Ask someone to tell you a word that starts with "X," and you’ll likely get “xylophone” and “x-ray” followed by a blank stare, but ask anyone to tell you some adjectives that start with "X," and all you’ll get is the blank stare. They’re just not that common. They do exist; however, for the most part, they fall into one of four categories based on their Greek roots.
Adjectives That Start with "Xanth"
Xanth means “yellow,” so any time you see it in a word, it probably has something to do with the color.
- Xanthic - yellow or yellowish; of or having to do with xanthine
- Xanthous - yellow or yellowish
Adjectives That Start with "Xen"
Xen means “foreign,” so the following adjectives all have to do with strange, foreign, unnatural or non-native things.
- Xenogenic - originating outside the organism or from a foreign substance introduced into the organism
- Xenolithic - of or pertaining to a rock fragment foreign to the igneous rock in which it is embedded
- Xenophobic - unreasonably afraid of foreigners or strangers
- Xenotropic - replicating or reproducing only in cells other than those of the host species
Adjectives That Start with "Xer"
Xer means “dry,” and although dryness is not necessarily what you think of when you make copies on a Xerox machine, the origin of the word is the same. In the 1930s, a New York patent attorney became frustrated with the lack of carbon copies available in the office for all the patents they were working on. He wanted to figure out a way to make copies that didn’t involve chemicals (as in photography). Photocopying is an electrical process, not a chemical one, so it doesn’t require the chemical baths needed to develop photographs. Thus, photocopying is a dry process – xerography or “dry writing.” Here are some adjectives based on the root, “xer:”
- Xeric - of, pertaining to, or adapted to a dry environment
- Xerographic - of or pertaining to xerography
- Xerophilous - capable of thriving in a hot, dry climate, as certain plants and animals
- Xerophthalmic - of or pertaining to abnormal dryness of the eyeball characterized by conjunctivitis, caused by a deficiency of tears and attributed to a lack of vitamin A
- Xerophytic - of or pertaining to a plant adapted for growth under dry conditions
- Xerothermic - of or pertaining to a hot and dry climatic period, as one of the postglacial periods
- Xerotic - dry; affected with or characterized by xerosis
Adjectives That Start with"Xyl"
Xyl means “wood,” so all of the following adjectives have something to do with wood. Here’s where everyone’s favorite X-word comes in – xylophone.
Xylophones today are made of wood, metal, fiberglass or even gourds, but the word itself is derived from the fact that xylophones were originally made of wooden bars of various lengths.
Check out these "xyl" adjectives:
- Xylographic/xylographical - of or pertaining to the art of engraving on wood, or of printing from such engravings
- Xyloid - of or like wood; woody
- Xylophagous - eating, boring into, or destroying wood, as certain mollusks or the larvae of certain insects
- Xylophonic - of or pertaining to the sound made by a xylophone
That’s About It
These adjectives may not be common or even very useful in average, everyday conversation; but, at least the next time someone asks you for an adjective that starts with X, you’ll be well prepared.
YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2018 by LoveToKnow Corp
Link to this page
Cite this page
"Adjectives That Start with X." YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 18 June 2018. <http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/adjectives/adjectives-that-start-with-x.html>.
Adjectives That Start with X. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18th, 2018, from http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/adjectives/adjectives-that-start-with-x.html