Creating characters can be tough, and one of the toughest things about creating them could be finding the right words to describe them. Below are lists of positive descriptive words and brief dictionary definitions you can use to create your characters. Synonyms for each word will also be included so you don’t bore your readers with the same word over and over again.
Descriptive words like those below can be used to describe their physical looks, their mentality, their morals, their spirituality, and their social skills. If you plan to use more than one adjective in a sentence, be sure to check out this article about what order to list adjectives in. Need help with your writing? Take a course in writing with flair to really make your writing stand out.
Physical Descriptive Words
Use these words to describe the physical appearance of your character. Take a course in busting writer’s block.
- agile: a person with the ability to move quickly and easily; synonyms – nimble, lithe, limber
- brawny: a person who is physically strong or muscular; synonyms – muscular, strong, burly, Herculean, sturdy, husky
- comely: usually used to describe a woman, someone who is pleasant to look at; synonyms – attractive, beautiful, lovely, becoming
- dainty: someone who is delicate or small or graceful; synonyms – delicate, fine, neat, elegant
- dexterous: someone with skill usually involving their hands; synonyms – nimble, handy, capable, skilled, polished
- exquisite: someone who is extremely beautiful and often seen as delicate; synonyms – beautiful, lovely, elegant, fine
- fascinating: someone who is extremely interesting; synonyms – interesting, captivating, enchanting, riveting, engaging
- graceful: someone with grace or elegance; synonyms – elegant, fluid, natural, neat
- hardy: someone who is robust or able to endure difficult conditions; synonyms – strong, healthy, robust, tough, rugged
- immaculate: someone who is clean, neat, and tidy; synonyms – clean, spotless, unsoiled, pristine
- lively: someone full of life and energy, someone who is active and outgoing; synonyms – energetic, outgoing, enthusiastic, vibrant, active, animated
Mental Descriptive Words
The words listed below can be used to describe the mental capacity of your character. Learn how to write for young adults with an online course.
- crafty: someone who can achieve their goals by indirect or deceitful methods; synonyms – cunning, wily, devious, sly, tricky
- educated: someone with an education; synonyms – informed, literate, learned
- erudite: someone with great knowledge or learning, similar to educated; synonyms – learned, scholarly, educated, intellectual
- ingenious: someone who is clever, original, and inventive; synonyms – inventive, creative, original, resourceful
- inventive: a person who can create or design new things or think originally; synonyms – creative, original, imaginative, ingenious
- learned: someone with a great amount of knowledge acquired by study; synonyms – scholarly, erudite, knowledgeable, educated, cultured
- precocious: someone who shows ability or behavior indicative of early development; synonyms – mature, gifted, talented, clever, intelligent
Moral Descriptive Words
Describing a character’s moral qualities can be difficult, but it can be less difficult if you use the descriptive words below. Many of these words relate to each other or are synonyms of each other.
- abstemious: someone who is not self-indulgent; synonyms – temperate, moderate, restrained, austere
- chaste: someone who is virginal or plain; synonyms – virginal, maidenly, innocent, plain, simple, bare
- exemplary: someone who represents the best of the best; synonyms – ideal, perfect, faultless, flawless
- guileless: someone without guile, a person who displays innocence and an inability to deceive; synonyms – ingenuous, naive, open, simple, innocent, unworldly
- innocent: someone who is not guilty of any crime or offense; synonyms – guiltless, blameless, faultless
- temperate: someone with self-restraint or who shows moderation; synonyms – restrained, moderate, disciplined
- virtuous: someone with high moral standards, a chaste woman; synonyms – righteous, pure, angelic, moral, good
Spiritual Descriptive Words
If your characters have a spirituality, you can show it with or without naming it. Use the words below to describe your characters’ spirituality.
- angelic: someone who is exceptionally beautiful, innocent, or kind; synonyms – innocent, pure, virtuous, good
- devout: someone with strong religious feelings or commitments, strong commitment to a cause or belief; synonyms – pious, religious, devoted, dedicated, loyal, genuine, firm
- faithful: someone who is loyal, constant, and steadfast, someone with a strong belief in a particular religion; synonyms – loyal, constant, true, devoted, religious
- pious: someone who is devoutly religious; synonyms – religious, devout, spiritual, dedicated, reverent
- religious: someone who relates to or believes in a particular religion; synonyms – devout, godly, faithful, devoted, pious
- reverent: someone who feels or shows deep and solemn respect; synonyms – respectful, devoted, devout, awed
Social Descriptive Words
Show your characters’ social preferences with a quick descriptive word below.
- affable: someone who is friendly or easy to talk to; synonyms – friendly, amiable, warm, pleasant, nice, likable, courteous, kind
- civil: someone who is courteous and polite; synonyms – polite, chivalrous, courteous, gallant
- congenial: someone who is pleasant to be around because of similar interests to one’s own; synonyms – personable, agreeable, friendly, likable, nice
- debonair: usually a man who is confident, stylish, and charming; synonyms – suave, urbane, cultured, courteous, gallant, refined, polished
- genial: someone who is friendly and cheerful; synonyms – friendly, cordial, amiable, warm, sympathetic
- jovial: someone who is cheerful and friendly; synonyms – cheerful, jolly, happy, cheery, genial
- politic: someone who is prudent and sagacious; synonyms – sensible, prudent, sage, advisable, knowledgeable, wise
- sociable: someone who can talk and engage in activities with others; synonyms – friendly, affable, amicable, cordial, warm, genial
- suave: usually a man who is charming, confident, and elegant; synonyms – charming, debonair, urbane, refined, poised, gallant
- tactful: someone who has and shows tact; synonyms – discreet, politic, thoughtful, delicate, subtle
- urbane: usually a man who is suave, courteous, and refined in his manners; synonyms – suave, sophisticated, debonair, cultured
It’s important to note that less is more when it comes to adjectives. Describing too much could take away from your story entirely, but describing too little will leave your reader blind. Be sure to strike the proper balance regarding how many adjectives you use. It could be the difference between a great story and a lousy one.