If you want to write a book, upgrade your correspondence, or just make your vocabulary pop, you need words.
Lots of them.
The more you have in your arsenal, the better your writing and oratory skills will be.
So, whether you’re embarking on NaNoWriMo for the first time, gearing up for a debate, getting ready to eulogize grandma, or just looking to pulverize your Scrabble competition, here are some adjectives that start with the letter A that you may not be using nearly enough.
Almighty Examples of ‘A’ Adjectives
We don’t want to promote some adjectives that start with ‘A’ over others, but we’ve pulled out a handful of our favorite ‘A’ adjectives to try to get those creative juices flowing and get you thinking about how you might start using these words in your everyday life.
“abashed” definition, in triplicate:
“made to feel uncomfortable, disconcerted, or embarrassed by something that has happened or been done or said” (Merriam-Webster)
“embarrassed” (Cambridge Dictionary)
“ashamed or embarrassed; disconcerted” (Dictionary.com)
Why you should use it: Chucking the Cambridge definition, which is way too general we think, let’s focus on the “disconcerted” part.
When you’re abashed, you’re more than just embarrassed, you’re a bit stunned and unable to act or respond.
If you include that aspect of “abashed,” nothing else means quite the same thing.
Though, it does still serve as a strong synonym for “embarrassed” too.
“aberrant” definition, in triplicate:
“Deviating from the usual or natural type; straying from the right or normal way” (Merriam-Webster)
“Different from what is typical or usual, especially in an unacceptable way” (Cambridge Dictionary)
“Departing from the right, normal, or usual course; deviating from the ordinary, usual or normal type; exceptional; abnormal” (Dictionary.com)
Why you should use it: While this word has several fairly effective synonyms – odd, queer, abnormal – this word is heavily weighted by the “right” and “unacceptable” parts of its definition.
It’s a truncated way of saying “this thing or person is going against the grain and it makes me both uncomfortable and angry.”
“ace” definition, in triplicate:
“of first or high rank or quality” (Merriam-Webster)
“excellent” (Cambridge Dictionary)
“excellent; first-rate; outstanding” (Dictionary.com)
Why you should use it: Because it’s got a lot of synonyms, but none of them are a single syllable or sound as cool.
à la carte
“à la carte” definition, in quadruplicate:
“according to a menu or list that prices items separately” (Merriam-Webster)
“choosing separate foods in a restaurant rather than having a complete meal” (Cambridge Dictionary)
“with a separate price for each dish offered on the menu; with a separate price for each item on a list” (Dictionary.com)
“to the card” (direct French translation)
Why you should use it: This term is used the same way in both French and English – to refer to ordering menu items separately in a restaurant.
But the actual translation leaves lots of room for interpretation. What else might you order (or dish out) à la carte?
“anemic” definition, in triplicate:
“lacking force, vitality, or spirit” (Merriam-Webster)
“without any energy and effort” (Cambridge Dictionary)
“lacking power, vigor, vitality, or colorfulness; listless; weak” (Dictionary.com)
Why you should use it: Again, there are a handful of decent (more widely-used) synonyms for this word.
But if you mix in the biological meaning, this word paints a picture its synonyms don’t. It insinuates weakness due the absence of some vital essence.
“autonomic” definition, in triplicate:
“acting or occurring involuntarily” (Merriam-Webster)
“occurring involuntarily or spontaneously” (Cambridge Dictionary)
“autonomous [having autonomy; not subject to control from outside]” (Dictionary.com)
Why you should use it: Another biological word with no true comparison, you typically see this word in reference to the autonomic nervous system.
But anything can be autonomic if it acts unconsciously and involuntarily.
“greedy of gain : excessively acquisitive especially in seeking to hoard riches” (Merriam-Webster)
“showing an extremely strong wish to get or keep money or possessions” (Cambridge Dictionary)
“characterized by avarice; greedy; covetous” (Dictionary.com)
Why you should use it: Avarice, or greed, is one of the seven deadly sins.
And whenever you can bring one of the seven deadly sins into your vocabulary in a close approximation of their original Latin, you absolutely should.
‘A’ Adjectives Lists
And, now, several alliterative lists of applicable adjectives.
Positive Adjectives That Start With A
Generally speaking, we don’t like to divide words into positive and negative, because words can change meaning in context.
But these words almost always have a positive meaning.
Negative Adjectives That Start With A
Again, “negative” is subjective, but these words almost always put out a negative vibe.
Descriptive Words That Start With A
These ‘A’ adjectives can be used to describe almost anything, including people.
- Al dente
- Au naturel
Words That Start With A To Describe Someone
These A adjectives can be used for other things, but are commonly used to describe people.
Anymore ‘A’ Adjectives?
Of course, there are more adjectives that start with ‘A.’ Literally, hundreds of them.
But these ‘A’ Adjectives should be enough to get you good and started in your avid efforts to build a more artful vocabulary.