Origin of adjective
Related formsad·jec·ti·val, adjectivead·jec·ti·val·ly, ad·jec·tive·ly, adverbnon·ad·jec·tive·ly, adverbpre·ad·jec·tive, adjective
In addition, many true adjectives are gradable. That is, they can be upgraded ( very pretty ), downgraded ( somewhat disorganized ), or intensified ( really tired ). Usually, those that should not be compared, as correct, impossible, and mortal, are also not gradable. A vote, for example, cannot be very unanimous, too unanimous, or not unanimous enough; it is either unanimous or not. And only in The Wizard of Oz is the Wicked Witch “not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead.” That is not to say that there are no exceptions, as can be seen at the expanded usage note for the absolute adjective unique.
Pronouns, as your, this, and each, can also function as adjectives. But it is the noun as modifier, like bottle and bus in bottle cap and bus station, that gives headaches to dictionary compilers. Faced with evidence, they must ask themselves if occasional use as a modifier makes a particular noun worthy of full adjective status. Bottle and bus certainly do not pass comparison or gradation tests; my cap isn’t more bottle than yours, nor is it very bottle. These nouns are not listed as adjectives in this dictionary. Yet similar nouns, like coffee, kitchen, and summer, are. The number of items they can modify, the number of adjectival senses they have, and the degree to which such senses differ from their noun senses all play a part in the decision. That decision, however is never final. Meanings expand and evolve. Language changes as we speak.
Examples from the Web for adjective
This time he decline to offer an adjective, said he would leave it to others to go through the tea leaves of the election.In Press Conference, Obama Turns Conciliatory—Mostly|Eleanor Clift|November 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
You use an adjective, it better be a sixty-four-dollar adjective.Pete Dexter’s Indelible Portrait of Author Norman Maclean|Pete Dexter|March 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The French have an adjective that the English language lacks—“digest.”
But not effortlessly charming, which is usually the modifier when someone uses "charming" as an adjective.Lena Dunham on 'SNL' Review: Very Funny, Very Dunham-y|Kevin Fallon|March 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
After too many uses of the adjective "amazing," the standout moments were few, but June Squibb definitely came out on top.
The word noun signifies name, and nominative is the adjective derived from noun, and partakes of the same meaning.Lectures on Language|William S. Balch
If it is used as an adjective, mention the substantive which it modifies.An Advanced English Grammar with Exercises|George Lyman Kittredge
Another of his dogs was called Luath, or Swift, also an adjective.Dean of Lismore's Book|Various
It may be unfair to use the adjective grumpy to describe this question.It Never Can Happen Again|William De Morgan
An adjective, as in line 576, and frequently in Shakespeare.Milton's Comus|John Milton
British Dictionary definitions for adjective
- a word imputing a characteristic to a noun or pronoun
- (as modifier)an adjective phrase Abbreviation: adj