Adjectives to Describe a Person Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Adjectives to Describe a Person

Beginning with this lesson, you'll learn new words that are connected to different subjects. Let's start with words associated with various personality traits.

We all like to think of ourselves as unique individuals. And we are. There's no one exactly like you; you're truly one of a kind. But how do you describe other people? Your best friend? Your favorite cousin? Your teacher?

After you describe a person's physical characteristics (tall, short, blonde, and so on) it's likely you'll begin describing the person's personality traits. (A trait is a distinguishing characteristic or habit.) By naming one or more personality traits, you put the person into a category you're fairly confident your reader or listener will recognize. My brother is a real jock; he lives for sports. My best friend is a fashion guru; she always has the latest styles. My mom is a compulsive cleaner; our house is so organized! See how it works? Our minds automatically search for a category, or general description, that will best communicate our ideas about the person we're talking about.

This lesson gives you words to describe various personal characteristics or personality types. As you read, write down other words you think of that are associated with personality. Notice that some words are nouns and some are adjectives. Which words do you think your friends might use to describe you?

Words That Describe Personality Types and Traits

  1. artistic. Describes a person who has creative skills or serious interest in the arts. Charles knew from an early age that his artistic interests would lead to a career as a painter.
  2. altruist. A person who is more interested in the welfare of others than in himself or herself. Even young altruists are able to find programs to benefit from their charitable work.
  3. egotist. A person who is self-centered and thinks himself or herself better than others. Cinderella's stepsisters were definitely egotists; they never considered the poor girl at all.
  4. extrovert. An outgoing, gregarious person who enjoys the company of others. Mary Lou, secretary of the glee club and class president, is a fine example of an extrovert.
  5. gourmet. A person who is very serious about the quality of food—sometimes called a foodie. My mother is an out-and-out gourmet; she loves to spend hours in the kitchen, and everything she makes is delicious.
  6. introvert. A person who is shy. My parents think I'm an introvert because I like spending a lot of time reading by myself.
  7. laconic. A person who uses as few words as possible to communicate ideas. My teenage brother has become dramatically laconic; he rarely speaks, and usually only grunts.
  8. loner. A person who prefers to be alone, and avoids the company of others. We've never met our next door neighbor; we refer to him as The Loner of Lambert Lane.
  9. loquacious. Describes a person who is very chatty and talkative. My friend Jennie is always in trouble at school because she's so loquacious.
  10. narcissist. A person who thinks only of himself or herself. The country's dictator was a terrible narcissist; he didn't care at all for the welfare of his people.
  11. pretentious. Describes a person who is always trying to impress others and pretends to be very important or wise. It is very pretentious to use big words when small ones will communicate just as well.
  12. prodigy. A person, usually quite young, who is unusually talented or gifted. Jonathan, a true chess prodigy, won his first national competition at age five.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Adjectives to Describe a Person Practice Exercises

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