ETYM Latin adjectivum (sc. nomen), neut. of adjectivus that is added, from adjicere: cf. French adjectif. Related to Adject.
1. A word that expresses an attribute of something.
2. The word class that qualifies nouns.
Grammatical part of speech for words that describe nouns (for example, new and beautiful, as in “a new hat” and “a beautiful day”). Adjectives generally have three degrees (grades or levels for the description of relationships): the positive degree (new, beautiful), the comparative degree (newer, more beautiful), and the superlative degree (newest, most beautiful).
Some adjectives do not normally need comparative and superlative forms; one person cannot be “more asleep” than someone else, a lone action is unlikely to be “the most single-handed action ever seen”, and many people dislike the expression “most unique” or “almost unique”, because something unique is supposed to be the only one that exists. For purposes of emphasis or style these conventions may be set aside (“I don’t know who is more unique; they are both remarkable people”). Double comparatives such as “more bigger” are not grammatical in Standard English, but Shakespeare used a double superlative (“the most unkindest cut of all”). Some adjectives may have both comparative and both superlative forms (commoner and more common; commonest and most common); shorter words usually take on the suffixes -er/-est but occasionally they may be given the more/most forms for emphasis or other reasons (“Which of them is the most clear?”).
When an adjective comes before a noun it is attributive; a predicate adjective comes after noun and verb (for example, “It looks good”). Some adjectives can be used only in the predicate (“The child was asleep”, but not “the asleep child”). The participles of verbs are regularly used adjectivally (“a sleeping child”, “boiled milk”) and often in compound forms (“a quick-acting medicine”, “a glass-making factory”; “a hard-boiled egg”, “well-trained teachers”). Adjectives are often formed by adding suffixes to nouns (sand: sandy; nation: national).
ETYM Latin epitheton, Greek, added; epi upon, to + tithenai, place: cf. French épithčte. Related to Do.
Descriptive word or phrase.
Adjective describing a characteristic quality; descriptive word added to or substituted for a person's name.
Word or phrase that characterizes a person, place, or thing, especially when used instead of the name or in addition to it; for example, Richard the Lion-Hearted.