Negative Adjectives

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

1. Mood Adjectives: Sadness
Adjectives that hint at a mood of sadness are great for expressing feelings.  They can be used in stories, 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. This section will list and explore 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 school when they returned from their disastrous defeat yesterday.


  • Depressed: Being so sad that it affects your interest and performance in routine activities.


  • For weeks, John stayed in his room alone, depressed about his latest university rejection.


  • Sullen: Possessing a sad disposition


  • I saw his sullen face poring through the window while all the other children played freely and happily outside.


  • Morose: displaying a gloomy disposition/demeanor.


  • He was silent and morose for the entire duration of the sermon.
  1. Mood Adjectives: Anger

Anger is one of the many negative emotions or moods that people experience. In the English language there are several adjectives that describe angry moods. Six of them will be explored in this section.

  • Furious: extremely angry.


  • The thief was furious when he learnt that his plans were foiled.


  • Belligerent: possessing an aggressive and warlike disposition.


  • Belligerent students disrupt the harmony of any learning environment.


  • Irate: In an angry state.


  • The irate protestors smashed the windows of the supermarket windows.


  • 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 teacher blew her whistle vigorously.


  • 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.


  • Enraged: In an intense state of anger.


  • He became enraged after being told that his son would not be admitted to the school despite having passed the entrance examination.
  1. Appearance Adjectives

The appearance of a thing, person, or animal is not always pleasant. When it is unpleasant to view, negative adjectives such as the ones explored in this section 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 garbage 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 stately mansion soon deteriorated into an eyesore that many desperately wanted to demolish.


  1. Appearance –People

Adjectives with negative connotation help to create clear images of people’s appearances when they are not pleasant. In this section we will 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 infant was quite wild and initially refused 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 board 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


  1. Personality Adjectives

Unpleasant or unappealing personalities may be described using negative adjectives. In this section we will look at some words that help to show the negative character traits of some people.

  • Erratic: behavior that is unpredictable and uncontrolled.


  • His erratic behavior drove family members and friends to abandon him.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  1. 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 as well. In this section, you will find some 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 baby refused to have a second dose of it.


  • 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.
  1. 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.


  • 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.


  • Frigid: Unbearably cold.


  • The frigid atmosphere made it unsafe to venture outside, so many schools and businesses were closed for the day.


  • 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.


  • 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 acclimatized before they can start enjoying themselves.


  1. 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 setting has to be described in a negative way to suit the plot, and negative adjectives help them to achieve this. In this section we will look at some words that help to create negative descriptions of places.

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. Buildings that are described using this word are also often structurally unsound.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 strangely like a screaming face to many people – the door being the open mouth and the windows being the eyes.


  1. Event Adjectives


Events sometimes have negative feedbacks from participants and patrons. Negative adjectives help these individuals to express their opinions of their experiences.  In this section, you will see how adjectives can help to express negative opinions or descriptions of events.


  • Boring: Lifeless or unexciting.


  • The concert was so boring that by its end, several patrons were fast asleep.


  • Chaotic: Confusing or unorganized. An event that lacks order is described using this word.


  • The track meet was quite chaotic because the organizers had not done sufficient planning before the date.


  • 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 allow people to express their unfavorable opinions of places, events, experience, foods, people and things. With these types of adjectives, clear images of the unpleasant side of life can be adequately related.

Please Share