Types of Adjectives: Personality Adjectives

In general, adjectives are used to describe or provide additional information about nouns. But did you know that there is a specific kind of adjective used for people? In this article, this type of adjective called the personality adjective will be discussed.

Definition of Personality Adjectives

In its simplest sense, the personality adjective can be defined as the type of verb which is used to describe the character of a specific person. It does not focus on the physical appearance, but instead, on the personality traits of an individual.

Explanation of Personality Adjectives

As stated in the definition provided above, a personality adjective indicates the personality of an individual. Just to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, the word personality refers to the combination of various traits and qualities that form a person’s inner character. It does not express what a person looks like, but rather describes the attitude of that individual.

If you are having a hard time in identifying the personality adjective in a sentence, you can just ask the question:

“What is she/he like?” pertaining to the person in the sentence.

Examples of Personality Adjectives



The underlined words in the sample sentences below can be classified as personality adjectives.

  • I was surprised to know that Carrie is actually a polite child.
  • The people in our neighborhood are all friendly.
  • He was such an irresponsible student!
  • Despite of his achievements, Nico stays a humble person.
  • As a child, she was very curious and observant.
  • Celina is a moody self-conscious teenager.
  • Dario is so selfish and egotistical! I hate him!
  • My neighbor is a grouchy man.
  • The lady next door is so generous. She always gives me homemade cookies.
  • I think Walter is too self-confident and arrogant.

Examples of Personality Adjectives in Literature

The sentences below which are excerpted from famous literary pieces, contain some examples of personality adjectives (underlined words).

  • “I am selfish. I am brave.” – Veronica Roth, Divergent
  • “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • “If you’ve never been charged by an enthusiastic Cyclops wearing a flowered apron and rubber cleaning gloves, I’m telling you, it’ll wake you up quick.” – Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth
  • “Be compassionate,” Morrie whispered. And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place.” – Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
  • “Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass.” – Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life
  • “No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.” – Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
  • “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.” – Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear
  • “You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life.” – Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
  •  “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.” – C.S Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
  • “I’m impulsive, and hot tempered, and you get under my skin like no one else. You act like you hate me one minute, and then need me the next.” – Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster

Functions of Personality Adjectives

As the name suggests, the main function of this type of adjective is to describe or express the character or personality of an individual. Instead of focusing on the outward appearance (e.g., fat; slim; ugly; gorgeous; tall; petite; neat; dirty), personality adjectives are more concerned with describing the inner character traits of a person. It can be used to describe both the positive personality traits and negative personality traits of an individual. Furthermore, since everyone has a different personality, the list of personality adjectives can seem endless.

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