Latin Adjectives List to Learn the Basics

Even if you're just getting started in Latin, it's nice to have some adjectives under your belt. That way, you can describe the nouns you're learning to use in your sentences! Check out these Latin adjective lists that include adjectives for colors, sizes, quantities, and appearances. You'll also find Latin adjectives we still use in English today.

Latin adjectives Examples Latin adjectives Examples
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Latin Adjectives for Color

You may be surprised to find that many Latin color words are still in the English language in some form or another. Read through these Latin adjectives in the nominative case for color to see how many you already know.

Latin Word (Masculine, Feminine, Neuter)

English Definition

albus, alba, album

white (not glossy)

āter, ātra, ātrum

black (not glossy)

aurantius, aurantia, aurantium

orange

aureus, aura, aurum

gold

caeruleus, caerulea, caeruleum

blue

candidus, candida, candidum

glossy white

fuscus, fusca, fuscum

brown

lūteus, lūtea, lūteum

yellow

niger, nigra, nigrum

black

purpureus, purpurea, purpureum

purple

ravus, rava, ravum

gray

roseus, rosea, roseum

pink

ruber, rubra, rubrum

red

viridis, viridis, viride

green


Latin Adjectives for Size

There are many ways to describe the size of a noun in Latin. Some of these words appear in everyday English as well — for example, the English word "massive" comes from the Latin massa, which means "having a large mass."

Latin Word (Masculine, Feminine, Neuter)

English Definition

minisculus, miniscula, minisculum

extremely small

exiguus, exigua, exigum

very small

minimus, minima, minimum

tiny

parvus, parva, parvum

small

vegrandis, vegrandis, vegrande

not very big

praegrandis, praegrandis, praegrande

very big

magnus, magna, magnum

large or great

enormis, enormis, enorme

enormous

immanis, immanis, immane

huge

immensus, immensua, immensum

immense

vastus, vasta, vastum

vast


Latin Adjectives for Emotion

The Latin term for "emotion" is animi motus, which literally means "movement of the mind." Use these Latin emotion adjectives to describe how someone feels. You may even recognize some familiar roots!

Latin Word (Masculine, Feminine, Neuter)

English Definition

amorabundus, amorabunda, amorabundum

loving

excitus, excita, excitum

excited

confūsus, confūsa, confūsum

confused

detestabilis, detestabilis, detestabile

hateful

felix (all three genders)

happy

invidus, invida, invidum

jealous (envious)

iratus, irata, iratum

angry (irate)

laetus, laeta, laetum

joyful

miser, misera, miserum

miserable

solus, sola, solum

lonely

somnolentus, somnolenta, somnolentum

sleepy

territus, territa, territum

scared (terrified)

tristis, tristis, triste

sad


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Latin Adjectives for Quantity and Amount

When you want to discuss how much or how little of something there is, you need a Latin adjectives list for quantity and amount. Take a look at these adjectives in all three grammatical genders to find the word you're looking for.

Latin Word (Masculine, Feminine, Neuter)

English Definition

nullus, nulla, nullum

none

unus, una, unum

one (single)

perpauci, perpaucae, perpauca

very few

pauci, paucae, pauca

few

nonnullus, nonnulla, nonnullum

some

plures, plures, plura

several

multis, multis, multe

many (multi)

plerus, plera, plerum

most (plurality)

omnis, omnis, omne

every

innumerabilis, innumerabilis, innumerabile

countless (innumerable)


Latin Adjectives for Appearance Adjectives in Latin

Some of the most beautiful Latin words describe the most beautiful objects and people in classical history. Check out a Latin adjectives list for appearances to include in your next personal description.

Latin Word (Masculine, Feminine, Neuter)

English Definition

bellus, bella, bellum

beautiful

brevis, brevis, breve

short

cānus, cāna, cānum

gray-haired

casualis, casualis, casuale

casual

decens, decens, decens

proper (decent)

decorus, decora, decorum

well-mannered

deformis, deformis, deforme

ugly

elegans, elegans, elegans

elegant

flāvus, flāva, flāvum

yellow-haired or blonde

formalis, formalis, formale

formal

iuvenis, iuvenis, iuvene

young (juvenile)

longus, longus, longe

tall

rūfus, rūfa, rūfum

red-haired

venustus, venusta, venustum

lovely, charming

veteris, veteris, vetere

old


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Well-Known Latin Adjectives in Current Use

Some Latin adjectives in current use are so common, we forget they’re actually Latin words at all. You'll find many of these words used every day in the legal profession.

  • ad hoc - for this (We set up an ad hoc committee to plan the party.)
  • alter - the other, one of two (John really has an alter ego.)
  • bona fide - real or genuine; “good faith” in Latin (This is a bona fide job offer.)
  • bonus - additional; "good" in Latin (The basketball player earned a bonus shot.)
  • emeritus - having retired or been discharged from a position but still retaining the title; “having fully earned” in Latin (My father is a professor emeritus at Boston University.)
  • extra - outside, in addition to (Can I have extra guacamole?)
  • gratis - free; "kindness" in Latin (She's fixing my stairs totally gratis.)
  • in promptu (impromptu) - spontaneous; "readiness” in Latin (We took an impromptu trip to Denver last week.)
  • sinister - adverse, wrong, malicious; "left" in Latin (He had a sinister gleam in his eye.)
  • verbatim - literal; "word in Latin (I repeated the instructions verbatim.)

There are lots of Latin words found in the English language today. Many English words incorporate Latin roots to create meanings based on original Latin words.

Basic Rules for Latin Adjectives

In English, verbs are conjugated to match the noun in subject-verb agreement, but adjectives don't change. However, in Latin and Latin-based languages (such as Spanish or Italian), adjectives must agree with the nouns they describe.

Noun-adjective agreement includes agreement between:

  • number of nouns (singular or plural)
  • case (nominative for subjects, genitive for possessive nouns, dative for indirect objects, accusative for direct objects, ablative for prepositional objects, or vocative for questioning)
  • grammatical gender (masculine, feminine or neuter)

It's not as complex as it seems. Once you know the part of speech you're describing with your Latin adjective, you can conjugate it correctly. You can also determine the Latin adjective's declension by determining what type of noun it is modifying.

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Expand Your Vocabulary

Latin may seem like a dead language. However, many of the romance languages are based on Latin, and the English language also borrows from the Latin language quite a bit. Take a thorough view of Latin vocabulary words that you can integrate into your writing. Or, if you’re ready to expand beyond Latin adjectives, take a look at common Latin words and phrases we use in English.