but I'm curious whether it is more accurate to say that an elevator causes its occupants to feel claustrophobic.
5
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the antonym of “blank” in “a blank sheet of paper”?

Say, you have a sheet of paper. It is blank. I begin to write on it. It's no longer blank. But then what it is? I have tried the usual sources for antonyms but came up, well, blank.
6
votes
1answer
38k views

Article when there is an adjective before a noun [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “a” versus “an” When to use a or an before a noun when there are adjectives before that noun? like the following example: An operator ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the meaning and etymology of the adjective “jammy”, of Yorkshire English?

What is the etymology of the adjective jammy? As in, Thou art a jammy bugger! I confess I've never seen the word before. When I looked it up, I found confusing etymologies: one source says it ...
2
votes
4answers
10k views

Does “intense” have a negative meaning?

I always thought that intense has a positive meaning, meaning something that has no tensions, therefore an intense activity is actually a fun activity. So, what does intense exactly mean? A few days ...
3
votes
1answer
809 views

What is the meaning and usage of the word “dense”?

I often come across people saying to each other: I don't want to be too dense here, but… What does the term dense imply in such contexts?
10
votes
2answers
19k views

Difference between “less” and “lesser”? [closed]

These two seem very similar. What are the major differences between the two? For example, in the following sentence, Substitute the lesser punishment for the greater one. Can one use "less" ...
0
votes
1answer
10k views

What's the comparative for the word “modern”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “More clear” vs “Clearer”, when to use “more” instead of “-er” What's the comparative for the word modern?
21
votes
7answers
46k views

What's the difference between “big” and “large”?

What's the proper way to say: a large family or a big family? What's the difference between them?
3
votes
3answers
712 views

Word referencing time of creation

I've been wondering if there is a word to express that something was current at the time of its creation. It (in bold) should plug-in into a sentence similar to: The results are based on an ...
-5
votes
2answers
624 views

Why is “insatiable” pronounced as if it was “unsatiable”? [closed]

Why is insatiable pronounced as if it was unsatiable?
3
votes
3answers
380 views

Is there an adjective for acedia?

The Oxford dictionary list "acedia" as: noun literary another term for accidie Origin: early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek akēdia 'listlessness', from a- 'without' + kēdos '...
5
votes
6answers
12k views

When to use “Elven”, “Elvish” and “Elfic”?

Well, these are three adjectives for "something from the elves". But I'm spanish and in my language there's only one adjective for these (élfico), and I can't understand what's the difference.
5
votes
2answers
434 views

Dangling -y on made up adjectives

Sometimes I adjective my verbs (as opposed to verbing my nouns), making up a new word in the process: Friday nights are unwindy nights (unwindy night ~= night for unwinding) If I do this, is ...
7
votes
3answers
16k views

What does “ad-hoc” mean?

I read some articles that used ad-hoc like an adjective. Questions: What exactly does it mean in this paragraph: Needless to say, all of that is pretty painful and error prone. Sure, once you’...
13
votes
3answers
12k views

Difference in usage of “regular”, “usual”, “ordinary”, “normal”, “common”

Sometimes it is obvious which of the following words to use, sometimes not: regular usual ordinary normal common For example: "regular coffee" (not usual, normal or ordinary) , "ordinary people" (...
5
votes
9answers
16k views

What's a good word for a lack of concentration?

I'm looking for an adjective that describes not concentrated. Something like "flying around", "not really here". In hebrew it would've been מעופף.
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Which is correct here: “arbitrary” or “arbitrarily”?

Do you say "an arbitrarily small constant epsilon" or "an arbitrary small constant epsilon"? Or are both correct?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you create the adjective form of an irregular verb such as “read”?

If I understand correctly, some adjectives can be derived from verbs. For example, an interested person is someone who is interested in me, and an interesting person is someone who is interesting to ...
4
votes
8answers
289 views

Is “unredactable” a word?

I googled it and even though it's been used on the Web, I can't find any entries for it on online dictionaries. If it's not a real word, then is there a good equivalent? The context is a record ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Origins of the word “terrible” [closed]

What are the origins of the word "terrible". Do the words "terror" or "terrific" come from the same roots? I am curious since I believe the word "terrible" can be used to mean "great" in French.