List of Descriptive Words for Appearance

It would probably take several days to compile a complete list of descriptive words for appearance. You've got the outward appearance of people, the various ways in which their emotions and traits take shape, and let's not forget the entire world around us: people, places, and things don't even begin to cover it.

List of Descriptive Words for Appearance List of Descriptive Words for Appearance

Yet, it's wise to embrace all kinds of descriptive words. Typically, we're talking about adjectives, but there are other descriptors in the English language, too, i.e. adverbs and gerunds.

The point is, we can spark genuine magic in our writing with the proper descriptors. Ready for a small slice of the pie? Together, let's examine over 130 of the most descriptive words in the book.

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Descriptive Words for Appearance

What follows is a list of descriptive words for appearance. We've broken it up into different categories, even though it's quite difficult to take the entire world and break it into a handful of subgroups. There's too much goodness all around us.

Nevertheless, we've created some sort of order to the universe. Let's see which descriptors will jump off the page and into your memory bank.

Descriptive Words for People's Bodies

Whether you're tall, short, blond, or brunette, there are a wealth of adjectives to describe people's outward appearance.

You'll notice that some of these adjectives are capitalized. That's because they're proper adjectives. They're derived from proper nouns, usually denoting people, places, or languages.

Let's take a look:

African American

large

albino

masculine

Asian

muscular

attractive

painted

black

petite

blond/blonde

pierced

blue-eyed

polished

brown-eyed

rosy

brunette

scarred

Caucasian

short

curvy

small

cute

squat

fat

stylish

feminine

tall

frizzy

tattooed

frumpy

thick

heavy

thin

Indian

tiny

Italian

white

lanky

wiry

Descriptive Words for Disposition

If we can use descriptive words to describe someone's general physical appearance, then we should also be able to use descriptive words to describe their inner disposition, which can also affect outward appearance or mannerisms.

Let's take a look at words that show someone's mood or temperament:

angry

hot-headed

arrogant

ill-mannered

calm

introvert

cruel

mean

dumb

moody

excited

nasty

friendly

shy

funny

serious

grumpy

stupefied

happy

tiresome

Descriptive Words for The Appearance of Things

Life is full of "things." Objects abound in our homes and in the world outside. Let's take a moment to consider various adjectives that can be used to describe the appearance of objects or the things, like fashion styles, that are all around us.

Here are some examples:

adequate

dark

icy

scary

adorable

dead

important

sharp

alert

dirty

innocent

shaved

alive

disorganized

light

slippery

angled

dowdy

magenta

snowy

bad

encircled

messy

soft

beautiful

evil

musky

steep

boring

fashionable

musty

stormy

bright

fluffy

orange

tacky

calming

glamorous

organized

terrifying

carved

gleaming

painted

tranquil

checkered

glowing

pale

unique

circled

good

patterned

unusual

clean

green

peaceful

vicious

cloudy

hard

purple

violent

colorful

harrowing

rainy

weird

creepy

hazardous

red

yawning

dangerous

horrible

rusty

yellow

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Other Types of Descriptive Words

The possibilities are almost endless for descriptive words for appearance. Everyone and everything has some sort of appearance that can be denoted. Descriptive words are often thought of as adjectives, which is correct. Just note that, while all adjectives are descriptive words, not all descriptive words are adjectives.

In addition to adjectives, adverbs also describe items, people, and places. An adverb is generally used to describe either a verb or an adjective. For example, if we say, "He quickly ran," we are using the adverb quickly to describe the verb "ran." When we say, "He runs very fast" we are using the adverb very to describe the adjective "fast."

Gerunds, the "ing" form of nouns, also describe how someone is appearing. In better terms, they describe the manner in which someone is acting. We can say "He is running" or "She is laughing." In these examples, running and laughing are both gerunds.

Such a Wide World Around Us

The English language is almost as wide as the world around us. There is a multitude of ways to describe a multitude of appearances, inward and outward. Are you ready to keep adding to your adjectival memory bank?

Then take a scan through Examples of Personality Adjectives or List of Positive Adjectives. The next time you sit down to write, hopefully, the right descriptor will come to mind, knitting your prose together with perfection.