What is the definition of an adjective? 

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An adjective is a describing word that describes a noun or a pronoun.

A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.  It is described by an adjective.  Adjectives tell what kind, which one, and how many.  An example of an adjective is old.  This word can be used to describe different things, people, or places.

The oldman walked the dog.  

old = adjective     man = noun

In this case, the word old is describing the man, and telling us what kind of man he is.

An adjective can also describe a pronoun.  A pronoun takes the place of a noun, such as he instead of man.  So the adjective is performing the same function when it describes a pronoun as when it describes a noun.


chrisyhsun | Student

Like the answer above stated, an adjective describes a noun or a pronoun. If the above response doesn't help, try thinking about it as: adjectives make nouns more specific. We know what nouns are; they are "things", oftentimes things that we can touch or see like dogs, tables, and books. Pronouns are a way of generalizing some types of nouns, like referring to the President of the United States as "he" instead.

Adjectives go the opposite direction of generalizing. Instead, they take what we know of the noun/pronoun and make it even more specific so it is even easier to imagine what the object is like. If I just say "shirt", many images come to mind, depending on the person. One person could think of a plain blue t-shirt, another a neon green and yellow patterned shirt, another a black button-down. Reading through that list just now, though, I'm sure you were able to better picture each of the shirts and what you got from each description is probably very similar to what another person would think of while reading the same description. The way this is accomplished is by using adjectives. By adding on descriptors such as "plain", "blue", and other adjectives, a writer (in this case I) can better specify what I am talking about.

sid-sarfraz | Student

Adjectives are words that are used before nouns or pronouns in order to describe or modify them.

For example;

  • A black cat 

where cat is an animal (noun) and black is the word that is further describing it.

  • A small chair

where chair is a thing (noun) and the word small is further describing it.