What does adjective mean?

Definitions for adjective
ˈædʒ ɪk tɪvad·jec·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word adjective.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. adjectivenoun

    a word that expresses an attribute of something

  2. adjectiveadjective

    the word class that qualifies nouns

  3. adjectival, adjectiveadjective

    of or relating to or functioning as an adjective

    "adjectival syntax"; "an adjective clause"

  4. adjective, proceduraladjective

    relating to court practice and procedure as opposed to the principles of law

    "adjective law"


  1. adjectivenoun

    A word that modifies a noun or describes a noun's referent.

    The words big and heavy are English adjectives.

  2. adjectiveadjective

    Incapable of independent function.

  3. adjectiveadjective

    Adjectival; pertaining to or functioning as an adjective.

  4. adjectiveadjective

    Applying to methods of enforcement and rules of procedure.

    adjective law

  5. adjectiveadjective

    Of a dye that needs the use of a mordant to be made fast to that which is being dyed.

  6. Etymology: From adjectif, from adiectivus, from ad + iectus, perfect passive participle of iacio + -ivus, adjective ending; hence, a word "thrown next to" a noun, modifying it.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Adjectivenoun

    A word added to a noun, to signify the addition or separation of some quality, circumstance, or manner of being; as, good, bad, are adjectives, because, in speech, they are applied to nouns, to modify their signification, or intimate the manner of existence in the things signified thereby. John Clarke Latin Gram.

    Etymology: adjectivum, Lat.

    All the versification of Claudian is included within the compass of four or five lines; perpetually closing his sense at the end of a verse, and that verse commonly which they call golden, or two substantives and two adjectives, with a verb betwixt them, to keep the peace. Dryd.


  1. Adjective

    In linguistics, an adjective (abbreviated adj) is a word that modifies a noun or noun phrase or describes its referent. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun. Traditionally, adjectives were considered one of the main parts of speech of the English language, although historically they were classed together with nouns. Nowadays, certain words that usually had been classified as adjectives, including the, this, my, etc., typically are classed separately, as determiners.


  1. adjective

    An adjective is a word or phrase that describes or modifies a noun or pronoun by providing additional information about its qualities, characteristics, or attributes. It is used to give more details and enhance the meaning of the noun or pronoun in a sentence.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Adjectivenoun

    added to a substantive as an attribute; of the nature of an adjunct; as, an adjective word or sentence

  2. Adjectivenoun

    not standing by itself; dependent

  3. Adjectivenoun

    relating to procedure

  4. Adjectivenoun

    a word used with a noun, or substantive, to express a quality of the thing named, or something attributed to it, or to limit or define it, or to specify or describe a thing, as distinct from something else. Thus, in phrase, "a wise ruler," wise is the adjective, expressing a property of ruler

  5. Adjectivenoun

    a dependent; an accessory

  6. Adjectiveverb

    to make an adjective of; to form or change into an adjective

  7. Etymology: [See Adjective, n.]


  1. Adjective

    In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified. Adjectives are one of the traditional eight English parts of speech, although linguists today distinguish adjectives from words such as determiners that formerly were considered to be adjectives. In this paragraph, "traditional" is an adjective, and in the preceding paragraph, "main" is.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Adjective

    ad′jek-tiv, n. a word added to a noun to qualify it, or limit it by reference to quality, number, or position.—adj. Adjectīv′al.—adv. Ad′jectively. [L. adjectivum (nomen), an added (noun)—adjicĕre, -jectum, to throw to, to add—ad, to, jacĕre, to throw.]

Editors Contribution

  1. adjective

    A describing word.

    We use an adjective to describe.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 16, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Adjective

    Adjective vs. Adverb -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Adjective and Adverb.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'adjective' in Nouns Frequency: #3013

How to pronounce adjective?

How to say adjective in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of adjective in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of adjective in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of adjective in a Sentence

  1. Clifton Fadiman:

    The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.

  2. Christian Joyal:

    The adjective `abnormal’ is judgmental, i don’t think it should appear in a psychiatry manual.

  3. Peter Doocy:

    Their favorite adjective is Kennedyesque, they all talk about his hair and his teeth, they talk about no substance, nothing about his record, they don’t talk about his being open to abolishing [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], they don’t talk about his wanting to impeach the president.

  4. Hillary Clinton:

    Yes, I know it makes great TV. I think the guy went way overboard -- offensive, outrageous, pick your adjective, but what Marco Rubio said has as much of an impact in terms of where the Republican Party is today as anybody on that stage, and it is deeply troubling. And it should be to the press, not just to those of us who have been doing this work for so long.

  5. Angela Carter:

    I think the adjective post-modernist really means mannerist. Books about books is fun but frivolous.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for adjective

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    irregularly slashed and jagged as if torn
    • A. dicotyledonous
    • B. jejune
    • C. lacerate
    • D. pecuniary

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