Vocabulary Builders: Descriptive Word Pairs, Page 13 (N-O)

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.


nagging and squabbling

nameless and obscure

narrow and timorous

natural and spontaneous

nauseous and disgusting

neatness and propriety

necessarily and essentially

needs and demands

nefarious and malevolent

negations and contradictions

neglect and evade

negotiate and bargain

nerve and fiber

neutral and colorless

nicety and precision

nimble and airy

noble and powerful

nodding and blinking

noisy and scurrilous

nonsense and absurdity

nooks and corners

notable and conspicuous

noted and distinguished

noteworthy and intelligible

notoriety and prominence

nourish and foster

novelty and freshness

novice and ignoramus

nucleus and beginning

nugatory and ineffectual

nullify and destroy

number and variety

numerous and important


oaths and revilings

obdurate and impenitent

obedient and dutious

obeisance and submission

objectionable and inexpedient

obligation and dependence

obliquity and hypocrisy

oblivious and insensible

obloquy and detraction

obnoxious and odious

obscure and enigmatical

obsequies and panegyrics

obsequious and conciliating

observations and reflections

obstacles and disasters

obstinate and stupid

obstreperous and noisy

obtrusive and vulgar

obtuse and imbecile

obvious and palpable

occasional and contingent

occult and hidden

occupations and habits

odd and dismal

odious and oppressive

offensive and aggressive

official and authoritative

oily and servile

old and decrepit

ominous and untrustworthy

omnivorous and sordid

oneness and unity

onerous and perplexing

open and inviting

opinions and hypotheses

opportunism and inconsistency

opposite and discordant

oppressed and sullen

optimistic and reassuring

opulence and magnitude

oracular and occult

order and uniformity

organic and rational

organization and system

origin and discovery

original and attractive

ornate and variegated

ostensible and explicit

ostentatiousness and gaiety

outlines and appearances

outrageous and scandalous

overburdened and confused

overcome and vanquish

overstep and contravene

overt and unmistakable

overwearied and outworn

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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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