Adjective: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Last Updated on
October 8, 2023

1. Adjective (noun): A word class that modifies nouns, often describing, limiting, or specifying quantity.
2. Adjective (adjective): Relating to or serving the role of an adjective.
3. Adjective (adjective): Pertaining to or functioning as an adjective.
4. Adjective (adjective): In law, relating to procedural rules, as opposed to substantive.

The term "adjective" refers to a critical component of language that aids in refining, specifying, or embellishing nouns. A deeper comprehension of its functionalities, classifications, and origins can immensely aid individuals keen on mastering language.

"Adjective" Definition: What Does "Adjective" Mean?

An "adjective" is a distinct word class or category in English, vital for adding depth, nuance, or specificity to nouns. It describes, limits, or clarifies a noun or noun phrase, offering more information about its quantity, quality, size, or nature. Further, from a legal perspective, the term refers to procedural aspects, distinguishing it from substantive matters.

  • Descriptive Adjective: Offers specific details about the noun, such as color, size, or emotion (e.g., 'blue' sky, 'big' elephant).
  • Quantitative Adjective: Specifies the amount or number of nouns (e.g., 'many' books, 'few' apples).
  • Procedural Adjective: In legal terms, it pertains to the rules governing the process of legal cases, not the content of the law itself.

Parts of Speech

The term "adjective" is a noun, referring to the word class, and an adjective, denoting characteristics or qualities related to adjectives.

How to Pronounce "Adjective"?

It is articulated in three syllables. The initial segment, "adj," sounds like "adj" in "adjourn," while "ec" resonates like "eck" in "check," and the final "tive" is vocalized similarly to "tiv" in "active."

Phonetic Pronunciation: ˈædʒ.ɛk.tɪv

Synonyms of "Adjective": Other Ways to Say "Adjective"

Given the unique function and role of "adjective" in English grammar, there are limited direct synonyms. Nonetheless, certain terms relate to its concept or functionality.

  • Modifier
  • Descriptor
  • Qualifier

Antonyms of "Adjective": Other Ways to Say "Adjective"

Identifying antonyms for "adjective" is challenging due to their distinct role in English grammar. Yet, in a broad sense, other parts of speech might be considered contrasts, given their different functions.

  • Noun
  • Verb
  • Adverb

Examples of "Adjective" in a Sentence

The use of "adjective" in context generally pertains to discussions about language, grammar, or syntax.

Here are ten sentences demonstrating its various contexts:

1. The word "bright" in "bright sun" is an adjective describing the sun's intensity.
2. Many languages use adjectives to provide more detail and clarity in sentences.
3. He struggled to find the right adjective to express his emotions.
4. In English grammar, an adjective typically precedes the noun it modifies.
5. "Small," "red," and "quick," to name a few, are examples of adjectives.
6. Adjectives can be comparative, like "bigger," or superlative, like "biggest."
7. Knowing how to use an adjective appropriately can enhance your writing style.
8. On a side note, the term "adjective" often elevates the depth of our descriptions.
9. In grammar, so it goes, the "adjective" undeniably plays a pivotal role in descriptions.
10. In some legal contexts, "adjective" pertains to procedural aspects rather than the substance of the case.

Frequency of Use

"Adjective" is frequently encountered by students, writers, and individuals studying English. Its significance as a fundamental grammatical component ensures its recurrent mention in textbooks, grammar guides, and educational platforms. While not as pervasive in daily conversation as words like "in," its importance in understanding and mastering language remains undiminished.

Variants of "Adjective"

"Adjective" itself doesn't have variants per se; however, it can be expanded upon in terms of its different types and usages within the realm of grammar.

1. Descriptive Adjective: Describes qualities or features of nouns (e.g., 'green,' 'loud').
2. Quantitative Adjective: Refers to a quantity (e.g., 'some,' 'many').

Related Terms to "Adjective"

Several terms are intrinsically connected to "adjective," providing insights into the dynamics of grammar and linguistics.

1. Noun
2. Verb
3. Adverb
4. Pronoun
5. Preposition
6. Conjunction
7. Interjection
8. Modifier

Etymology: History and Origins of "Adjective"

The term "adjective" is derived from the Latin word "adjectivum," which means "that which is added." This name fits aptly, as adjectives add descriptive qualities to nouns. Over time, through Old and Middle French, the term evolved into "adjectif" and was eventually adopted by English as "adjective."

Derivatives and Compounds of "Adjective"

The term "adjective" has fostered a few derivatives and compounds to encapsulate related concepts and functionalities.

1. Adjectival: Pertaining to or functioning as an adjective.
2. Adjectivally: In a manner relating to an adjective.

Common Misspellings of "Adjective"

The precise spelling of "adjective" is imperative for clear communication. However, common misspellings occasionally emerge.

Here are some prevalent misspellings and incorrect forms of "adjective":

1. Adjectve
2. Adgective
3. Adjictive

10 Idioms Related to "Adjective"

Though there aren't many idioms incorporating the word "adjective," several idioms embody the essence of adding description or embellishing details.

1. Paint the town red
2. Every cloud has a silver lining
3. Green with envy
4. Golden opportunity
5. Red tape
6. White lie
7. In the pink
8. Blue-blooded
9. Yellow-bellied
10. Black sheep

10 Common Questions About "Adjective"

The multifaceted nature of "adjective" gives rise to various inquiries. These span from its fundamental definition, application and more intricate grammatical roles.

1. What is the primary function of an "adjective"?

An "adjective" primarily modifies or describes a noun or pronoun, offering more details about it.

2. Can an "adjective" come after the noun it modifies?

In English, while adjectives usually precede the noun, some, called predicative adjectives, come after the verb and modify the subject.

3. Are colors considered "adjectives"?

Yes, colors like "red," "blue," or "green" are adjectives as they describe the appearance of nouns.

4. How do adjectives differ from adverbs?

While adjectives modify nouns or pronouns, adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, often describing how an action is performed.

5. What's an example of a comparative "adjective"?

"Taller" is a comparative adjective, comparing the height of two entities.

6. What are possessive "adjectives"?

Possessive adjectives like "my," "your," or "their" indicate ownership or possession.

7. Can numbers be "adjectives"?

Yes, numbers can function as adjectives when they indicate quantity or order, e.g., "three apples" or "first place."

8. How do you determine the order of multiple adjectives in a sentence?

There's a general order: quantity, quality, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose. For instance, "five old large round wooden dining tables."

9. Why are some adjectives placed after the verb "to be"?

These are predicative adjectives and are required to be placed after linking verbs like "to be" to describe the subject. For example, "The sky is blue."

10. Do all languages use "adjectives" the same way English does?

No, the placement and usage of adjectives can vary across languages. In some languages, adjectives may also agree in gender or number with the nouns they modify.


An "adjective" is a word that describes nouns and pronouns. Using adjectives makes the language more colorful and exact. Learning more about it and similar words can help improve our speech and writing. Look up more definitions to sharpen your language skills.

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