9 Overused Adjectives We All Use


In elementary school, you learn that adjectives are used to describe nouns and pronouns. And although the English language has tens of thousands of words, we tend to use certain adjectives over and over again.

There’s nothing wrong with these adjectives. In fact, since we use them so often, they must be doing something right! But to help you change it up, here are alternatives to some of the most overused adjectives we all use:

Before we get started, we should let you know there’s free grammar guides at CitationMachine.net that can help you explore adjectives and other parts of speech! You can also get a free grammar check with up to 20 suggestions. Visit CitationMachine.net today!


Using “good” is like drinking lukewarm water: it does it job by keeping you hydrated, but it’s just mediocre in terms of what water has to offer. In lieu of saying, “Sounds good!” in response to a text or a question, try “Sounds fantastic!” or “Sounds stupendous!” Show your enthusiasm with those adjectives!


Let’s be honest: whenever we use the word “important,” we’re probably not actually talking about something that important. We use this word so much that it has lost its impact. If you want to grab someone’s attention and ensure his or her eyes don’t glaze over, try “essential,” “vital,” “crucial,” or “critical” instead.


This word no longer has the meaningful impact it once had. We tend to use it as a placeholder word if another adjective doesn’t come to mind. If something truly captures your interest, consider using “captivating,” “thought-provoking,” or “striking.”


Though this word is technically used to describe a noun or pronoun that is “one-of-a-kind,” we tend to call a lot of things “unique.” If you want to communicate how valuable or special something is, there are other adjectives out there with the same intention: use “exclusive,” “rare,” and “unparalleled.”


We float around this adjective so much that its excitement has disappeared. If you’re looking forward to an event, share your excitement by using “piqued” or “thrilled,” depending on your level of enthusiasm, of course!


This isn’t necessarily an extremely overused adjective, but there are other ways to describe something as “new.” The next time you’re trying to sell “like new” furniture, try “modern,” “contemporary,” “current,” or “untouched” (though this last one is probably not applicable to a “like new” sofa).


“Bad” covers just one degree of negativity. Though you probably strive to live a positive life, sometimes you need to share your dissatisfaction or disappointment. Instead of “bad,” you can use “faulty,” “unacceptable,” “lousy,” or “dreadful” (hopefully you don’t have to use these adjectives that often!).


On the other end of the spectrum, “happy” is one of those reliable words that you may use when perhaps you are so surprised that you’re at a loss for words. When you want to communicate your positive feelings, some other options include “ecstatic,” “delighted,” “joyful,” and “pleased.”

Many/A Lot Of

This is a two-for-one, as both of these adjectives are overused and convey the same message. Some alternatives you can use include “abundant,” “numerous,” “rife,” and “copious.” See how your friends react when you share that you ate a “copious amount of cookies.”

After you’ve given your paper’s adjectives a makeover, it’s time to cite your sources! Citation Machine tools can help with MLA citing, APA citations, and Chicago citation style.

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