94 Adjectives That Start With N

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Do you know how in recipe blogs, the author will take eighteen paragraphs before finally getting to the recipe? (Sorry, Linda. I don’t care why this sourdough reminds you of childhood walks on the beach.)

I know you Googled “adjectives that start with N” and have a hunch why you’re here. So let’s just cut to the goods:

100(ish) Adjectives That Begin With the Letter N

#AdjectiveDescription
1NaiveLacking experience or wisdom; innocent
2NarrowHaving little width in comparison to length
3NasalRelating to the nose
4*NastyHighly unpleasant, especially to the senses
5NaturalExisting in or derived from nature; not made by humankind
6*NaughtyBehaving disobediently or mischievously
7NavigableSuitable for sailing, driving, or walking on
8NeatTidy and in order; carefully arranged
9NebulousIn the form of a cloud or haze; vague
10*NecessaryRequired to be done; essential
11*NeedyLacking basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter
12Nefarious(typically of an action or activity) wicked or criminal
13NegativeExpressing or containing negation or denial
14NeglectedSuffering a lack of proper care
15NegligentFailing to take proper care in doing something
16NegligibleSo small or unimportant as to be not worth considering
17Neo-classicalRelating to a revival of classical style or treatment
18NeophyteA person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief
19NervelessLacking courage
20NervousEasily agitated or alarmed; anxious
21*NervyShowing courage; bold
22NestedSet or placed within something else
23NetRemaining after deductions
24NetworkedConnected as components in a network
25NeuralRelating to a nerve or the nervous system
26NeuroticHaving, caused by, or relating to neurosis
27NeutralNot helping or supporting either side in a conflict
28NewNot existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently
29NewbornRecently born
30NewfangledDifferent from what one is used to; objectionably new
31NextComing immediately after the present one in order, space, or time
32NibbledBitten at gently
33NicePleasant; agreeable; satisfactory
34*NiftyParticularly good, skillful, or effective
35*NightlyHappening every night
36NihilisticRejecting all religious and moral principles
37NimbleQuick and light in movement or action
38Nimble-fingeredSkillful with one’s hands
39*NippyChilly or sharp
40*NitpickyOverly concerned with trivial details
41NocturnalActive at night
42NoeticOf or relating to mental activity or the intellect
43NoiselessSilent
44*NoisyMaking a lot of sound; not quiet
45Non-bindingNot involving an obligation to observe the terms specified
46NonchalantFeeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed
47NonconformingNot conforming to prevailing rules or practice
48NondescriptLacking distinctive or interesting features
49NondestructiveNot causing or involving destruction
50NonessentialNot absolutely necessary
51NonflammableNot easily set on fire
52*NongreasyNot oily or fatty
53NonlinearNot arranged in a straight line; involving non-linear calculations
54NonliteralNot using or taking words in their usual or most basic sense
55NonplussedSurprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react
56NonprofitNot making or conducted primarily to make a profit
57NonreligiousNot relating to or believing in any religion
58NonrenewableNot able to be renewed
59NonsensicalHaving no meaning; making no sense
60NonstandardNot conforming to the standard norm
61NonstickCoated with a substance to prevent food from sticking
62NonstopContinuing without stopping or pause
63NontoxicNot harmful or fatal when absorbed, inhaled, or ingested
64NonverbalNot involving or using words
65NonviolentUsing peaceful methods to bring about political or social change
66NormalConforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected
67NormalizedBrought or returned to a normal condition or state
68NorthLocated towards the north
69NorthernLocated in or characteristic of the north
70NorthwardMoving towards the north
71NotableWorthy of attention or notice; remarkable
72NotedWidely known and usually highly regarded
73*NoteworthyWorthy of attention; of interest
74NotoriousFamous or well known, typically for some bad quality or deed
75NourishedProvided with the food or other substances necessary for growth
76NourishingProviding the food or other substances necessary for growth
77NovelNew or unusual in an interesting way
78NovelisticOf, relating to, or characteristic of novels
79Nubile(of a young woman) suitable for marriage
80NudeNaked; without clothing
81NumbDeprived of the power of sensation
82NumberedLimited in duration
83NumericRelating to or expressed as a number or numbers
84NumerousGreat in number
85NumismaticRelating to or consisting of coins, paper currency, and medals
86NuptialRelating to marriage or weddings
87NutrientProviding nourishment
88NutritionalRelating to the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health
89NutritiousEfficient as food; nourishing
90*NuttyContaining nuts; resembling nuts
91NuzzledRub or push against gently with the nose and mouth
92NyctophobicHaving a fear of darkness
93NylonMade of nylon, a synthetic fabric
94NymphlikeResembling a nymph or some aspect of one

*I avoid using adjectives that end in y

What Exactly is an Adjective?

Oh, hey! You decided to stick around. Good for you. While you’re here, let’s refresh ourselves on adjectives, shall we?

What is an adjective? Well, it’s the secret sauce you lather onto your nouns to give them that finger-lickin’ oomph your readers want. According to the stuffy dictionary, adjectives are a class of words:

“typically serving as a modifier of a noun to denote a quality of the thing named, to indicate its quantity or extent, or to specify a thing as distinct from something else.”

(bold and italics mine)

Adjectives serve an important grammatical role in your writing. The three most popular forms of adjectives are descriptive, quantitative, and demonstrative. However, the jury is still out on how many types there are.

From what I was able to scrounge together, here is a nearly complete list of adjective types:

Type of AdjectiveDescriptionExample
DescriptiveGive more information about the general qualities.Big, noisy crowd.
QuantitativeTell how much or how many.Three dogs, several apples.
DemonstrativePoint out specific items.This cake, those cars.
PossessiveShow ownership or belonging.My book, their house.
InterrogativeUsed in questions.Which shirt do you like?
DistributiveRefer to members of a group separately, not collectively.Each day, every hour.
IndefiniteRefer to non-specific objects or people.Many people, several times.
ProperDerived from proper nouns.I like Italian food.
CompoundFormed by combining two words.The ice-cold water.
ArticlesDefine the noun as specific or unspecific.A, an, and the.
NumeralExpress numbers and amounts.First, second, one, two, three.
PredicateFollows a linking verb and describes the subject.The shoes look expensive.
ParticipialDerived from a verb, used as an adjective.A running horse, melted ice cream.
ComparativeCompare two things.She is taller than her sister.
SuperlativeCompare more than two things, showing the highest degree.He is the fastest runner.

Why Adjectives Are Important

As I’ve previously written about adjectives, they’re important because they bring your writing to life.

As writers, we’re always looking to add specificity and detail to our writings without bogging them down with too many words. That’s where adjectives come into play. They enhance your nouns’ imagery and emotional impact with minimal fuss.

Example

“The man was so confused by the incident, he didn’t know how to react, choosing instead to remain standing in place.”

“The nonplussed man stood rooted in place.”

Adjectives also play an important role in distinguishing nuances between things. Even Santa relies on adjectives that start with n, how else is he supposed to keep track of all the children without his Naughty or Nice list?

If you’re like me, you’ll love hunting down the precise adjective you need to convey exactly what you want to communicate. That’s why adjectives are important and fun.

Examples of Good Adjective Use in Writing

Let’s wrap this up with examples of good adjectives from the real world.

NostalgicOut of Africa by Isak Dinesen:

“Looking back on a sojourn in the wild lands, one remembers above all one’s sense of having lived, of having been someone completely, and of having had the full use of one’s faculties. One remembers the long thoughts that one had, and the ways in which the environment rejected and molded them, and one remembers thinking of Nairobi and civilization as something strange and nostalgic.”

NotoriousSteve Jobs by Walter Isaacson:

“Steve Jobs was a notorious perfectionist, insisting that even the items inside the chassis of his machines be aesthetically appealing, a quality that drove his teams to distraction but also pushed them towards incredible feats of engineering and design.”

NutritiousIn Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. They’re nutritious, providing the nutrients you need without excess calories.”

Nebulous1984 by George Orwell:

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth. Just how much was uncertain—the party controlled the records, and their memory was as nebulous as space.”

NimbleHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling:

“Harry watched, amazed as Fred and George dived in front of him from seemingly out of nowhere, their brooms just inches from the ground. Before he could say anything, they were up and rushing the field again, nimble and light on their mounts.”

Conclusion

Well, I hope I was able to jog your creativity and help you find the right adjective that starts with n. If not, I hope you stuck around and learned a thing or two about adjectives and their role in writing.