Description Vocabulary

Different styles on different people.

Descriptive words to use when talking about people.

DESCRIPTION – (pronounced – dɪˈskrɪpʃən) – Noun.

  1. a spoken or written account of a person, object, or event. i.e. People who had seen him were able to give a description. Synonyms: account, explanation, elucidation, illustration, representation, interpretation.
  2. a type or class of people or things. i.e. It is laughably easy to buy drugs of all descriptions. Synonyms: sort, variety, kind, style, type, category, order, breed, species, class, designation, specification, genre, genus, brand, make, character, ilk, kidney, grain, stamp, mould.

We can use hundreds of words to give a description of somebody.
Here below are some of the more commonly used ones:

GENERAL albino angular attractive beautiful
casual clean cute dirty feminine
freckles good-looking gorgeous handsome horsey
neat nice pale plain pretty
rosy scruffy smart tanned tatooed
ugly unattractive untidy well-dressed wrinkly
HEIGHT average medium short tall
BUILD athletic big chubby curvy
dainty fat heavy-set huge large
masculine medium-build muscular obese overweight
petite plump portly shapely skinny
slender slim stocky strong thin
well-built young middle-aged elderly old
HAIR bald black blonde braided
brown chestnut curly dark fair
fine grey long mousey plaits
pony-tail redhead salt and pepper short shoulder-length
straight thick thinning wavy white
FACIAL HAIR full beard goatee side-burns moustaches
EYES black brown gold green
grey hazel dark blue light blue violet


Here are some phrases which may help you:

She is a young woman in her mid-twenties, with short, straight black hair.
He is tall with a dark complexion, brown hair and large eyes.
She has long, blonde hair which is tied back in a pony-tail.
He is short, a little overweight and wears his hair long at the back.
She is very slim with curly chestnut hair and blue eyes.
The man is quite elderly and has a beard and moustaches.
She is really smart and has beautiful light blue eyes.
He has red hair and freckles on his nose.

NOTE: When describing a person in English it is considered rude to say that someone is ‘fat’
(even if they are), so we tend to use words like ‘overweight’ or ‘chubby’ instead.
Similarly, ‘slim’ or ‘slender’ is considered less hurtful than ‘skinny’,
and we don’t call people ‘old’ but say elderly’ which is more polite.


Complementary Content:

How to Describe People
Describing People
How to Describe People with Sign Language

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