There are so many adjectives that start with U in English, it’s overwhelming, but they can be divided into two categories to make them more manageable. The monster category is “adjectives that start with un-,” and the much smaller category is “other adjectives that start with u.”
Adjectives That Start With U
Let’s start with the easy category. There are really only a handful of adjectives that start with just U, not un-. Although some of them do have "un" as the first two letters, it’s not the same as the prefix un-. Two of them, underrated and underweight, have the prefix under-, meaning “below or too low.”
- ubiquitous - present, or seeming to be present, everywhere at the same time; omnipresent
- ugly - unpleasing to look at; aesthetically offensive or unattractive; unsightly; bad, vile, repulsive, offensive, objectionable, etc.
- ulterior - further; more remote; esp., beyond what is expressed, implied, or evident; undisclosed
- ultimate - beyond which it is impossible to go; farthest; most remote or distant; by which a process or series comes to an end; final; conclusive; beyond which further analysis, division, etc. cannot be made; elemental; fundamental; primary; greatest or highest possible; maximum; utmost
- ultra - going beyond the usual limit; excessive; extreme, esp. in opinions
- unctuous - characterized by a smug, smooth pretense of spiritual feeling, fervor, or earnestness, as in seeking to persuade; too suave or oily in speech or manner
- underrated - rated, assessed, or estimated too low
- understanding - having or characterized by comprehension, sympathy, etc.
- underweight - below the normal, desirable, or allowed weight
- unique - one and only; single; sole a unique specimen; having no like or equal; unparalleled
- united - combined; joined; made one; of or resulting from joint action or association; in agreement or harmony
- uplifted - raised to a higher moral, social, or cultural level or condition; elevated
- uppity - inclined to be haughty, arrogant, snobbish, etc.
- urban - of, in, constituting, or comprising a city or town; characteristic of the city as distinguished from the country; citified; in U.S. census use, designating or of an incorporated or unincorporated place with at least 50,000 inhabitants
- utmost - most extreme; greatest
Adjectives That Start With Un-
Now let’s have a look at the bulk of the adjectives in English that start with U, a beast of a category, the un- adjectives. The prefix un- means “not,” and it can be added to the beginning of just about any other adjective in English to create the opposite meaning. For example, the opposite of expected is unexpected, the opposite of friendly is unfriendly, and so on. Listed below are fifty adjectives that start with un-. Click on each one to see either its definition or the definition of its root adjective (i.e., diplomatic for undiplomatic).
And just like that, you can now create a whole slew of U-adjectives by simply adding un- to the front of any number of existing adjectives. Have fun!