Vocabulary Builders: Evocative Triples, Page 1 (A-B-C)

This section of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com focuses on evocative triples, words in sets of three, to add flavor to your writing and speech, and help build your vocabulary

If you are looking for ways to enliven your writing and speech, this classic collection from Greenville Kleiser includes a huge number of words in sets of three.

You can review these lists when you are struggling for descriptive language for your writing, and you can also use them to develop your vocabulary by identifying, looking up, and learning words you don't know.

This set consists of triple sets of nouns and adjectives.


ability, humor, and perspicacity

abrupt, rough, and immoderate

abstruse, metaphysical, and idealistic

abundant, varied, and vigorous

accessible, knowable, and demonstrable

accomplished, inventive, and deft-fingered

accuracy, ease, and grace

acquire, classify, and arrange

action, incident, and interest

active, learned, and liberal

acts, activities, and aims

actual, stern, and pathetic

acuteness, honesty, and, fearlessness

addition, correction, and amplification

adventurous, eager, and afraid

affected, pedantic, and vain

affluent, genial, and frank

aggressive, envious, and arrogant

agreeable, engaging, and delightful

air, woodland, and water

alarmed, anxious, and uneasy

alert, hopeful, and practical

amazement, resentment, and indignation

ambiguous, strange, and sinister

amiable, genial, and charitable

amusing, sympathetic, and interesting

ancient, subtle, and treacherous

annoyances, shifts, and inconveniences

anxious, fearful, and anticipative

appearance, conversation, and bearing

approbation, wealth, and power

apt, explicit, and communicative

ardent, undisciplined, and undirected

arrogance, conceit, and disdain

artificial, rhetorical, and mundane

artistic, progressive, and popular

aspirations, dreams, and devotions

assured, stern, and judicial

astonishment, apprehension, and horror

attainments, possessions, and character

attention, forbearance, and patience

attract, interest, and persuade

augmenting, furthering, and reenforcing

austere, calm, and somber

authority, leadership, and command

avarice, pride, and revenge

awakened, girded, and active

awe, reverence, and adoration

awkwardness, narrowness, and self-consciousness


barbarous, shapeless, and irregular

beautiful, graceful, and accomplished

beggar, thief, and impostor

belittling, personal, and selfish

birth, rank, and fortune

bitter, baleful, and venomous

bland, patient, and methodical

blessing, bestowing, and welcoming

blind, partial, and prejudiced

blithe, innocent, and free

bluster, swagger, and might

body, soul, and mind

boisterous, undignified, and vulgar

bold, original, and ingenious

bombastic, incongruous, and unsymmetrical

bountiful, exuberant, and luxurious

brain, energy, and enterprise

brave, authoritative, and confident

breadth, richness, and freshness

breathless, confused, and exhilarated

brief, isolated, and fragmentary

brilliancy, energy, and zeal

broad, spare, and athletic

broken, apologetic, and confused

brotherhood, humanity, and chivalry

brusqueness, rudeness, and self-assertion

brutish, repulsive, and terrible

busy, active, and toiling


calculated, logical, and dispassionate

calm, earnest, and genial

candor, integrity, and straightforwardness

capricious, perverse, and prejudiced

careful, reasoned, and courteous

cautious, prudent, and decisive

caviling, petulance, and discontent

censured, slighted, and despised

certain, swift, and final

chance, doubt, and mutability

character, life, and aims

charitable, just, and true

charm, grace, and glory

cheerful, modest, and delicate

childish, discordant, and superfluous

chill, harden, and repel

circumstances, properties, and characteristics

civilized, mild, and humane

clear, cloudless, and serene

cleverness, independence, and originality

coarseness, violence, and cunning

coherent, interdependent, and logical

cold, cynical, and relentless

color, intensity, and vivacity

comfort, virtue, and happiness

comments, criticisms, and judgments

common, dull, and threadbare

compact, determinate, and engaging

conceited, commonplace, and uninspiring

conception, direction, and organization

confident, inflexible, and uncontrollable

conflict, confusion, and disintegration

confused, broken, and fragmentary

conscience, heart, and life

conscientious, clear-headed, and accurate

consistent, thoughtful, and steadfast

consoling, pacifying, and benign

constant, wise, and sympathetic

constitution, temperament, and habits

convince, convert, and reconstruct

copious, redundant, and involved

corroding, venomous, and malignant

corrupt, self-seeking, and dishonest

countenance, voice, and manner

country, lake, and mountain

courage, patience, and honesty

courteous, patient, and indefatigable

covetousness, selfishness, and ignorance

credulous, weak, and superstitious

crimes, follies, and misfortunes

crisp, emphatic, and powerful

crude, warped, and barren

cruelty, violence, and injustice

culture, growth, and progress

cunning, cruelty, and treachery

curious, fantastic, and charming

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Editor's note: This section of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com is excerpted and adapted from Project Gutenberg's Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases, by Greenville Kleiser.

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