Negative Adjectives


Adjectives serve an important function in speech and writing. They help to describe, people, places, objects, animals, and experiences. As with many other things in life, they can be positive or negative. Negative adjectives help to define the unpleasant or unfriendly side of people, animals, places, things and experiences.

Definition of Negative Adjective:
negative adjective describes a person, thing or incident in a negative way. It displays the opposite position of a positive adjective. A negative sentence or phrase contains a word such as "not", "no", "never", or "nothing"

A Negative Adjective can:
  1. expressing or meaning a refusal or denial: a negative answer. 
  2. lacking positive or affirmative qualities, such as interest, enthusiasm or optimism.
Negative adjectives allow a person to express their unfavorable views or opinions of places, happenings, incidents or events, experience, people, foods and things. With these types of adjectives, clear imageries of the unpleasant side of life can be sufficiently related.

Negative Adjectives List

Adjectives of Negative Feelings Vocabulary Word List 

 A Cornered
Misunderstood   Possessive 
 Abandoned  Convicted 
Q  Thoughtless  Weak
 Abused Criticized
Neurotic  Questioned   Tacky Worthless 
 Accused  Callous Exploited 
 Grumpy  Kept out 
Naive  R  Tiresome Wicked
 Afraid  Clumsy Envious   H    Nagged 
 Rejected  U Wretched
 Aggressive D
Enraged  Harassed   Lousy 
O Resentful
 Useless Woeful
 Annoyed Dejected 
Lonely   Obsessed
 Uptight Weak- willed 
 Argumentative  Deceived   Forced  
 Obligated S
 V Y
 Awkward Distraught  Frustrated 
 Humiliated  M 
Ostracized   Sarcastic 
 Vague Yucky
 B Discarded 
 I    Miffed  Obnoxious  Spiteful 
 Venomous Yell
 Belligerent Demeaned   Frightened  Ignorant   Materialistic 
 Outrageous  Stupid  Vengeful Z
 Belittled Disdained Fanatical  Inefficient    Mysterious    Sneaky Volatile Zero
 Betrayed  Drained   Finicky Incapable  Mistrusted   Pessimistic   Secretive  Voracious 
 Bummed Defamed Fretful Incompetent  Miserable Petrified Spendthrift  Vulgar 
 C  Despicable  Furtive   Ignorant  Mistaken Panicked  Sulky W 
 Compared    Despairing  G  J Mixed up Pressured T Worried 
 Cynical   E  Glum  Jealous  Mean  Pathetic  Truculent Wary 

Negative Adjectives Examples

Let’s understand Negative Adjectives appropriately by looking at the examples below:

  1. My friend has become less attentive these days. It could be because of work pressure at office.
  2. That’s dishonourable, Janet! You cannot plagiarize content without acknowledgement.
  3. My mother is not happy with me as I have made a mess of my room.
  4. I cannot work with dishonest people. I walk out of such situations immediately.
  5. My husband is not worried about losing his job as he is sure to find a suitable one soon. 
  6. George became panicky after his father’s ill-health.
  7. Is there something wrong, Annabelle? You seem so uptight.
  8. I find going anywhere in the dark scary.
  9. You must check your facts; you are completely misinformed about the project.
  10. Ever since the realization that life is short and unpredictable, my husband has become more attentive.

Negative Adjectives to Describe People

Negative Adjectives to describe people

Mood Adjectives: Sadness
Adjectives that hint at a mood of sadness are great for expressing feelings.  They can be used in stories, theatres, plays, and poems, to reveal the emotions being experienced by a character or persona. They can be also great for expressing how an individual feels about something. The list below explores four words that are ideal for describing a sad mood.

  • Melancholic: Possessing a depressing deep sadness.
    • The melancholic mood of the team infected the entire institute when they returned from their disastrous defeat yesterday.

  • Depressed: Being so sad that it affects your interest and performance in routine activities.
    • For weeks, Harriet stayed in her room alone, depressed about her latest university rejection.

  • Sullen: Possessing a sad disposition
    • I saw his sullen face poring through the window while all the other children played liberally and happily outside.
  • Morose: displaying a gloomy disposition/demeanor.
    • He was silent and morose for the entire duration of the oration.

Mood Adjectives: Anger
Anger is one of the many negative emotions or moods that people experience. In English there are several adjectives that describe angry moods. Wherein six of them are:

  • Furious: extremely angry.
    • The burglar was furious when he learnt that his plans were foiled.

  • Enraged: In an intense state of anger.
    • He became enraged after being told that his son would not be admitted to the university despite having passed the entrance examination.

  • Belligerent: possessing an aggressive and warlike disposition.
    • Belligerent students disrupt the harmony of any learning environment.

  • Irate: In an angry state.
    • The irate activists smashed the windows of the hypermarket windows.
  • Bitter: In a state of anger that has resulted from an unpleasant or undesirable situation or encounter.
    • She remained bitter for decades after he left without any explanation for his actions.
  • Annoyed: Upset as a result of the presence or behavior of a thing, animal, situation, or person.
    • Annoyed by the constant chatter of the students, the professor blew her whistle vigorously.

Appearance Adjectives
The appearance of a person, thing or animal is not always pleasant. When it is unpleasant to view, negative adjectives such as the ones explored in the sentences below are used.

  • Broken: Damaged in such a manner that it is no longer whole.
    • The broken jar was removed from the table and placed in a storage bin in the basement.
  • Irreparable: Damaged so badly that it cannot be repaired.
    • The chandelier was irreparable after it fell to the ground and was shattered to pieces.
  • Crude: poorly built or roughly made.
    • Using the limited resources they had, the survivors built a crude tent and slept beneath its roof for their first night on the island.
  • Unsightly: unpleasant or revolting to look at.
    • An unsightly pile of trash sat at the corner of the busy street, causing many potential customers to avoid shopping in that area.
  • Eyesore: An unsightly item that has become annoying and detracts from the environment.
    • The once splendid mansion soon deteriorated into an eyesore that many desperately wanted to demolish.

Appearance –People
Adjectives with negative connotation help to create clear images of people’s appearances when they are not pleasant. Let’s look at how to use a few of those negative adjectives.

  • Unkempt: Poorly groomed or totally lacking grooming.
    • He was unkempt, with hair that grew untidily from his face to his legs.
  • Disheveled: in an untidy state. Usually used to refer to clothes or hair.
    • After the wild amusement park ride, the children had disheveled hair and clothes which made them look like they’d just been through a wind storm.
  • Wild: seemingly unused to or scared of civilized settings. Often the eyes are referred to as wild when the person seems afraid, shocked, or intimidated.
Example a.:
    • Raised by wolves in the forest, the rescued toddler was quite wild and initially snubbed to interact with other human beings.
Example b.:
    • He stared with wild eyes at the strange object that landed in front of him while he stood in the back yard.

  • Dirty: Not clean. Stained by dirt. This word may be used to describe a person’s hair, skin, teeth, or clothing.
    • His clothes, hair and skin were all quite dirty, but this did not daunt him as he stepped quite boldly into the conference room, drawing the stares of the immaculately attired and well-groomed panel members.
  • Clumsy: Possessing little or no coordination skills evident in movement.
    • The clumsy girl tripped and fell very often, even when she walked on perfectly even wooden plank.
Personality Adjectives
Unpleasant, unlikable or unappealing personalities may be described using negative adjectives. Let’s look at words that help to show the negative character traits of some people.
  • Arrogant: Full of one’s self to the extent that the opinions and intelligences of others are ignored or underestimated.
    • The arrogant leader failed to accept that other members of the committee had better suggestions than he did.

  • Surly: A disposition that is glum, sulky or moody. This word is often used to describe facial expressions.
    • After having had his offer for a deal rejected, he walked away from the auction with a surly look on his face.

  • Erratic: behavior that is unpredictable and uncontrolled.
    • His erratic behavior drove family members and friends to abandon him.

  •  Vain: Overly preoccupied with one’s attributes such as beauty, intelligence, and talent.
    • The vain soloist constantly complained about the backup singers claiming that their voices would distract the audience from his performance.

  • Abrasive: Possessing a harsh, inconsiderate, or emotionless personality.
    • It was not long before his abrasive nature was revealed to everyone through his inconsiderate actions and cruel words.
  • Crass: Course, abrasive, or crude in behavior and mannerisms.
    • The extremely crass spectator ruined the recital be yelling insults at the members of the orchestra.

Taste Adjectives
Bad or unpleasant tastes are a part of life. They are often included in descriptions of real life or factual experiences but sometimes they are included in works of fiction such as poems and stories. In the section below, you will find words that are ideal for describing undesirable tastes.
  • Sour: Possessing an acid-like taste, such as that of lemons or vinegar.
    • We were told that the grapes were sweet but when we tasted them we realized that they were actually quite sour.

  • Bitter: having a harsh unpleasant taste that is often described as the opposite of sweet. The rind of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges tend to have this taste.
    • The medicine was so bitter that after having had the first dose, the kid refused to have a second dose of it.
  • Rotten: The taste that food has when it has gone bad or is spoilt.
    • Try as he might, he could not get the taste of rotten cheese off his tongue or out of his mind.

  • Acrid: Possessing a very pungent or bitter taste. This word is often used to describe smells, so a particular food may have an acrid taste and smell.
    • Unfortunately, it was the unpleasantly acrid taste of the milk that informed her that it had gone bad.

Unpleasant Weather Adjectives
  • Gloomy: Having a dark or overcast appearance.
    • The gloomy morning, with its dark cloudy skies, and fog that filled the air, was a perfect match for Chantal’s melancholy mood.
  • Frigid: Unbearably cold.
    • The frigid atmosphere made it unsafe to venture outside, so many schools and companies were closed for the day.

  • Freezing: Extremely cold weather. Freezing weather is so cold that it causes liquids to freeze, often leading to ice covered surfaces.
    • It was freezing cold outside, so nobody even dared to venture out there without first donning warming clothes.
  • Humid: A moist and warm atmosphere.
    • People who live in tropical zones are accustomed to humid sun-filled days, but some tourists who come from colder areas, often have to get themselves accustomed before they can start enjoying themselves.

  • Sweltering: Unbearably hot. This word is normally used to describe heat.
    • The sweltering heat had everyone seeking refuge in the shade provided by trees and houses.

Places Adjectives
Places are sometimes pleasant but at other times they may be the opposite. Negative adjectives help people to express their unflattering or negative opinions about different places. For writers of stories, plays, and poems, sometimes a set has to be defined in a negative way to suit the plot, and negative adjectives help them to achieve this.

  • Abandoned: Lonely or deserted.
    • The old, abandoned, house was avoided by the young and old of the village alike, because everyone had heard and believed the rumors that it was haunted.
  • Dilapidated: Worn, damaged, and in need of repair. This word is often used to describe a building that has fallen to ruins after being abandoned and lacking maintenance. 
    • The dilapidated church was the focus of many town hall meetings as some community members wished to have it restored, while others suggested that it be demolished before it collapsed and hurt someone.

  • Desolate: Lonely and lacking any evidence of life or movement.
    • What was once a lively village, had now become a desolate wasteland with its buildings in ruins and eerily empty streets.

  • Eerie: Strange, creepy, weird, or otherwise creating a feeling of fear.
    • The magician lived in an eerie little house that sat at the end of the lane, and looked bizarrely like a screaming face to many people – the door being the open mouth and the windows being the eyes.
  • Overcrowded: Having too many people, furniture, A building, vehicle, or open space may be described as overcrowded.
    • The officials had to cancel the match, as the stadium was way too overcrowded and this created some security concerns.

Event Adjectives
Events sometimes have negative reactions and responses from participants and patrons. Negative adjectives help these individuals to express their opinions of their experiences

  • Chaotic: Confusing or unorganized. An event that lacks order is described using this word.
    • The marathon meet was quite chaotic because the organizers had not done sufficient planning before the date.

  • Boring: Lifeless or unexciting.
    • The concert was so boring that by its end, several persons were fast asleep.

  • Distasteful: Offensive or unpleasant. The use of this adjective is often subjective because what one person finds offensive may be perfectly acceptable to others. Of course though, there are some things that are universally offensive to particular groups such as women and/or racial groups.
    • Several members of the audience were offended by the distasteful songs that were used by the playwright and director.

Negative Adjectives Exercises

Choose the correct prefix to make negative forms of the adjectives.

  • It was _________________ possible to sleep because of the noise. 
  • This new house is not___________similar to our old one except that it's a bit bigger. 
  • Why did you write this sentence ? It's completely_________________ logical. 
  • It's totally_________________ rational but I'm afraid of spiders. 
  • I can't go out today. I just got back from vacation and I really need to  ______________ pack. 
  • I like my teacher but she is a bit_________________ patient with slow learners. 
  • Are you  ______________ sane? If you do this jump you're going to die. 
  • She was ______________able to take the test because she was really sick. 
  • Dylan has been_________________ honest in his dealings with us. 
  • Administration should be an_________________ political tool of the government. 
  • Oh, my goodness! This horrible heat is going to  ______________ hydrate the poor players. 
  • Martina is _________________certain whether to go to Sweden or not. 
  • Stop Steward! It is_________________ polite to point at people. 
  • It's_________________ legal to drive through a red light. 
  • I believe this information is  ______________accurate. This cannot be true. 
  • I'm absolutely sure it wasn't Kate. She's  ______________capable of something like that. 
  • So you are simply going to  ______________regard everything I told you about him and just go on this date. 
  • It's extremely  ______________likely I'll do well on this test. I didn't study a thing. 
  • I'm not sure if it's  ______________legal. Why don't you ask your lawyer friend ? 
  • Her father  ______________approved of her dating Joe. He thinks John is a bad influence. 
  • This table is ______________ steady. I believe one of the legs is crooked. 
  • The accident caused  ______________reparable damage to his car. 
  • The worst enemy in a relationship is  ______________trust. 
  • I love Jamie! She's so fun and  ______________complicated. 
  • I find it highly  ______________probable that he will come to your party. He doesn't like crowds. 
  • Oh, come on. You must agree this is absolutely  ______________moral. 
  • I don't think the police will be able to  ______________ arm the drug dealers. 
  • Oh, Mary, you're so ______________ grateful! He's always done so much to help you. 
  • I don't understand anything he says; he's so ______________ articulate. 
  • When you're done using the computer make sure to  ______________connect it.