What Are Some Adjectives for Describing a Person's Appearance?

There are hundreds of adjectives to describe a person’s appearance, including "fat," "dark," "cute," "gorgeous" and "dowdy." A few well-chosen adjectives can improve the description of a person, and make the narrative more vivid and dramatic.

It is possible to describe a person’s appearance in many different ways, depending upon the aspect or physical characteristic in question. Adjectives can describe a person’s body, her face, her eyes, her hair or her skin. Some adjectives to describe her body include "lanky," "curvy," "plump," "flabby" and "fine-boned." Adjectives for describing her face include "rosy," "freckled," "baby-faced," "thin-lipped" and "sallow." Some adjectives for describing other physical characteristics are "brunette," "toothless," "dimpled" and "doe-eyed."

The description of appearance can also depend upon clothes and accessories. Examples of such adjectives include "natty," "slovenly," "chic" and "classy." Also, some adjectives are used to describe only men or only women, but not both. Adjectives used only for women are "petite," "full-figured" and "curvy," while adjectives that usually describe only men's appearances include "husky," "ripped" and "broad-shouldered."

Adjectives describing appearance can have positive or negative connotations, and it is important to understand the differences and the context to ensure correct usage. Examples of typically positive adjectives are "attractive," "elegant," "polished," "fresh-faced" and "glowing." Potentially negative adjectives include "ashen," "unkempt," "skinny," "pudgy" and "hollow-eyed." Some adjectives also have neutral tones, such as "slender," "plain," "slim" and "petite." Descriptive adjectives can also be formal or informal, and usage depends upon context and situation.