20 Positive Adjectives To Brighten Your Writing

It’s positively wonderful to be positive whenever possible, and we are here to help with that. The word positive has a lot of different meanings, from “confident” to “favorable” to a number of specific definitions in scientific fields, such as electricity and chemistry. In this article, we are going to look at a number of adjectives that mean or express a positive attitude, general optimism, or a sunny disposition.


The word excellent is a synonym for “positive” with the sense of “emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good.” Excellent means “possessing outstanding quality or superior merit.” It’s a good everyday synonym for positive.


Another excellent synonym for positive is beneficial, a word that means “conferring benefit; advantageous; helpful.” The word beneficial ultimately comes from the Latin beneficium, meaning “kindness.” The word beneficial can be used as an easy substitute for positive in sentences like it will be positive (or beneficial) for them.


The word positive connotes a certain kind of real-world or hands-on benefit. A close synonym for positive that has a similar connotation is constructive, “helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement.” However, constructive does not necessarily describe literal construction, “the occupation or industry of building.”


Practical, “adapted or designed for actual use; useful” is another synonym of positive that describes an impact in the material world. One sense of positive is that it describes something “proceeding in a direction assumed as beneficial.” Being practical is something that helps one move in a positive direction.


The adjective positive is used generally, outside of the sciences, to describe things that are appealing, meaning “evoking or attracting interest, desire, curiosity, sympathy, or the like; attractive.” If you find something appealing, it means you are drawn to it, for whatever reason. You might even call this feeling a positive force pulling you in.


A slightly more sophisticated synonym for appealing is delectable, which means “delightful; highly pleasing; enjoyable.” It is most often used to describe things that appeal to the senses, particularly taste. For example: At the Michelin star restaurant, they serve delectable cakes and pastries from around the world. The word delectable should not be confused with electable, meaning “capable of, or having a reasonable chance of, being elected, as to public office.”


If something is appealing, you feel favorable toward it. The word favorable means “characterized by approval or support.” It is also a close synonym for positive. Like positive, favorable can also describe a forward-looking attitude, in the sense of “boding well; propitious.”

Adjectives describe everything around us and come in many forms. Here’s a review of the 13 most common types of adjectives in the English language.


A more sophisticated synonym of favorable is auspicious, “promising success; opportune; favorable.” The word auspicious comes from the Latin auspicium, which was the practice of divining the future by watching the flight of birds. Here’s how you use the word auspicious in a sentence: I took the fact that my car started on the first try as an auspicious sign for our road trip.


Another sophisticated synonym for favorable to describe a positive outcome is serendipitous, meaning “good; beneficial” or “fortuitous.” For example: The chance meeting of the organizers was serendipitous and led to great outcomes. The word comes from a reference to a story as told by Horace Walpole about three heroes and a missing camel (yes, a camel). Serendip is an old name for the nation of Sri Lanka, which is where the story takes place.


A word that has a positive connotation, rather than being a close synonym for positive is effervescent, which literally means “bubbling,” but it is used figuratively to mean “vivacious; merry; lively; sparkling.” Someone who has a positive attitude could be described as being effervescent. For example: The hostess seemed effervescent as she circulated amongst the guests, laughing and chatting.


A term that is an informal synonym for effervescent is zippy, meaning “lively; peppy.” The word zip itself means “energy; vim; vigor.” In other words, someone who is zippy has a lot of energy. The word zip itself is onomatopoeic, meaning it is imitative of a sound—in this case, the sound of moving around with a lot of energy.


If you are in a positive mood, you may describe that feeling as jubilant, meaning “showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing; exultant.” The word jubilant comes from the Latin verb jūbilāre, meaning “to shout, whoop,” which is what you do when you’re feeling good, as in The crowd erupted in jubilant cheers.

tickled pink

An informal expression one can use to describe a positive feeling is tickled pink, meaning “delighted.” The expression alludes to one’s face turning pink with laughter when one is being tickled. A more hyperbolic or dramatic expression of the same sentiment is tickled to death.


There are a number of terms that describe someone who has what the kids call “positive vibes.” One such term is amicable, meaning “characterized by or showing goodwill; friendly; peaceable.” For example: The amicable waiter showed us to our table. The word amicable is closely related to amiable, as you may have guessed. They both describe someone who has “pleasant, good-natured personal qualities.”


A close synonym of amicable is affable, “pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial.” The word affable comes from Latin affābilis, which literally means “that can be spoken to” or “courteous.” For example: Sarah was an affable person generally speaking, but her new co-worker was making it hard for her to keep her composure.


A slightly more sophisticated term that is both a synonym for the positive attitude terms amicable and affable, as well as a term that is closely related to the connotations of jubilant, is convivial, which means both “friendly; agreeable” and “fond of feasting, drinking, and merry company.” The word convivial comes from Latin convīviālis, meaning “festal” or “pertaining to a feast or holiday.” For example: There was a convivial atmosphere in the cafeteria the day before the winter break.


Speaking of feasts, one way to describe a good feast is bounteous, which means “more than sufficient; plentiful; abundant.” A key aspect of feasts is that they have bounteous amounts of food and drink. The word bounteous can also mean “generous,” as in The bounteous King gave most of his fortune to charity, although this use is less common.


One adjective that expresses a superlatively positive sentiment is phenomenal, “highly extraordinary or prodigious; exceptional.” Literally, phenomenal means “of or relating to phenomena,” or “facts, occurrences, or circumstances observed or observable.” However, this literal meaning is often limited to philosophical discussion and is not often used in everyday speech.


Another superlative term to describe something or someone exceptional is exquisite, “of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence.” The word exquisite comes from Latin exquīsītus, meaning “meticulous, chosen with care.” In other words, something exquisite looks carefully crafted and especially beautiful, “as works of art or workmanship.”


A term closely related to exquisite is sublime, which means “impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc.” It also means “supreme or outstanding.” The word sublime comes from Latin sublīmis, meaning “high,” which gives sublime the connotation of something transcendent or out of this world.


One of the most informal terms to mean “positive” as in “good” is gnarly, “excellent; wonderful.” This slang term has its origins in ’70s California surfer/skater slang but it has hung around ever since. For example: Alice bought this gnarly jacket at the thrift store that has lots of spangles on it. Literally, gnarly means “twisted with or as if with gnarls or knots,” like the trunk of some trees.

You’ll positively love this word list

These adjectives describe sentiments that are positive so you can be prepared next time you’re feeling optimistic or happy. We hope you find them beneficial, appealing, and maybe even gnarly. Not ready to say goodbye? We can’t blame you there—spread even more cheer with the positive adjectives word list and quiz yourself on their definitions and spelling.

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