66 Negative Personality Adjectives to Describe People in English

66 Negative Personality Adjectives to Describe Your Worst Enemies
In this lesson, you’re going to learn 66 negative adjectives to describe people. Check out 59 Positive Personality Adjectives here.

Sometimes we meet people we don’t like — “bad” people! Let’s take a look at some negative words to describe someone you don’t like.

1. Negative Adjectives for Selfish People

List of negative personality adjectives for selfish people: aloof, arrogant, belligerent, big-headed, bitchy, boastful, bossy, callous, confrontational, cruel, cynical, defensive, hostile, impolite, inconsiderate, nasty, overcritical, patronising, pompous, self-centred, thoughtless, vain

Tony believes he’s more important than everyone else.

This is how he sees himself:

a man who thinks he's more important than other people

He thinks he’s more important than you:

Arrogant — He thinks he’s the best.
Big-headed — The same as “arrogant.”
Self-centred — The world has to revolve around him!
Vain — He loves looking at himself in the mirror.
Boastful — He always talks about how brilliant he is and all the amazing things he does.
Pompous — Like “arrogant” but in a way that makes him look foolish, like this guy:

a pompous man

He tries to make you feel small:

Callous — He doesn’t care about anyone, especially those who are weaker than him.
Cynical — He sees the bad side in everybody’s personality and actions.
Overcritical — He exaggerates the negative things you do.
Patronising — Sometimes his words sound kind — but he’s really showing how much more important he is than you.

He doesn’t care how you feel:

Aloof — He’s unfriendly, cold and distant.
Impolite — He’s rude.
Inconsiderate — He does things that hurt or annoy you without thinking about your feelings.
Thoughtless — The same as “inconsiderate.”

He’s aggressive:

Confrontational — He tries to challenge you, even when it’s not necessary.
Defensive — He behaves as if you’re attacking him, even if you aren’t.
Hostile — He behaves like your enemy.
Belligerent — He’s aggressive and hostile.
Bitchy — He makes small, sarcastic comments about you. They seem small, but they’re designed to hurt you.
Nasty — He’s not nice.
Bossy — He likes telling you what to do — like a boss.
Cruel — He actually enjoys seeing other people in pain and sometimes creates that pain.
Domineering — He likes to have control over everyone in every situation.

So yeah. Tony’s not a nice guy.

2. Negative Adjectives for Difficult People

List of negative personality adjectives for difficult people: deceitful, dishonest, dogmatic, fussy, impatient, indiscreet, inflexible, intolerant, jealous, Machiavellian, narrow-minded, obstinate, pig-headed, possessive, resentful, secretive, sneaky, stubborn, tactless, unpredictable, unreliable, untrustworthy, vague

This is Amber, and she has a very negative personality.

You can’t trust her:

Deceitful — She pretends to be your friend, then she’ll stab you in the back (do something bad to you after you’ve started trusting her).
Dishonest — She’s not honest.
Machiavellian — She intelligently uses different people against each other to get what she wants.
Sneaky — She does things that you don’t know about that affect you negatively.
Untrustworthy — You can’t trust her. She lies!

She hates change:

Dogmatic — She has strong beliefs and doesn’t accept any view outside those beliefs.
Inflexible — When she’s made plans, NOTHING can change them.
Intolerant — She doesn’t like certain types of people and will never accept them. Sometimes this can be extreme, like racism, sexism or homophobia.
Narrow-minded — She has a small view of the world and doesn’t accept ideas outside that view.
Stubborn — You will never be able to change her opinion on anything.
Obstinate — Like “stubborn,” but a little stronger.
Pig-headed — Like “obstinate.” But with a pig.
Fussy — She likes everything to be a certain way. If there’s a change, she gets very upset or angry.

She’s difficult to work with:

Indiscreet — Sometimes you don’t want somebody shouting your bank balance out across a crowded office. Or you don’t want someone to walk in the room with a bottle of whiskey when your Saudi client is visiting. But Amber will do these things.
Tactless — It’s like “indiscreet” but with words. It means she sometimes says something stupid that might hurt someone, usually without realising it.
Unpredictable — You don’t know what she’s going to do next!
Vague — She doesn’t explain things clearly.
Impatient — If she has to wait too long for anything, she gets angry. Maybe she’ll walk away.
Unreliable — If she tells you that she’s going to meet you at 7 o’clock, she probably won’t. You can’t trust her to keep her promises.

She behaves badly in relationships:

Jealous — She hates seeing you with other people.
Possessive — She only wants you to spend time with her. You have no other friends now.
Resentful — She still gets angry about things that happened a long time ago.
Secretive — She regularly keeps secrets from you.

Oh … I’m so glad we’ve finished with those two terrible people.

Let’s never talk about them again. Deal?

OK. Time to find some less harmful characters.

3. Negative Adjectives for Lazy People

List of negative personality adjectives for lazy people: careless, cowardly, foolish, gullible, idle, indecisive, irresponsible, untidy, weak-willed

Andy is your stereotypical lazy guy. He doesn’t work. He doesn’t help around the house.

He also doesn’t have any strong opinions and has a weak personality.

He’s lazy:

Idle — “Lazy” describes someone who doesn’t want to do anything. “Idle” describes the situation of not doing anything.
Careless — He doesn’t care enough about things, so he can often lose or break them.
Irresponsible — If you give him a task to do, he will mess it up (do it very badly).
Untidy — He doesn’t tidy up and leaves a mess everywhere. He’s probably got some food on his shirt, too.

He’s weak:

Cowardly — He’s afraid of everything.
Foolish — He doesn’t have the brains to make the right decisions — so he makes bad decisions.
Gullible – If you told him that you’d just been invited to Tom Cruise’s space station party on the moon, he’d believe you.
Indecisive — He finds it difficult to make decisions — so he often sticks with “no decision.”
Weak-willed — You can easily convince him to do what he doesn’t want to do. He’s also probably addicted to something (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, cheese — something).

4. Negative Adjectives for Emotional People

List of negative personality adjectives for emotional people: clingy, finicky, grumpy, moody, overemotional, pessimistic, quick-tempered, silly, sullen, touchy, vulgar

Finally, we have Sibel.

There are two bad sides to Sibel. On the one hand, she hates sharing or giving anything away, and on the other, she’s difficult to be around.

She’s always in a bad mood:

Quick-tempered — She gets angry very easily.
Grumpy — She’s always in a bad mood and doesn’t want to speak with you.
Moody — Her moods are unpredictable. Sometimes she seems fine, and then suddenly she’s in a bad mood.
Pessimistic — She always sees the negative side of things.
Sullen — Like “grumpy.”
Touchy — You can make her angry or upset very easily.

She’s annoying:

Overemotional — When she’s unhappy or angry, she’s very unhappy or very angry.
Clingy — She wants to be with you all the time, and you just can’t lose her. — unless you run away really fast when she’s not looking.
Finicky — She’s very fussy and wants everything to be the way she wants. She gets upset if you do something the “wrong” way.
Silly — She’s not serious and can behave a bit like a child sometimes.
Vulgar — She’s not sophisticated. Her jokes are often sexual and rude.

So there we have it: 66 negative personality adjectives to describe bad people — or yourself (but hopefully not!). Let’s hope we never meet any of those people ever again!

Was that too much negativity? Check out these 59 adjectives to describe your favourite friends.

While you’re here, grab your free eBook, Learn New Words 5 Times Faster.

104 thoughts on “66 Negative Personality Adjectives to Describe People in English

  1. Thanks, Gabriel.
    ‘smug’ is also a good adjective. “I wanna wipe that stupid smirk off of his smug face.”
    And a tad about meself, except for cricket though. (!)

    1. Haha! I was going to call her Nina, except “mean-spirited” and “disloyal” and “destructive” should be added to her profile.

    1. Gabriel, OMG I “LOVE” this list. Thank you so much for taking the time to put all of this together and sharing it with us all. I personally wanted to say you did such an awesome job and going into details on some of them, again “THANK YOU”

        1. Ima gonna use these on a book report for an abusive father!

          Other words you might consider including: malicious, retarded, gutless, abusive, idiotic, nitwit, jerk

  2. thanks you so much, i learn English and dont know how to describe bad personalities. I found your writing very beneficial!

  3. Thanks
    All your words really helps me to understand the presidents politicians leaders corporations movie moguls stars sport stars
    just about everyone that thinks they own the world and can do whatever they want?❗️

  4. Lol thx for a second I thought I had to search up all the words I didn’t recognize.. Then I scrolled down. Ty for putting the meanings.. What’s another word for someone who gets angry for no reason?

    1. Very happy to help!

      Someone who gets angry for no reason? That’s a good one. I guess the closest I can think of is “touchy.” There’s a feeling that “If you touch him, he’ll explode!”

      There’s also “temperamental,” which actually is used to describe someone who is gets angry unpredictably.

      Good question.

      1. Execelent articles you’ve shared with the community and are very useful, me personally read them over and over performing situations to settle this new vocabulary.

  5. Thank you so much… that’s really useful but I wonder what do we call a person who talks about things he knows nothing about and puts people into trouble because of that?

    1. Hi Imam.

      Thanks for commenting with such an interesting question.

      I’ve been racking my brain over this, but I can’t think of an English equivalent.

      We have a few similar words and phrases, though:

      A blabbermouth is someone who talks too much – possibly about things that should be kept secret. So they can land people in trouble, but it’s usually because of something they know (like top secret information) rather than something they don’t know.

      When someone talks about things he doesn’t know anything about, we tend to just say something like, “Ignore him. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about!” (Not very creative, right? 🙂 )

      I’d be interested if any other English speakers reading this can think of any more?

      Thanks again for your question. I like difficult questions! 🙂

      1. You could use the term armchair. For example, if someone is talking about mental health even if they don’t really know anything about it, they could be described as an ‘armchair psychologist’. Not sure if this is the way you use it though.

      2. I think I found one, archaic as it may be;


        Ultracrepidarianism is the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.

        “He’s an ultracrepidarian, if he doesn’t know, he’ll make it up and pretend he knows.”

  6. While writing a letter to my recent ex i found myself stumped on exactly what to phrase his personality as. Looking for perfecting character trait words I stumbled upon this site. The manner in which you linked one word from another and the flow of them is perfect. Keeping me from having to flip back and forth on another site to find examples. Thank you for helping me when I was lost on how to describe a douchebag in a dignified adult manner.

  7. I love all of it.
    Very concise
    Thank you
    I smell myself in a lot of places
    And I sure would not be any of those there

  8. Thank you SO MUCH! It is awesome and I love the jokes you included in the text <3

    I'm not sure if Gymglish's your child but anyway wanted to say thanks for that one too!
    You're awesome!

    from Russia with love :*

    1. Hi Vivian,

      Thanks for commenting and I’m sorry you feel that way.

      Actually, only half of the people (Amber and Sibel) are women. The other two (Tony and Andy) are men. 🙂

  9. So I just called my brother a pompous patronizing inconsiderate nasty narrow-minded pig-headed stubborn unreliable careless irresponsible cowardly indecisive grumpy vulgar douchebag

  10. Great job with the list. Was looking for the right words to use to say to a defensive, belligerent, know-it-all cynic. Would not have been able to write this post without finding the right words on this list! Thanks for the help!

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