Adjectives That Start With S

The letter "s" is quite popular. There are hundreds of adjectives that start with "s" in the English language. It is so commonly used that "s" is one of the letters given to contestants for the final puzzle in the television game show Wheel of Fortune (along with R, T, L, N, and E). Start strengthening your vocabulary with this list of 50 adjectives that begin with "s."

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50 Adjectives That Start With S

Adjectives that start with the letter "s" range from positive adjectives to ones that describe things in a negative way, and everything in between.

25 Adjectives Beginning With Sa-Sk

Get started building a vocabulary of s-adjectives with these alphabetical selections.

  • saccharine - very sweet, in an artificial way
  • sacred - religious; venerated as a place or instrument of worship
  • sacrosanct - most holy; untouchable
  • sad - unhappy, sorrowful; substandard
  • safe - protected from harm or danger
  • sanctimonious - making a show of being holy or righteous
  • sanguine - blood-red color; related to blood; confidently optimistic
  • sappy - sentimental or silly; filled with sap
  • sarcastic - mocking or conveying contempt via the use of irony
  • sassy - impudent; lively
  • saucy - bold, flippant; covered with a lot of sauce
  • savory - salty or spicy food; behavior that is moral or wholesome
  • scintillating - very clever or skillful
  • sedentary - staying seated a lot of the time; being inactive
  • self-reliant - able to take care of one's self without relying on others
  • selfless - unselfish; doing what benefits others rather than oneself
  • shaggy - unkempt; having long, untidy hair
  • sharp - having a sharp point; experiencing a piercing sensation
  • shiny - smooth, glossy surface; bright
  • shrewd - astute, showing good judgment in a crafty way
  • shy - timid, quiet, nervous
  • silky - smooth, soft
  • sincere - honest, genuine
  • singular -only one; exceptional in a way unmatched by others
  • skinny - very thin, slim, bony

25 Adjectives Beginning With Sl-Sy

Keep making your way through s-adjectives in alphabetical order with this continued list of 25 more interesting options.

  • sleek - glossy and smooth
  • sleepy - tired, in need of sleep
  • sly - sneaky, cunning
  • smart - intelligence; possessing quick-wit
  • smelly - having an unpleasant odor
  • sneaky - deceptive; underhanded
  • snug - tight or form-fitting
  • sophisticated - complex, cultured, refined
  • spacious - large area; having plenty of space or room
  • special - out of the ordinary; different from what is usual
  • speedy - quick-moving, taking place or occurring very fast
  • spirited - energetic, enthusiastic
  • spry - nimble; active, lively
  • squalid - neglected; dirty and unpleasant,
  • steadfast - unwavering in position or support; not likely to change
  • stereotypical - adhering or confirming to generalized biased perceptions
  • stimulating - interesting, exciting; energizing
  • strong - powerful; forceful, moving with force
  • stunning - extremely attractive; very impressive or surprising
  • stylish - Current in style, dress, manner
  • sublime - awe-inspiring excellence or beauty
  • successive - one after another, in order
  • super - excellent, above and beyond what would be expected
  • sweet - flavor that tastes like sugar; pleasing or delightful
  • synthetic - manufactured substance (such as some types of fabric) that don't occur naturally

Example Sentences With S Adjectives

No matter what you're trying to communicate, your sentences will be more vivid if you use adjectives in them. Review the 20 example sentences below to get a good idea of how adjectives can effectively be used as descriptive words in sentences.

  • The sad man cried at everything.
  • The sanctimonious man lectured the children about the evils of stealing, but he snuck candy into his own pockets.
  • The spilled red wine left a sanguine stain on the carpet.
  • The student got in trouble for answering the teacher's question in a sarcastic manner.
  • The sassy girl got lots of attention for her overly confident actions.
  • I did not want to leave the dinner party because the conversation was so scintillating.
  • Snails are very sedentary animals.
  • The shy girl hated parties and crowds.
  • He made a sincere effort to do well on the test.
  • I have a singular purpose: to learn grammar.
  • The skinny girl worked out every day.
  • The sleepy cat wanted to take a long nap.
  • The smart girl won the prize at the science fair.
  • The sneaky kid stole the cookies.
  • I like to wear sophisticated outfits when I go to fancy places.
  • When I get complimented, it makes me feel special.
  • My grandmother is a very spry woman, considering her age.
  • The strong man was able to lift 100 pounds of weight without effort.
  • The stylish boy liked to attend fashion shows and buy new clothing.
  • The sweet girl was well-liked by everyone.

Interesting Origin of the Letter S

Wondering about where the letter "s" came from? This letter finds its origins in ancient Egyptian hieroglyph drawings of a sword. The ancient Egyptians used the "s" a lot. At one time, they had nine different symbols that represented various versions of an "s" or "sh" sound! Fortunately, when the Phoenicians began to develop the modern alphabet from which our alphabet is derived, they dropped most of those drawings and sounds and created one main version of the letter "s."

The ancient Greeks and Romans made a few more changes, with more to follow. Even in the English alphabet, the letter "s" went through a change. In the 17th century, a letter that looked like a lowercase "f" actually represented the "s" sound. Finally, though, after twists and turns, the 19th letter in the English alphabet, was adopted, and a super letter it is.


Sound Off With S

Although its origins are confusing, the letter "s" always sounds the same — like "ess."

  • Your vocal cords should be relaxed when you make the "s" sound.
  • The proper way to make the "s" sound is to place your tongue behind your lower gums, curving up.
  • The tongue should touch the side of your teeth, and you should feel air travel over your tongue when you make the "s" sound.

Some people with speech impediments often have a difficult time with the letter "s." Some leave the "s" off entirely when pronouncing words, some pronounce it like a "th" sound, while others over-pronounce the "s" and speak with a lisp.

Continue Building Your S-Word Vocabulary

Savvy English speakers should be able to list and use many more adjectives that start with "s," along with other words that begin with this letter. Once you are happy with your new knowledge of adjectives that begin with "s," turn your attention to other parts of speech. Explore nouns that start with "s" first. That way, you'll be prepared to come up with some alliterative combinations of nouns and adjectives. Then, move on to verbs that start with "s" to continue enhancing your vocabulary.