Please feel free to edit this question so it makes sense.

For example, if you're saying:

He has a bearish personality.

We're using the qualities of a bear, (big, grizzly, perhaps dangerous), to describe his personality.

The party was very British.

Conjures images of cups of tea, and polite reserved conversation; it's not saying the party was literally made of up British people.

These aren't similes or metaphors. Is there a term for it?


They are derived adjectives. For example:

  • sheep - a noun
  • sheepish - a derived adjective
  • sheepishly - a derived adverb
  • sheepishness - a derived noun

Bahuvrihi A compound word functioning as an adjective whose last element is in origin a noun. For example, in the phrase high-fiber diet, the compound high-fiber is a bahuvrihi modifying diet that ends in the noun fiber.


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