Your story’s main character is the most amazing person you’ve ever created.
And you can’t wait to introduce them to your readers.
To that end, you’re looking for the best adjectives to describe personality traits — specifically the ones this character has.
You could also use some positive personality adjectives to humanize your story’s antagonist.
Because who doesn’t love a redemption arc?
But whatever your specific character development goals, we’ve created a list of 123 descriptive words for people your readers will want to know better.
Which Words Describe a Positive Personality?
If someone asks you for a word to describe a good person, which one comes to mind? After all, you want your favorite characters to have qualities your readers will admire.
And the words you use to describe them will impact the impression they make.
You want them to be authentic and relatable — not two-dimensional and dull.
Put your character in a difficult situation, and write about how they handle it. Whatever happens, in the final tally, they’re still the kind of person you’d love to have for a friend.
What Are Positive Adjective Examples for Book Characters?
Here are a few examples to show how to use positive personality adjectives in your storytelling:
- “He surprised me with his gentle and compassionate treatment of his neighbor.”
- “I don’t know anymore more adventurous than you. From where I stand, you’re fearless.”
- “Her bucket list for the year was more ambitious than any others I’d seen — if also the most impractical.”
- “If he’s not exactly witty, he’s at least passionate and genuine. I like him.”
- “You have the most generous heart of anyone I’ve ever known, where others are concerned. But don’t forget to be kind to yourself, too.
123 Positive Personality Adjectives To Use For Your Book Characters
Think of a specific character of yours as you look through the following list, and take note of the words that stand out.
Make a list of your own to help you brainstorm different ways to show your reader this character’s signature traits.
1. Accepting — readily accepts others without judgment
2. Active — engaging in various activities; not passive or sedentary
3. Adaptable — able to quickly adjust to change and new circumstances
4. Adventurous — willing to risk discomfort and danger to experience new things
5. Affectionate — showing affection in words and actions
6. Alert — awake and aware of their surroundings and of possible threats
7. Ambitious — driven to accomplish great things
8. Amiable / Affable — friendly; approachable; good-natured
9.Amusing / Funny — entertaining; fun to watch, read, or listen to
10. Assertive — not a push-over; able to stand up for themselves
11. Attentive — showing thoughtful attention and being present for others
12. Brave — ready to face all challenges with courage
13. Brilliant — genius-level intelligence and the will to make good use of it
14. Broad-minded — open to changes, new ideas, and different viewpoints
15. Calm — unperturbed; unruffled; unbothered
16. Candid — forthright and frank; truthful
17. Careful — showing a disinclination to do harm or showing attention to detail
18. Charming — pleasing in appearance and manner
19. Cheerful — having a pleasant and positive disposition
20. Clever — intelligent and able to quickly make connections
21. Communicative — ready to impart information; unreserved; open
22. Confident — self-assured or certain of one’s own competence and ability
23. Compassionate — kind-hearted and feeling for others
24. Conscientious — intent on doing what’s right and performing their duty well
25. Considerate — thinking of others and their needs and acting accordingly
26. Courageous — doing what’s necessary or beneficial despite fear
27. Courteous — treating others with deference and consideration
28. Creative — imaginative; artistic; out-of-the-box
29. Curious — having an inquiring mind and a desire to see beyond the surface
30. Decisive — able to make decisions quickly and firmly
31. Dependable — reliable and trustworthy
32. Determined — resolute; inexhaustible; unstoppable
33. Diligent — hard-working; industrious; dedicated
34. Diplomatic — able to resolve disputes between opposing parties
35. Disciplined — showing self-control in words and behavior
36. Discreet — careful and circumspect in one’s words or actions
37. Dynamic — upbeat and full of energy and new ideas
38. Easygoing — laid back; flexible; relaxed
39. Efficient — achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted time and effort
40. Energetic — alive with an energy that seems inexhaustible
41. Enthusiastic — showing a lot of excitement and enthusiasm
42. Exuberant — filled with joyful energy and excitement
43. Fairminded — just and impartial
44. Faithful — loyal; trustworthy; steadfast
45. Fearless — acting without fear
46. Forceful — strong; assertive; powerful
47. Forgiving — ready to forgive offenses and reconcile
48. Frank — honest; candid; unreserved
49. Friendly — approachable; amiable; sociable
50. Generous — readily giving of one’s one resources to benefit others
51. Genuine — precisely what one claims to be; authentic
52. Gentle — tenderhearted; sensitive; kind
53. Graceful — elegant and showing poise and good taste
54. Gregarious — fond of company; sociable; companionable
55. Hard-working — diligent; industrious; dedicated
56. Helpful — quick to offer help; solicitous; obliging
57. Honest — truthful; sincere; frank
58. Hopeful — optimistic; sanguine; holding onto hope
59. Humble — having a reasonable amount of pride without the need to prove anything
60. Imaginative — creative; inventive;
61. Impartial — not choosing sides in an argument
62. Independent — thinking and acting on their own
63. Intelligent — having an above-average mind and the will to use it
64. Intuitive — insightful and receptive to their own inner voice
65. Innovative / Inventive — creative; experimental; resourceful
66. Just — fair-minded and equitable
67. Kind — caring, considerate, and compassionate toward others
68. Liberal — open-minded; generous; respectful
69. Loving — showing love in words and actions
70. Loyal — faithful and supportive
71. Mature — dependable, sensible, and wise
72. Merciful — compassionate and kind
73. Meticulous — careful, detail-oriented, and thorough
74. Modest — not inclined to brag or show off; quietly impressive
75. Neat — clean, tidy, and organized (or, at least, not cluttered)
76. Optimistic — having a positive outlook on life and other people
77. Organized — orderly and systematic in their actions and housekeeping
78. Passionate — having or expressing strong emotions or beliefs
79. Patient — putting others first without complaining
80. Persistent — unsinkable or unwilling to give up
81. Pioneering — groundbreaking and actively seeking new discoveries
82. Philosophical — showing composure in the face of difficulties and disappointments
83. Placid / Peaceful — calm and unruffled; preferring harmony and accord
84. Playful — having a childlike, joyful spirit
85. Plucky — resilient and courageous
86. Polite — treating others with courtesy and respect
87. Powerful — exhibiting a kind of power that exerts influence on their behalf
88. Practical — sensible or preferring functionality over aesthetics
89. Proactive — thinking ahead and taking an active role
90. Punctual — preferring to always be on time
91. Purposeful — imbued with a strong sense of purpose and determination
92. Quick-witted — quick-thinking or quick to offer a witty reply
93. Quiet — solemn or preferring to observe quietly
94. Rational or Reasonable — sensible, fair, and logical
95. Reliable — as good as their word
96. Reserved — private; careful; restrained
97. Resolute — purposeful; determined; unwavering
98. Resourceful — finding quick and clever ways to overcome challenges
99. Romantic — having an idealized view of reality
100. Self-motivated — able to motivate themselves internally
101. Sensible — level-headed; reasonable; realistic
102. Sensitive — easily responds to things
103. Sincere — honest and genuine
104. Skillful — being an expert or proficient at something
105. Smart — either intelligent or stylish
106. Sociable — being at ease around people — and putting them at ease
107. Straightforward — telling the unvarnished truth in plain language
108. Strong — physically, mentally, or emotionally powerful and resilient
109. Supportive — accepting and ready to help or to be there when needed
110. Sympathetic — shows they understand and care about other people’s problems
111. Tenacious — determined to succeed and refusing to let go of the goal
112. Tactful — knowing what not to say in difficult situations
113. Thoughtful — considerate; anticipating someone’s needs or desires
114. Tidy — neat and well-kept
115. Tolerant — able to hear dissenting viewpoints or beliefs with
116. Tough — resilient; strong; durable
117. Trustworthy — worthy of someone’s complete trust
118. Unassuming — genuine and unaffected
119. Understanding — seeing beyond the surface to grasp the essential
120. Versatile — able to excel at a variety of tasks or challenges
121. Warmhearted — compassionate, kind, and quick to offer help
122. Wise — experienced and insightful
123. Witty — clever and funny
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Which positive personality adjectives define your characters?
Now that you have this list of 123 positive personality words, which ones stand out the most for the character you have in mind?
Once you round up the best words to describe their personality, you can look for ways to make those words come alive in your story.
It’s not enough for your character to be referred to using one of these adjectives; readers have to see evidence in the character’s own words and actions.
How will you reveal your character’s personality to your readers?