Adjectives to Describe Physical Appearance

What does he or she look like? Let’s take a look at commonly used English adjectives to describe physical appearance that you can use next time you are socialising with friends.

Finding English adjectives describing a person can be tricky for English learners, especially if you want to avoid words that are overused or impolite.

Sometimes, students learning English overuse one particular adjective to describe physical appearance.

Have you guessed yet which one? Correct. This adjective tops up the list of words describing physical appearance in English – NICE.

Nice baby, nice looking girl, nice toddler, nice man …


Let’s expand your vocabulary of English adjectives for physical appearance and go beyond the standard NICE or NOT SO NICE when trying to describe a person in detail.

My list of English adjectives will help you.

How to describe physical appearance in English. Adjectives to describe physical appearance in English. #learnenglish #englishlessons #englishteacher #ingles #aprenderingles #englishvocabulary

Common Adjectives to Describe Physical Appearance

BEAUTIFUL (adj) – this word is mostly used to describe women. We use the word handsome for men.

Sandra Bullock was voted People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful Woman 2015.

GOOD-LOOKING (adj) – is used for both men and women

The young bride was beautiful and her groom was good-looking as well.

PRETTY (adj) – attractive, often used to describe a girl

I think Mary looked very pretty in that dress.

CHUBBY (adj) – slightly fat but in attractive way

Babies look so adorable with their chubby pink cheeks.

CUTE (adj) – pretty and attractive, often used to describe babies and puppies

I picked this puppy because he was so cute.

GORGEOUS (adj) – very beautiful and attractive (informal), this is a very common word you would hear from an Irish person

Healthy diet and sunscreen are the secrets to gorgeous skin.

UGLY (adj) – very unattractive. This is a very strong negative word to describe someone.

The Ugly Duckling turned into a beautiful swan.

WELL-BUILT (adj) – to have a strong, attractively muscular body

My brother is tall and well-built.

It is impolite to say someone is fat, instead we can say overweight or plump.

SKINNY (adj) – very thin but not in an attractive way

My best friend is skinny, but it runs in her family.

FRAIL (adj) – physically weak and skinny, often used to describe an old person

My Grandma became very frail over the last year.

English Adjectives for Physical Appearance

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Collocations for Describing Physical Appearance

SLEEK HAIR – smooth and shiny hair

Hair products will help you get shiny sleek hair without spending much time.

YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE – to look younger than your age

Regular physical activity can help maintain a youthful appearance for longer.

COARSE HAIR – rough, not smooth or soft

Coarse hair is very hard to style.

BUSHY EYEBROWS – very thick eyebrows

I’ve always hated my bushy eyebrows.

LANKY TEENAGER – very tall and thin and moves awkwardly

I can’t believe this lanky teenager became a great football player.

JET-BLACK HAIR – completely black hair

Alexandra had long jet black hair, green eyes and a warm, friendly smile.

CLEAN-SHAVEN MAN – without a beard or moustache

A dark-haired, clean-shaven man was talking to his friend.

DUMPY WOMAN – short and quite fat woman, we usually use it to describe women

Sarah was a  pale, dumpy woman, three years older than her husband.

This is way better than NICE, isn’t it? Of course, you can still use NICE when describing someone in English. Just not too often. Now, let’s practise using English adjectives to describe physical appearance.

Let me know what does your best friend look like. Have a go in the comments below!

Please, continue to improve your English skills. Here are some more articles for you to read – study English Grammar rules, learn some common English idioms and increase your English vocabulary:

Common English Idioms describing Character and Personality

Difference between EVERY and EACH

Difference between ONTO and INTO

Physical Appearance Adjectives

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