Skip to main content

Blogs / Language / 170 Adjectives That Start with S

170 Adjectives That Start with S

adjectives that start with s

Finding a superb adjective to fit your requirements can be stressful. 

Writers often select adjectives based on their length, connotations, definition, or spelling so they fit perfectly with their work. 

If you’ve landed on this article, you’re already one step closer to picking the most splendid adjective. We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of 170 adjectives that start with S. We’ve split them down into categories to make them easier to scan, ranging from positive adjectives to unique adjectives to character traits.

You can read the section that best fits your requirements, or you can read them all to get a taste of all the options. It’s your choice. So, let’s jump into the list. 

Positive Adjectives That Start with S

We’re going to start with positive adjectives. These are perfect for describing your happy-go-lucky friends and friendly, energetic characters. 

  • Sagacious: Wise and discerning
  • Sanguine: Optimistic and cheerful
  • Saporous: Flavorful and aromatic
  • Sassy: Bold and confident
  • Satisfied: Content and fulfilled
  • Secure: Safe and protected
  • Serene: Calm and peaceful
  • Sincere: Genuine and heartfelt
  • Skillful: Proficient and adept
  • Sleek: Smooth and stylish
  • Solid: Firm and stable
  • Soulful: Expressive and emotional
  • Sparkling: Bright and lively
  • Special: Unique and exceptional
  • Spectacular: Impressive and awe-inspiring
  • Spirited: Energetic and enthusiastic
  • Splendid: Magnificent and superb
  • Spontaneous: Impulsive and adventurous
  • Steadfast: Loyal and unwavering
  • Striking: Attention-grabbing
  • Strong: Powerful and resilient
  • Stunning: Impressively beautiful
  • Stylish: Fashionable and chic
  • Successful: Achieving desired goals
  • Sufficient: Adequate and satisfactory
  • Sunny: Cheerful and radiant
  • Superb: Excellent and superior
  • Superior: Higher in quality 
  • Supportive: Encouraging and helpful
  • Supreme: Highest in quality
  • Swanky: Elegant and fashionable
  • Sweet: Pleasant and delightful
  • Symmetrical: Balanced and harmonious
  • Sympathetic: Understanding and compassionate
  • Synchronized: Harmonized and coordinated

sign up now

Negative S Adjectives

Negative adjectives are just as useful as positive adjectives. So here are another 30 that have more negative connotations, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be used to describe unpleasant characters. 

  • Sadistic: Deriving pleasure from cruelty
  • Scandalous: Shockingly disgraceful
  • Scornful: Contemptuous and disdainful
  • Selfish: Concerned only with oneself
  • Shabby: Worn out or dilapidated
  • Shaky: Unsteady or unreliable
  • Shallow: Superficial and lacking depth
  • Shameful: Deserving of shame or disgrace
  • Shameless: Unembarrassed by impropriety
  • Sinister: Suggesting evil or harm
  • Skeptical: Doubtful or questioning
  • Slapdash: Hasty and careless
  • Sloppy: Careless or untidy
  • Slovenly: Messy or untidy
  • Sluggish: Slow-moving or lethargic
  • Sly: Cunning and deceitful
  • Sneaky: Secretive or deceitful
  • Snide: Mocking or derogatory
  • Snobbish: Condescendingly superior
  • Sordid: Morally ignoble or corrupt
  • Sour: Unpleasant in taste or disposition
  • Spineless: Lacking courage or resolve
  • Spiteful: Intending to harm or offend
  • Spoiled: Ruined or damaged
  • Stale: Lacking freshness or originality
  • Stingy: Unwilling to give or spend
  • Strident: Loud and harsh
  • Stubborn: Unwilling to adapt
  • Stuffy: Formal or rigid
  • Stupid: Lacking common sense
  • Sulky: Irritably silent or morose
  • Sullen: Gloomy or resentful
  • Supercilious: Arrogantly superior
  • Surly: Bad-tempered and unfriendly
  • Suspicious: Mistrustful or wary

Character Traits That Start with S

Perhaps you want to describe the physical appearance of a person or character. Here are a selection of character traits that have a combination of positive, neutral, and negative connotations. 

  • Shaggy: Untidy or unkempt hair
  • Sheepish: Embarrassed or bashful
  • Shrill: High-pitched and piercing
  • Sickly: Appearing unwell 
  • Sinewy: Lean and muscular
  • Skeletal: Extremely emaciated
  • Skinny: Very thin or gaunt
  • Sleek: Smooth and elegant
  • Slender: Slim and graceful
  • Slim: Thin and slender
  • Slouching: Having poor posture
  • Slumped: Bent in posture
  • Smiling: Having a friendly expression
  • Smirking: Smiling in a mocking manner
  • Smudged: Marked or blurred with smudges
  • Snarling: Showing teeth in aggression
  • Snub-nosed: Having a short or upturned nose
  • Sour-faced: Having a displeased expression
  • Sparkling: Bright and lively
  • Spectacled: Wearing glasses
  • Spiky: Covered in sharp points
  • Sporty: Athletic in appearance
  • Spotty: Having blemishes
  • Sprightly: Energetic and lively
  • Stately: Majestic and dignified
  • Statuesque: Tall and elegant
  • Stocky: Solidly built and compact
  • Stout: Heavily built and strong
  • Strapping: Strong and robust
  • Stylish: Fashionable and chic
  • Svelte: Slender and graceful
  • Swaggering: Moving with confident arrogance
  • Swanky: Elegant and sophisticated
  • Sweaty: Covered in perspiration

S Words to Describe Someone

If you would rather describe someone’s personality rather than their physical appearance, this list is for you. Is your character sensible like Hermione Granger, spirited like Arya Stark,  sweet-natured like Primrose Everdeen, or are they none of these things? 

  • Sagacious: Wise and discerning
  • Sanguine: Optimistic and cheerful
  • Sarcastic: Mocking or ironic in tone
  • Sassy: Bold and spirited in attitude
  • Scrupulous: Conscientious and meticulous
  • Select: Choosy or discriminating
  • Self-assured: Confident and self-confident
  • Selfless: Concerned more with others’ well-being
  • Self-reliant: Independent and self-sufficient
  • Sensible: Practical and level-headed
  • Sensitive: Responsive to others’ emotions
  • Serene: Calm and composed
  • Serious: Thoughtful and solemn 
  • Sharp: Quick-witted and perceptive
  • Shrewd: Clever and astute 
  • Sincere: Genuine and honest
  • Skeptical: Doubtful or questioning
  • Skilled: Proficient and talented
  • Sociable: Friendly and outgoing
  • Sophisticated: Cultured and refined
  • Soulful: Expressive and emotional
  • Spirited: Energetic and lively in temperament
  • Spontaneous: Acting without premeditation
  • Steadfast: Resolute and unwavering in purpose
  • Stoic: Unaffected by emotions or pain
  • Straightforward: Direct and honest 
  • Studious: Diligent and devoted to learning
  • Subtle: Delicate and nuanced in approach
  • Supportive: Encouraging and helpful
  • Sweet-natured: Kind and gentle
  • Sympathetic: Understanding and compassionate

Unique Words That Start with S

We are finishing off this article with unique adjectives that start with s, my favorite list. These are excellent for describing that eccentric, off-beat character for whom a standard adjective just isn’t enough. 

If you are up for a challenge, try saying all of these adjectives quickly and in a row.

  • Sanguine: Optimistic and cheerful
  • Sapid: Flavorful and tasty
  • Satirical: Mocking and ironic
  • Scandalous: Shockingly disgraceful
  • Scintillating: Brilliant and sparkling
  • Scrumptious: Delicious and delectable
  • Sensational: Extremely impressive
  • Serendipitous: Fortuitously pleasant
  • Sesquipedalian: Long-winded or verbose
  • Skedaddle: Quick and hurried departure
  • Skeptical: Doubtful or questioning
  • Skookum: Strong and reliable
  • Slapstick: Comedy involving physical humor
  • Snazzy: Stylish and flashy
  • Snugglesome: Cuddly and affectionate
  • Sockdolager: Decisive and conclusive
  • Solipsistic: Self-centered and egotistical
  • Somnambulant: Sleepwalking or drowsy
  • Soporific: Sleep-inducing or boring
  • Spiffy: Neat and stylish
  • Splendiferous: Magnificent and splendid
  • Squeezy: Easily compressed or squeezed
  • Squirrely: Nervous and jittery
  • Stellar: Exceptional and outstanding
  • Stupendous: Impressive or outstanding
  • Sublime: Majestic and awe-inspiring
  • Succinct: Concise and to the point
  • Sumptuous: Luxurious and extravagant
  • Surreptitious: Secretive and stealthy
  • Swashbuckling: Adventurous and daring
  • Swinish: Behaving like a pig
  • Sybaritic: Fond of luxury and pleasure
  • Sycophantic: Fawning and obsequious
  • Synergistic: Working together harmoniously

Tips For Using Adjectives Starting with S

Now you’ve got some ideas of great adjectives to use, here are six tips for using them in your writing.

  • Specificity: Choose adjectives that provide precise descriptions. For example, instead of saying something is nice, it could be splendid or superb. 
  • Similes: When used sparingly, similes can enhance descriptions and help images stay in the reader’s mind. For example, a person could be “as swift as a swallow.”
  • Subtlety: You can use adjectives to add nuances to nouns and pronouns. For example, a wink could be a subtle hint, a sly invite, or a sophisticated gesture. 
  • Sound:Every adjective has a sound, and they can add layers of meaning to your text. Words with soft sounds, like serene or silken, can add a floating feeling, while sharp sounds like shattered or screeching can add intensity.
  • Strength: Some adjectives are soft, and others have an inherent strength. Words like stunning, spectacular, or savage can add power to your descriptions, while sincere and sunny can soften your description. 
  • Simplicity: While it’s great to use varied and expressive adjectives, don’t overdo it. Sometimes simplicity is the best approach. Choose adjectives that enhance your writing without overshadowing the main message.

And finally, always remember that your story should come before the words you use. Before perfecting your similes, alliteration, and flow, make sure you have a solid story structure with engaging character arcs and a comprehensive setting. 

A tool like Fictionary can help you turn your draft into a spellbinding, sparkling novel that’s ready for those finishing touches.

sign up now