Given the individual natures of human beings, it's no wonder the English language includes so many personality adjectives. You might not notice it, but people use adjectives to describe each other more than they describe anything else. Personality, the most important thing about a person, has some incredibly fun words to describe it.
Here are some of the most entertainingly interesting personality adjectives to help you better describe the people you know.
It's great to expand your vocabulary to more accurately or more creatively describe the people you love most Convivial:
Everyone knows someone who is so full of life that he fills others with zest. Convivial means "with life," so it makes sense that friendly people are called convivial. They make you happy to be alive.
Al's Halloween parties are always the best because his convivial personality puts everyone in a festive spirit.
Friendly or apparently good-willed people are called amicable. All of your friends could be described by this personality adjective, or at least they should.
Sam is always smiling and complimenting folks, what an amicable fellow!
Similarly, amiable, literally meaning loveable, is a wonderful way to describe a friend or nice person.
Mary, the amiable lady that she is, always pets stray cats and says hello to everyone she sees in town.
Someone like Mary can also be described as gregarious. A gregarious person enjoys speaking with people and finds herself energized around large groups of people.
I wish I were as gregarious as Mary is; she ends up talking with everyone at the party.
To describe your friend's gentle side, you can call him affable. It means your friend is kind.
Even when Joe's in a rush to work, he stays affable, never raising his temper or his voice at the Amtrak personnel.
Sometimes describing your enemies with intelligence and wit is difficult. The times that negative feelings demand description aren't usually conducive to accurate use of vocabulary. Keep these few personality adjectives in mind the next time you have to appear calm and collected when dealing with a difficult person. You might get the upper linguistic hand.
Scrooge in Dickens's A Christmas Carol pinches every penny. That component of his personality, more than any other, has demonized for generations of readers. People like Scrooge are called parsimonious. Parsimonious people are stingy of every petty thing, they horde and refuse to share despite being the position to do so.
Example: John just bought a Bentley but refused to loan me a dollar, parsimonious jerk!
Nonchalant: Someone who is nonchalant is unconcerned or too cool to care. Describing someone as nonchalant is saying that he lacks all the warmth and enthusiasm normally attributed to a member of the human race.
John doesn't know how many homes he has; no wonder he's nonchalant about poverty.
Obtuse: Obtuse people are those who are dull, negligent, or just bored with life. They bore you because they themselves are so bored. They are annoyingly slow to understand even the simplest of ideas.
Chad writes poetry that puts you to sleep; his obtuse view of life tires even the most ardent lovers of verse.
Abecedarian: It might not always be grounds for enemy making, but calling someone abecedarian is certainly useful. Someone who is abecedarian is elementary, a beginner. Temporarily, everyone can be described as abecedarian, e.g., in a new job, but not perpetually. Literally, it means someone who is learning his or her A, B, C's.
Sarah is unfit to lead; though charming, she's inexperienced and abecedarian.
Truculent: A truculent person is a worthy adversary because he is fierce, ferocious, and cruel. You could just say cruel, but that would be obtuse and betray a lack of good words. The only thing worse than truculence is a lack of good words, well that and being pusillanimous.
Example: Truculent old Richard actually cussed at a colleague in front of a hundred other coworkers.
Pusillanimous: Someone who is pusillanimous lacks courage. It's much stronger than timid because it means weak spirit or mind. Latin suggests here that the weaker the mind, the more fearful a person is.
Example: In a pusillanimous move, George pardoned a criminal for fear of what he might say if left in prison.
If someone is parsimonious, truculent, and pusillanimous, one might call that person Machiavellian. Machiavelli was a Florentine renaissance writer who penned The Prince, a book that detailed the most underhanded, scheming way to rule a country. The book outlined the worst characteristics of humanity and suggested that behaving in such a way was the only effective form of leadership. Almost 500 years later, much controversy still surrounds this work. However, the English language has adopted Niccólo Machiavelli's name as the word describing all that is deplorable in a personality.
Example: Carl lies, slanders, cheats, and steals; his "playbook" might be the most Machiavellian thing the world has ever known.
As you can see, it's a lot of fun talking about people with new words. The joy of language is that it allows human beings to describe their environs creatively. The ammunition a large vocabulary affords the speaker is the ability to describe his surroundings more accurately and pointedly, which fuels creativity, too.