1. What makes you different from somebody else - the qualities of a person: personality, character, nature to have an attractive/interesting/complex personality Even though they're twins, they have very different characters. It's in her nature to be kind to people . - a person's personality, especially as it affects the way they behave and feel: temperament an excitable/artistic temperament - a particular quality that is typical of sb: characteristic Bossiness is one of his less appealing characteristics
- to have a particular characteristic because your mother, father or other member of your family has it: get sth from sb He's very open and friendly - he gets it from his father. - (used about a characteristic or talent) particular to a family: in the family They're all very musical - it's in the family . - to ask about sb's personality, you can say: What is he/she like? or What sort of a person is he/she?
- to appear to be a particular type of person (even if you are not): come across (as sth) She came across as quite a shy person when we met her, but apparently she's not like that at all. - the effect that a person produces on sb else: impression He made a bad impression on everyone
2. Particular difference nice or unpleasant - pleasant and good: nice, sweet ; opposites: nasty, unpleasant I like her - she's a really nice person. A sweet child. A thoroughly nasty individual - easily liked by other people: charming You'll find him absolutely charming . - kind and pleasant: friendly ; opposite: unfriendly friendly neighbours/colleagues - generally happy: cheerful ; cheerful or friendly: good-natured
kind or unkind
caring about how other people feel and doing things to help them: kind, kind-hearted ; opposite: unkind
happy to help people: helpful, cooperative ; opposites: unhelpful, uncooperative
The staff are very helpful. The police were completely unhelpful. His secretary was uncooperative, and she refused to let me see him.
giving sb support: supportive
if you are in a very bad situation and need help from sb else, you are helpless
if you need sb/sth to support or help you, you depend on sb/sth, you are dependent
if you can do things yourself and do not want or need help, you are independent, self-reliant
understanding other people's feelings and problems: sympathetic; not sympathetic: unsympathetic, hard-hearted happy to give money and help freely: generous ; opposite: mean, (informal) stingy - thinking only about your own needs or wishes and not about other people's needs and wishes: selfish, self-centred ; opposites: unselfish, selfless Think about other people for a change and don't be so selfish. An unselfish act
if you think about how other people feel before you do or say things, you are considerate, thoughtful
How thoughtful of you to come round and see me.
- having skill in dealing with people; careful not to cause embarrassment: tactful, diplomatic ; opposite: tactless, blunt
- very kind and thoughtful: good , (informal) sweet
It was so good of you to come.
How sweet of you to remember my birthday!
If you behave in a careful way so that you do not hurt things or people, you are gentle
a person who is always gentle and loving is tender-hearted
- if you are friendly and welcoming to visitors, you are hospitable
a really hospitable couple
if you act and speak in a way that is helpful and thoughtful towards other people, you are polite, (formal) courteous ; not polite: rude, impolite, discourteous
- a person who has good manners and behaves in a polite way is well-behaved , (rather formal) well-mannered
- a person who has bad manners and behaves in a rude way is badly behaved , (rather formal) ill-mannered
I've never seen such badly behaved children.
rude, not showing proper respect to sb/sth: cheeky
rude and unpleasant: insolent
- rude and unfriendly, not interested in sb/sth: offhand
She was very offhand with us - she was obviously thinking about something else.
ready or likely to fight or argue: aggressive
- a person who uses his or her greater strength or power to hurt or frighten sb who is weaker: bully
Leave her alone! Don't be such a bully .
- liking to give orders to other people, often in an annoying way: bossy
- if you do not think about how other people feel, you are inconsiderate, thoughtless, insensitive
I'm sorry. It was very thoughtless of me.
if you are not friendly and welcoming to visitors, you are inhospitable
- if you want to hurt other people, you are malicious
deliberately causing physical or mental pain to sb : cruel
- a thing or person that shows great cruelty with violence is brutal
- having or showing no pity: cold-blooded a cold-blooded murderer - a person who gets pleasure from being cruel: sadist
tolerant or intolerant - able or willing to accept things that you do not like or agree with: broad-minded, tolerant ; opposites: narrow-minded, intolerant I like to think I'm fairly broad-minded but this sort of behaviour is quite unacceptable. - tolerant; not easily worried or annoyed: easygoing You can ask her anything - she's very easygoing. - a dislike of a group in society that is not based on reason or experience: prejudice (noun C/U); a person who has this kind of feeling is prejudiced (against sb/sth) racial prejudice. He's prejudiced against foreigners.
a person who believes that people of other races are not as good as people of their own race: racist
the belief that either men or women are better than the other sex: sexism (noun U); adjective: sexist
the belief that men are better than women: male chauvinism (noun U); a man who has this belief: male chauvinist
- the belief that women should have the same power, rights and opportunities as men: feminism (noun U); adjective: feminist ; a person who has such a belief: feminist
the feminist movement
a person who thinks they are better than sb of a lower class and who admires people of a higher class: snob
Don't be such a snob!
-a person who is or feels different from other people: misfit
a social misfit
- a person who is not accepted as a member of a particular group: outsider
- not willing to change your mind or say that you are wrong: stubborn, obstinate
He's stubborn - he won't do anything he doesn't want to .
not willing to consider other people: unreasonable
not allowing people to break rules and behave badly: strict
- treating each person or side equally: fair
He's quite strict with people but very fair
not easily made angry: calm, relaxed
easily made angry: irritable
She's getting rather irritable in her old age.
not easily annoyed by people or things that seem slow: patient ; opposite: impatient
if you easily become angry and impatient, you have a bad/short/quick temper
if you are calm and you have your feelings under control, you are composed, cool
if you are not worried, you are relaxed , (informal) laid-back
Not being calm if you are worried or not feeling comfortable you are uneasy, nervous, tense, anxious Hannah hated flying and was feeling a bit uneasy about her trip to Hong Kong. Do you get nervous before exams? - if you are rather angry about sth, you are irritated (about sth) He gets irritated if you keep him waiting.
- feeling very happy because you are looking forward to sth happening; not calm: excited The children are getting too excited - tell them to calm down. - if you are unable to relax because you are bored, nervous or impatient you are restless
Sociable or shy - enjoying the company of other people: sociable ; opposite: anti-social He's a bit anti-social - he doesn't really go out very often. - friendly and talkative; likes meeting new people: outgoing ; opposites: shy, reserved She's the outgoing type - she gets invited to lots of parties and makes friends very easily. I've always been shy. - liked by many people: popular ; opposite: unpopular She's popular with both staff and students
- fond of talking (in a friendly way): chatty ; opposite: quiet
I liked him - he was really friendly and chatty.
Tim is very quiet, but don't think he's not interested.
- a person who talks too much is talkative , (informal) a chatterbox
He's such a chatterbox!
full of life and energy; very active: lively
- a person who is cheerful and lively and enjoys being with other people: extrovert ; opposite: introvert Ann's a complete extrovert and loves parties, but Jim's a bit of an introvert and prefers a quiet evening at home. - able to express your feelings freely or naturally: uninhibited She's quite uninhibited - you never know what she's going to do next
Fun or boring - able to make other people laugh or have a good time: funny , amusing , (informal) a good laugh , (informal) (good/great) fun ; opposite: serious Such a funny man! 'What's she like?' 'You'll like her. She's a really good laugh.' 'I'm going to stay with the Hendersons.' 'Oh, you'll have a wonderful time - they're great fun.' I suppose he's quite nice but I found him a bit serious.
if you see what is funny in life, can make jokes, etc, you have a (good) sense of humour ; opposite: no sense of humour
enjoyable to be with; having interesting things to say: interesting ; opposites: dull, boring
- using words in a clever and amusing way: witty (adverb wittily)
a witty speaker
a witty remark
-very interesting: fascinating
a fascinating story/woman
interesting and enjoyable: amusing, entertaining an amusing film an entertaining evening/speaker full of enthusiasm: enthusiastic (about sth) She's very enthusiastic about her new job.
Honest or dishonest - telling the truth; not stealing or deceiving people: honest ; opposite: dishonest an honest and loyal friend - not meaning or believing what you say: insincere - if you can be sure that sb will do what they ought to do or what they have said they will do, they are reliable, dependable, trustworthy ; opposite: unreliable, untrustworthy I wouldn't lend her money; she's not very trustworthy. He'll probably be late - he's hopelessly unreliable. - not changing in your friendship or beliefs; faithful : loyal ; opposite: disloyal a loyal friend
- if sb deceives other people or is generally dishonest, they are deceitful
a deceitful child
saying what you think, without embarrassment: outspoken
Sensible or irresponsible
- able to think or act in a reasonable way; showing good judgement: sensible
She's a sensible girl and I'm sure she wouldn't do anything stupid.
- that you can trust to behave well and sensibly: responsible ; opposite: irresponsible
'Shall we send Robert?' 'Yes, he's very responsible. He won't let us down.‘
careful to do sth correctly and well: conscientious ; opposite: careless
- able to act in a sensible and adult way: mature ; opposite: immature
You can trust him - he's very mature for his age.
- making sensible decisions and good at dealing with problems: practical
We must be practical and find out how much it costs first.
able to plan and carry out work well: organized ; opposite: disorganized
- making sensible decisions and good at dealing with problems: practical
He's clever, but not very practical.
- liking to keep things in good order: tidy, neat ; opposite: untidy
hardworking or lazy
- having a lot of energy to do things: active, energetic
She's very active - always running around, seeing people, doing lots of sport.
working with effort and energy: hard-working
not wanting to work: lazy, idle
a lazy person who avoids work: (informal): layabout
a lazy, rude or untidy person: (informal): slob
- having a lot of skill in a particular area: skilled ; opposite: unskilled
- if you have studied for and passed all the necessary examinations and conditions for sth, you are qualified ; opposite: unqualified a qualified accountant Is he sufficiently qualified for this position? - a person who is good at what they do is competent ; opposite : incompetent Though lacking experience, he soon became very competent at his job. - a person who is able to do their job quickly, without making mistakes and wasting time, is efficient (adverb efficiently ); opposite: inefficient (adverb inefficiently )
a person who does things carefully, paying attention to detail to make sure that it is right, is thorough
if you are not careful about what you are doing, you are careless
a careless driver
if you are very careless and do not think about the possible danger or bad results of what you are doing, you are reckless
if you are physically awkward and often drop or break things, you are clumsy
a person who takes care to do things well is conscientious
- a person who does voluntary work: volunteer - a person who is not able to stop working: workaholic
brave or cowardly
- a person's inner strength: character (noun U)
to have strength of character
not wanting or needing to take help from other people: independent
- ready to do things that are dangerous or difficult without showing fear: brave, courageous (adverb courageously )
a brave soldier
a courageous person
- courage and determination: (informal) guts
to have a lot of guts
You need guts to disagree with your boss.
- to be brave enough to do sth: have the courage/nerve (to do sth)
We didn't have the courage to admit what really happened.
- courageous and willing to do dangerous things: daring
a daring fighter pilot
a person who feels no fear is fearless (adverb fearlessly )
- a person who likes to try new things and have adventures is adventurous
- a person who has no courage and is afraid in unpleasant or dangerous situations: coward Don't be such a coward! It won't hurt. - showing no courage: cowardly ; noun (U): cowardice cowardly behaviour a cowardly lie He was accused of cowardice. - a weak person who is not very brave: (informal) wimp Don't be a wimp! - if sb is brave enough to do what they think is right, they have the courage of their convictions Have the courage of your convictions and join the demonstration!
ambitious and confident
- having a strong desire to be successful, to have power, etc: ambitious
She'll probably go far, she's a very ambitious woman.
- likely to succeed in a profession: promising
a promising young musician
feeling or showing that you are sure about your own abilities, opinions, etc: confident, self-confident
He's got no confidence in his own ability .
- expressing your opinions clearly and confidently so that people listen and take notice of you: assertive
If you were a bit more assertive, you would find it easier to say no.
- somebody who usually believes that the future will be good: optimist ; opposite: pessimist
- not successful: unsuccessful (adverb unsuccessfully ) an unsuccessful businessman an unsuccessful journey Edward tried, unsuccessfully, to offer the policeman a bribe. - a person or thing that has failed, or that often fails: failure Everything in my life has gone wrong. I feel like a complete failure
- liked by many people or by most people in a group: popular ; the state of being popular: popularity (noun U)
a popular writer/singer/tourist resort
- to be known by many people as being good: have a good reputation
'Is he a good dentist?' 'Well I've never been to him myself, but he's got a good reputation.‘
to be as good as people say: live up to your reputation
'Well, did the hotel live up to its reputation?' 'Oh, absolutely.'
clever and talented
- good at learning and doing things: clever
She's clever at maths.
He's actually a lot cleverer than he looks.
- having a number of different skills and abilities: talented
a talented child/musician
good at studying or thinking: intelligent , (informal) brainy
- (used especially about children) intelligent: bright
the brightest boy in the class
- very intelligent: brilliant ; noun (U): brilliance
She's brilliant at maths.
- a person who is unusually intelligent: genius ; this kind of intelligence: genius (noun U) Einstein was a genius. a writer of genius This work shows real genius. - quick at thinking and understanding: sharp, quick-witted a sharp lawyer a quick-witted interviewer - using words in a clever and amusing way: witty ; noun (U): wit a witty speaker a witty remark She spoke with wit and wisdom.
- using experience and knowledge to make good decisions: wise ; noun (U): wisdom a wise old person a wise choice - able to think or act in a reasonable way; showing good judgement: sensible ; noun (U): sense sensible parents a sensible suggestion There's a lot of sense in that suggestion
- having a natural ability to do sth particularly well: talented ; noun (C/U): talent a talented musician She has a talent for design. He shows great talent. - generally good at doing things: able; noun (U): ability an able worker a player with great natural ability - (used about a person, an idea, etc) showing an ability to make things work: practical a practical mind a very practical person
- good at finding ways of doing things: resourceful ; noun (U): resourcefulness a resourceful teacher - showing an ability to find answers to problems or thinking of new things: ingenious ; noun (U): ingenuity an ingenious designer an ingenious solution to a problem He showed great ingenuity in solving his money problems
- interested in or good at sports: (informal) sporty good at running and other athletic sports; physically strong: athletic - interested in or good at music: musical - interested in or good at drawing, painting, etc: artistic
Proud or modest
too proud of yourself, your abilities, etc: conceited , (informal) big-headed
too proud of your appearance or of what you can do, etc: vain
thinking that you are better and more important than other people, and not caring about their feelings: arrogant
- not having or expressing a high opinion of your own qualities or abilities: modest
That's not true, he's just being modest - he's actually very intelligent.
- not thinking that you are better or more important than other people: humble