Vocabulary Builders: Descriptive Word Pairs, Page 1 (A)

This section of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com focuses on ways to enliven your writing and speech. Find a huge number of paired words to add extra flavor and help develop 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 descriptive paired words.

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 pairs of noun and pairs of adjectives.


abashed and ashamed

abhorrence and repulsion

abilities and attainments

abject and hopeless

ably and vigorously

abrupt and perilous

absolute and eternal

absorbed and occupied

abstinence and self-denial

abstract and metaphysical

absurd and impertinent

abundant and sustained

abuse and slander

accentual and rhythmic

accidental and temporary

accomplished and popular

accurate and illuminating

achievement and character

acquisition and possession

active and aggressive

actual and immediate

acute and painful

admirable and accomplished

adorned and amplified

adroitness and judgment

adventurous and prodigal

advice and assistance

affable and courteous

affectation and coquetry

affectionate and warm-hearted

affluent and exuberant

affright and abhorrence

agencies and influences

ages and generations

aggrandizement and plunder

agreeable and ingenuous

aggressive and sullen

aghast and incredulous

agility and briskness

agitate and control

agony and despair

aids and auxiliaries

aim and purpose

airy and frivolous

alarm and uneasiness

alert and unsparing

all and sundry

allegiance and fidelity

alone and undistracted

alterations and additions

amazement and admiration

ambiguity and disagreement

ambition and determination

amiable and unpretending

ample and admirable

amusing and clever

analytical and critical

anarchy and chaos

ancient and venerable

anecdote and reminiscence

anger and fury

anguish and hopelessness

animated and effective

anomalies and absurdities

antagonism and opposition

antipathies and distastes

antiquated and obsolete

anxiety and trepidation

apathy and torpor

apologetic and uneasy

appalling and devastating

apparent and palpable

appearance and surroundings

apprehensive and anxious

appropriate and eloquent

approve and admire

apt and novel

archness and vivacity

ardent and aspiring

argument and inference

arid and unprofitable

arrangement and combination

arrogant and overbearing

artificial and elaborate

artistic and literary

artlessness and urbanity

ashamed and speechless

aspects and phases

aspiring and triumphal

assiduity and success

assimilated and combined

assuaged and pacified

astonished and curious

astound and perplex

athletic and nimble

atonement and forgiveness

atrocious and abominable

attacks and intrigues

attention and respect

attitudes and expressions

attractiveness and ability

audacity and skill

august and splendid

austere and icy

available and capable

avarice and cruelty

avidity and earnestness

awake and active

awe and reverence

awkwardness and crudity

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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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