A word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.
- ‘Firstly I think one of the big problems is the use of descriptive adjectives as nouns.’
- ‘Reading becomes an exercise in spotting nouns and adjectives; there is nothing to engage or delight.’
- ‘An important reason for this is that most nouns and most adjectives have rather complex semantic structures.’
- ‘Use verbs, nouns and adjectives and get a copy of Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.’
- ‘In Swinburne's work as a whole many adjectives are used as nouns and many nouns as adjectives.’
Late Middle English: from Old French adjectif, -ive, from Latin adject- ‘added’, from the verb adicere, from ad- ‘towards’ + jacere ‘throw’. The term was originally used in the phrase noun adjective, translating Latin nomen adjectivum, a translation of Greek onoma epitheton ‘attributive name’.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.