116 Adjectives That Start With R

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I keep a list of interesting words in a notebook. I sprinkle them into my writing to make it more delectable — the vocabulary equivalent of MSG. Words like:

  • Conflagration
  • Lilt
  • Bucolic
  • Copse
  • Askance

Whilst I spin delightful prose with my garrison of nouns and verbs, I still struggle with my use of adjectives.

Maybe it’s my engineering background, but for whatever reason, when it comes time to describe a person, place, or thing in my writing, I struggle to find the right adjectives that aren’t a color, shape, or size.

But thanks to my engineering background, I started collecting interesting adjectives in my personal database. Originally, I organized adjectives into categories such as negative adjectives, positive adjectives, funny adjectives, etc. But this required adjectives to describe adjective categories (a bit too meta for my taste).

So I settled on a tried and true method: alphabetical.

What Are Adjectives?

It’s been a few decades years since my AP English days, but I will try my best to answer.

Adjectives are powerful little words that add color and depth to writing. They are the descriptive champions that bring our nouns to life. Or, to get metaphorical on you, adjectives are like spices in a dish, adding flavor and vibrancy to your sentences.

When you want to paint a vivid picture in your readers’ minds, using the right adjectives allows them to experience what we describe to a deeper degree. Whether it’s a stunning sunset, a comfy cabin, or a delectable meal, adjectives are the key to creating imagery and evoking emotions.

Why Adjectives Are Important

As I just mentioned, adjectives are important because they bring your writing to life.

However, finding the right adjective to use in a sentence is equally important.

For example, describing a room as roomy is bland and lazy. Describing a room as replete or retro or even rustic tells quite a different — and in my opinion, interesting — story.

You’ll notice, that I chose alliterative adjectives. I did that on purpose. Alliteration, or the repetition of sounds, makes reading easier and more enjoyable.

Which is why we’ve come to the point of this article. Sometimes you need an adjective that begins with a specific letter. Like the letter ‘r’ for example.

Well, I have 116 adjectives that start with r right here.

List of Adjectives That Start With R

1RabidExtremely aggressive or furious
2RacialRelating to race or ethnicity
3RadiantShining brightly; glowing
4RadicalConcerning fundamental or revolutionary changes
5RaggedTorn or worn out
6*RainyCharacterized by a significant amount of rain
7RakishDashingly or carelessly unconventional
8RampantSpreading uncontrollably; widespread
9RandomMade or done without method or conscious decision
10RapidHappening in a short time or at a great rate
11RareInfrequent or uncommon
12RashActing without careful consideration
13RationalBased on reason or logic
14RavenousExtremely hungry
15RawUnprocessed; unrefined
16ReactiveShowing a response to a stimulus
17*ReadyFully prepared
18RealActually existing as a thing or occurring in fact
19RealisticResembling or representing real life
20ReasonableFair and sensible
21ReassuringGiving comfort or confidence
22RebelliousShowing a desire to resist authority, control, or convention
23RecklessWithout thinking or caring about the consequences
24ReclusiveAvoiding the company of other people
25RecognizableAble to be recognized or identified from previous encounters
26RecurringOccurring repeatedly
27RedHaving the color of blood or fire
28RedolentStrongly reminiscent or suggestive of something
29ReducedMade smaller or less in amount, degree, or size
30RedundantNot or no longer needed or useful; superfluous
31ReflectiveProviding a reflection; capable of reflecting light or other rays
32RefreshingWelcome or stimulating because new or different
33RegalOf, resembling, or fit for a monarch, especially in being magnificent
34RegularConforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected
35RejuvenatedMade to feel or look young, healthy, or energetic again
36RelatedBelonging to the same family, group, or type
37RelativeConsidered in relation or in proportion to something else
38RelaxedFree from tension and anxiety; at ease
39RelevantClosely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand
40ReliableConsistently good in quality or performance
41RelievedNo longer feeling distressed or anxious
42RemarkableWorthy of attention; striking
43RemorsefulFilled with remorse; sorry
44RemoteSituated far from the main centers of population
45RenewableCapable of being renewed or restored
46RenownedKnown or talked about by many people
47RepairedRestored to a good or sound condition after decay or damage
48RepentantExpressing or feeling sincere regret and remorse
49RepetitiveContaining or characterized by repetition
50RepleteFilled or well-supplied with something
51RepulsiveArousing intense distaste or disgust
52ReputableHaving a good reputation
53ResentfulFeeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly
54ReservedSlow to reveal emotion or opinions
55ResilientAble to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions
56ResoluteAdmirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering
57ResonantDeep, clear, and continuing to sound or ring
58ResourcefulHaving the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties
59RespectableRegarded by society to be good, proper, or correct
60RespectfulFeeling or showing deference and respect
61ResponsibleHaving an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone
62ResponsiveReacting quickly and positively
63RestfulProviding rest; peaceful and quiet
64RestlessUnable to rest or relax as a result of anxiety or boredom
65RestrainedCharacterized by reserve or moderation; unemotional or dispassionate
66*RetaliatoryCharacterized by or given to retaliation
67RetiredHaving left one’s job and ceased to work
68RetroImitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past
69RetroactiveTaking effect from a date in the past
70ReturnableAble to be returned
71ReusableAble to be used more than once
72ReveredFeel deep respect or admiration for
73ReverentFeeling or showing deep and solemn respect
74ReversibleCapable of being turned the other way around
75ReviledCriticized in an abusive or angrily insulting manner
76RevitalizedImbued with new life and vitality
77*RevolutionaryInvolving or causing a complete or dramatic change
78RewardingProviding satisfaction; gratifying
79RhapsodicExtravagantly enthusiastic; lyrical
80RheumaticRelating to or affected by rheumatism
81RhythmicHaving a strong beat with a pattern to it
82RibaldReferring to sexual matters in a rude or irreverent way
83RichHaving a great deal of money or assets; wealthy
84RidiculousDeserving or inviting mockery or derision; absurd
85RightMorally good, justified, or acceptable
86RighteousMorally right or justifiable; virtuous
87RightfulLegally correct; justified
88RigidUnable to bend or be forced out of shape
89RigorousExtremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate
90RipeFully developed; mature
91*RiskyFull of the possibility of danger, failure, or loss
92*RitzyLuxuriously stylish
93RivalCompeting against another; opposing
94RoastedCooked by prolonged exposure to heat in an oven or over a fire
95RoboticRelating to or characteristic of robots or machines
96RobustStrong and healthy; vigorous
97*RockyFull of or covered with rocks
98RomanticConductive to or characterized by the expression of love
100RosyOptimistic and cheerful
101RotatingMoving in a circle around an axis or center
103RoughHaving an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level
104RoundShaped like a circle or cylinder
105RowdyNoisy and disorderly
106RoyalHaving the status of a king or queen or a member of their family
107*RubberyHaving the texture of rubber; flexible
108RudeOffensively impolite or ill-mannered
109RuefulExpressing sorrow or regret, especially in a wry or humorous way
110RuggedRough and irregular; tough and strong
111RuminativeGiven to or engaged in contemplation
112RunicRelating to or written in runes
113RuralIn, relating to, or characteristic of the countryside
114RusticCharacteristic of rural life
115*RustyCovered with rust; affected by rust
116RuthlessHaving or showing no pity or compassion for others

*I try to steer clear of adjectives that end in ‘y’


Go hog wild with these adjectives. And if you have any favorites of your own, we’d love to hear them. Just shoot us an email and you might find them on an updated version of this list.