from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The part of speech that modifies a noun or other substantive by limiting, qualifying, or specifying and distinguished in English morphologically by one of several suffixes, such as -able, -ous, -er, and -est, or syntactically by position directly preceding a noun or nominal phrase.
  • n. Any of the words belonging to this part of speech, such as white in the phrase a white house.
  • adj. Adjectival: an adjective clause.
  • adj. Law Prescriptive; remedial: adjective law.
  • adj. Not standing alone; derivative or dependent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Incapable of independent function.
  • adj. Adjectival; pertaining to or functioning as an adjective.
  • adj. Applying to methods of enforcement and rules of procedure.
  • adj. Of a dye that needs the use of a mordant to be made fast to that which is being dyed.
  • n. A word that modifies a noun or describes a noun’s referent.
  • v. To make an adjective of; to form or convert into an adjective.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Added to a substantive as an attribute; of the nature of an adjunct.
  • adj. Not standing by itself; dependent.
  • adj. Relating to procedure.
  • n. A word used with a noun, or substantive, to express a quality of the thing named, or something attributed to it, or to limit or define it, or to specify or describe a thing, as distinct from something else. Thus, in phrase, “a wise ruler,” wise is the adjective, expressing a property of ruler.
  • n. A dependent; an accessory.
  • transitive v. To make an adjective of; to form or change into an adjective.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Naming or forming an adjunct to a noun: as, an adjective name. Pertaining to an adjective: as, the adjective use of a noun. Added or adjected; additional.
  • n. In grammar, a word used to qualify, limit, or define a noun, or a word or phrase which has the value of a noun; a part of speech expressing quality or condition as belonging to something: thus, whiteness is the name of a quality, and is a noun; white means possessing whiteness, and so is an adjective.
  • n. A dependant or an accessory; a secondary or subsidiary part.
  • To make an adjective of; form into an adjective; give the character of an adjective to.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a word that expresses an attribute of something
  • n. the word class that qualifies nouns
  • adj. of or relating to or functioning as an adjective
  • adj. relating to court practice and procedure as opposed to the principles of law


Middle English, from Old French adjectif, from Late Latin adiectīvus, from adiectus, past participle of adicere, to add to : ad-, ad- + iacere, to throw; see yē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French adjectif, from Latin adiectīvum, from ad ("next to") + -iect-, perfect passive participle of iaciō ("throw") + -īvus, adjective ending; hence, a word "thrown next to" a noun, modifying it. (Wiktionary)



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  • Oh, not much. Had another total linguistic breakdown and went native in the Pribilofs. Cavorted with a few seals.

    Great birdwatching, though. :-)

    October 20, 2008

  • So what did you do on vacation this year, reesetee?

    October 18, 2008

  • Damn. I hate it when that happens.

    August 29, 2007

  • It was on Wikipedia.

    August 29, 2007

  • How did you know what I did on my vacation?

    August 29, 2007

  • Dude, it's a real word. We just speak a screwy language. You'll adjust, sooner or later. Or have a total linguistic breakdown and go hermit on an unpopulated island in the south seas, drawing hieroglyphs to yourself amidst the fiddler crabs.

    August 29, 2007

  • That just looks screwy. Nounish, but screwy.

    August 29, 2007

  • Oh well in that case there's always nounal. :-P

    August 29, 2007

  • Oh, I suppose. But it just doesn't have the savoir-faire, the...nounishness, if you will, of "noun." ;-P

    August 29, 2007

  • How about nominal?

    August 29, 2007

  • Hmm. Is there an adjectival form of "noun"?

    August 29, 2007

  • If you think adjective is fun to say, try adjectival, the adjective form of adjective.

    August 29, 2007

  • “The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.�?
    – Clifton Fadiman (1902-1999)

    August 28, 2007

  • Funny that the word adjective is a noun... Same with all the other parts of speech, but adjective is the most fun to say. Except for maybe gerund.

    I just love the irony that arises when writing, to discover that you are in need of a "good" adjective, no wait, a "better" adjective, or perhaps an "empathic, melodious, soulful" adjective. And then you decide on moist.

    February 26, 2007