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Words That Start with O: 180 O Words

words that start with o

When you’re searching for the perfect word but can’t quite bring it to the forefront of your mind, it can make writing or editing your manuscript tough. There have been times, especially in the editing phase, where I’ve sat staring at the screen for longer than I should thinking of the perfect word to use.

And it can be daunting.

If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.

I’ve put together a list of 180 words, beginning with the letter O and broken them down into categories so the list is easily searchable, and you can find the exact word you need.

You can either read the entire list or use it as a handy reference guide when you need it. That’s  entirely up to you. At the end of the list, I’ve also included my top three tips for using O words in your writing so you can delight and entertain readers.

So, let’s kick this whole thing off of a cheerful note and look at positive words, beginning with the letter O.

O Words That Are Positive

Here’s a list of positive adjectives starting with O you can use to describe all the wonderful qualities of your characters:

  • Objective: Unbiased and impartial
  • Obliging: Helpful and accommodating
  • Observant: Alert and perceptive
  • Omnipotent: All-powerful and mighty
  • Omniscient: All-knowing and wise
  • Open: Receptive and accessible
  • Open-hearted: Kind and generous
  • Open-minded: Receptive and tolerant
  • Opportune: Timely and suitable
  • Optimistic: Hopeful and positive
  • Optimizing: Enhancing and improving
  • Opulent: Luxurious and wealthy
  • Orderly: Neat and organized
  • Organic: Natural and pure
  • Organized: Efficient and systematic
  • Original: Unique and innovative
  • Ornamental: Decorative and enhancing
  • Ornate: Elaborate and decorative
  • Orthodox: Traditional and established
  • Outgoing: Extroverted and sociable
  • Outright: Complete and absolute
  • Outstanding: Distinguished and notable
  • Overachieving: Exceeding and excelling
  • Overcoming: Surpassing and conquering
  • Overjoyed: Extremely happy and delighted
  • Overwhelming: Intense and powerful

positive words that start with o

These positive adjectives that start with O can highlight various admirable attributes of characters, making them more vivid and engaging for your readers.

Negative Words Starting with O

Here’s a list of negative adjectives starting with O that you can use to describe challenging aspects of your characters:

  • Obdurate: Stubborn and unyielding
  • Obese: Overweight and corpulent
  • Objectionable: Offensive and disagreeable
  • Obligatory: Mandatory and compulsory
  • Oblique: Indirect and evasive
  • Oblivious: Unaware and heedless
  • Obnoxious: Annoying and offensive
  • Obscene: Indecent and vulgar
  • Obsequious: Fawning and servile
  • Obsessive: Fixated and compulsive
  • Obsolete: Outdated and archaic
  • Obstinate: Stubborn and inflexible
  • Obstructive: Hindering and uncooperative
  • Obtuse: Slow-witted and insensitive
  • Odious: Hateful and repugnant
  • Offensive: Insulting and distasteful
  • Offhand: Casual and dismissive
  • Ominous: Threatening and foreboding
  • Opaque: Unclear and obscure
  • Oppressive: Harsh and tyrannical
  • Ornery: Irritable and grumpy
  • Ostentatious: Showy and pretentious
  • Outdated: Old-fashioned and obsolete
  • Outrageous: Shocking and excessive
  • Overbearing: Domineering and bossy
  • Overblown: Exaggerated and inflated
  • Overcritical: Hypercritical and fault-finding
  • Overindulgent: Excessive and indulgent
  • Overrated: Overvalued and overestimated
  • Overwrought: Agitated and distraught

These negative adjectives that start with O can add depth to your characters by highlighting their flaws and challenges, making them more dynamic and relatable to your readers.

Things That Start with O

Here’s a list of objects starting with O that you can use to name various items in your writing:

  • Oar: Rowing tool
  • Oasis: Fertile area
  • Oat: Cereal grain
  • Obelisk: Tall monument
  • Oboe: Woodwind instrument
  • Obsidian: Volcanic glass
  • Octagon: Eight-sided shape
  • Octopus: Sea creature
  • Odor: Smell or scent
  • Oil: Liquid fat
  • Olive: Edible fruit
  • Omega: Greek letter
  • Onion: Edible bulb
  • Opal: Precious stone
  • Orange: Citrus fruit
  • Orbit: Circular path
  • Orchid: Flowering plant
  • Ore: Mineral deposit
  • Organ: Musical instrument
  • Origami: Paper folding
  • Oven: Cooking appliance
  • Owl: Nocturnal bird
  • Ox: Draft animal
  • Oxygen: Chemical element
  • Oyster: Shellfish
  • Ozone: Gas in atmosphere
  • Obstruction: Blockage or hindrance
  • Overcoat: Outer garment
  • Overpass: Elevated road
  • Oxide: Chemical compound

nouns that start with o

These objects provide a variety of descriptions you can apply in various contexts to enrich your narrative and add detail to your settings.

Unique Words That Begin with O

Here’s a list of unique words starting with O you can use to add a distinctive touch to your writing:

  • Obambulate: Wander and stroll
  • Obdormition: Numbness and sleep
  • Obfuscate: Confuse and obscure
  • Objurgate: Scold and rebuke
  • Oblation: Offering and gift
  • Obloquy: Criticism and disgrace
  • Obnubilate: Cloud and darken
  • Obrogate: Override and annul
  • Occident: Western regions
  • Occlude: Block and obstruct
  • Ocellate: Eyed and spotted
  • Octothorpe: Pound sign
  • Oculogyric: Eye-rolling
  • Odontalgia: Toothache
  • Odoriferous: Fragrant and aromatic
  • Oeuvre: Body of work
  • Ogdoad: Group of eight
  • Oikology: Household management
  • Oligarchy: Rule by few
  • Ommatidia: Insect eyes
  • Omphalos: Navel and center
  • Onychophagy: Nail biting
  • Ophiology: Study of snakes
  • Oppugn: Oppose and resist
  • Opsimath: Late learner
  • Oriflamme: Banner and symbol
  • Ornithology: Study of birds
  • Oscitancy: Yawning and drowsiness
  • Otiose: Idle and futile
  • Ovoviviparous: Egg-bearing

These unique words that start with O can add an intriguing quality to your writing.

Cool Words That Start with O

Here’s a list of cool and fun words starting with O you can use to add flair and excitement to your writing:

  • Oasis: Desert spring
  • Obelisk: Tall monument
  • Obfuscate: Confuse and obscure
  • Obliterate: Destroy and demolish
  • Obstreperous: Noisy and unruly
  • Octane: Fuel component
  • Octopus: Sea creature
  • Odyssey: Long journey
  • Ogle: Stare and gaze
  • Ointment: Healing salve
  • Oleander: Flowering shrub
  • Olive: Fruit tree
  • Omnivore: All-eater
  • Onager: Wild donkey
  • Onomatopoeia: Sound mimicry
  • Oomph: Energy and enthusiasm
  • Opaque: Not transparent
  • Opulent: Luxurious and rich
  • Orbit: Path around
  • Orchestra: Musical group
  • Origami: Paper folding
  • Ornament: Decorative object
  • Osmosis: Fluid movement
  • Outlandish: Strange and bizarre
  • Ovation: Applause and praise
  • Overture: Musical introduction
  • Oviparous: Egg-laying
  • Oxymoron: Contradictory terms
  • Ozone: Atmospheric layer

cool words starting with o

These cool and fun words that start with O can add a unique and lively touch to your writing, making it more engaging and enjoyable for readers.

Long Words That Start with O

Here’s a list of long words starting with O that you can use to add sophistication and depth to your writing:

  • Obfuscation: Confusion and obscuring
  • Objectivity: Impartiality and fairness
  • Obliteration: Complete destruction
  • Obnoxiously: Offensively and annoyingly
  • Obsequiously: Subserviently and fawningly
  • Observational: Relating to observation
  • Obstreperous: Noisy and unruly
  • Occasionally: Sometimes and intermittently
  • Occupational: Related to occupation
  • Odorousness: Having a strong smell
  • Officiousness: Meddlesome and interfering
  • Omnipresence: Being everywhere
  • Omnivorously: Eating many foods
  • Onomatopoeia: Sound mimicry
  • Opalescence: Showing iridescent colors
  • Operatically: In a manner of opera
  • Opportunistic: Taking immediate advantage
  • Oppositionist: One who opposes
  • Optimistically: With hope and confidence
  • Ornamentation: Decoration and adornment
  • Orthodontics: Dental correction field
  • Orthogonality: Right angles and independence
  • Ostentatiously: Showily and pretentiously
  • Otolaryngology: Study of ear, nose, throat
  • Outlandishness: Bizarre and unconventional
  • Overcompensate: Excessive compensation
  • Overconfidence: Excessive confidence
  • Overdevelopment: Excessive development
  • Oversensitivity: Excessive sensitivity
  • Overzealously: With excessive zeal

These long words that start with O can add a sophisticated and impressive quality to your writing, making your prose more engaging and intellectually stimulating for readers.

3 Tips for Using Words That Start with O in Your Writing

Using the right words that start with O in your writing can add a unique flair to your author’s voice. And choosing specific words that convey certain meanings can add specificity and solid imagery to your prose.

Here are my top three tips for using O words in your writing:

Tip 1: Use O Words for Clarity and Precision

When you use words that are specific, readers will thank you for it because specificity makes them more engaged in your writing. How, you ask? Words that are specific create vivid images in your readers’ mind and make it easier for them to visualize what’s happening in a scene.

You could say someone was “fair,” but this word—while serviceable—doesn’t create strong imagery. If you were to describe the same character as “objective,” however, that brings a certain person to mind. Someone who can assess a situation impartially, and divorce themselves from any emotion they may have about it.

Similarly, you could say someone “watches” something or “observes” it. The word observe is more specific. We can watch TV mindlessly without really paying attention to what’s happening on screen. An observant person would watch and take everything in.

Be specific.

Tip 2: Open with Powerful Vocabulary

Another place where words starting with O come into their own is in the opening paragraphs of novels because O words are impactful. They help set the tone for your novel. Take the word “ominous.” When you use this in the opening line of your book, it creates an eerie, moody feeling. If, however, you used the word “optimistic,” you’d create a feeling of lightness and whimsy.

These words, when used to set the tone of your novel, can connect with readers instantly and clue them in to the type of genre you’re writing. Thrillers rarely open with lightness and whimsy, so “optimistic” probably isn’t the word I’d go for there.

Tip 3: Use O Words to Avoid Redundant Phrasing

Overusing the same words repeatedly makes them redundant and boring for readers. You can use O words as synonyms to replace common words and make your writing feel fresh and unique.

“Old” is a common word we hear all the time. Depending on the context, you might mix it up a bit and choose a word like “obsolete” or “outdated.”

Use different O words to add variety to your prose.

And finally, always remember the story comes first. Before worrying about the perfect adjective to use, it’s best to focus on:

  • Creating engaging characters
  • Penning an interesting plot
  • Structuring solid settings

A tool like Fictionary helps you turn your draft into an interesting story readers love. So, with the right adjectives and a strong narrative foundation, your writing can truly shine.

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