Long list of useful German adjectives and their opposites

by Jakob Straub
March 26, 2021
german student learning German adjectives from a long list

Knowing German adjectives will help you describe things and have richer conversations in the language. We’ve compiled a long list of useful German adjectives and their opposites for you to learn and reference!

German adjectives and opposites to learn

Learning German adjectives as pairs of opposites is an effective way to anchor vocabulary in your memory. If you memorise each word together with its antonym, you’re doubling the amount of new German adjectives you acquire and strengthen your recall thanks to the mnemonic device of pairing.

The following list of German adjectives is based on frequency of use in conversation and how useful the words are to language learners of all levels.

The most common spoken words in German

GERMANENGLISHOPPOSITEENGLISH
ähnlichsimilarunähnlich, verschiedendifferent
altoldjung, neu, modernyoung, new, modern
angenehmenjoyableunangenehmunpleasant
anwesendpresentabwesendabsent
bekanntknown, famousunbekanntunknown
besserbetterschlechterworse
bestimmtspecific, definite, certainunbestimmtindefinite
buntcolorfuleinfarbigplain, monochrome
dankbargratefulundankbarungrateful
deutlichclear, distinct, obviousundeutlichindistinct
dickthick, fatdünnthin
direktdirect, straightindirektindirect
ehrlichhonestunehrlichdishonest
eigenown, properuneigen, fremdstrange, external
einzelnsingle, individual, lone, oddviel, zusammena lot, together
elegantelegantunelegantinelegant
empfindlichsensitiveunempfindlichinsensitive
engtight, narrow, close, snugweitloose, far
erfahrenexperiencedunerfahreninexperienced
festfirmlocker, weichloose, soft
flachflat, shallowsteil, tiefsteep, deep
fleißigdiligentfaullazy
freifreeunfreiunfree
freundlichfriendlyunfreundlichunfriendly
frohgladtraurigsad
geduldigpatientungeduldigimpatient
geizigstingygroßzügiggenerous
gemeinsamtogetheralleinalone
gemütlichComfortable, cozyungemütlichuncomfortable
genauexact, accurate, preciseungenauinaccurate
geradestraight, right, even, directungerade, krummodd, crooked
geschicktclever, skillful, adeptungeschicktclumsy
gesundhealthyungesund, krankunhealthy, sick
gewisscertain, sureungewissuncertain
glattsmoothraurough
gleichequal, similarungleich, verschiedenunequal, different
glücklichhappyunglücklichunhappy
großlarge, bigkleinsmall, tiny
gutgoodschlecht, bösebad, evil
halbhalfganzwhole
harthardweichsoft
häufigfrequent, commonseltenrare
heißhotkaltcold
hellbrightdunkeldark
hochhigh, talltiefdeep
höflichpoliteunhöflichimpolite
horizontalhorizontalvertikalvertical
hungrighungrysattfull, fed up
interessantinterestinguninteressant, langweiliguninteresting, boring
kaputtbrokenganzwhole, all, complete
klarclearunklarnot clear, obscure
klugsmart, intelligentunklug, dummimprudent, stupid
lang, langelongkurzshort
lautloudleisequiet
letzter, letzte, letzteslasterster, erste, erstesfirst
lustigfunny, amusingunlustig, ernstnot amusing, unfunny, serious
meinmydeinyour
möglichpossibleunmöglichimpossible
müdetiredwachawake
nahclosefernremote
nasswettrockendry
nationalnationalinternationalinternational
natürlichnaturalunnatürlichunnatural
normalnormalunnormalabnormal
offenopen, open-mindedgeschlossen, verschlossenclosed, locked, closed off, secretive
öffentlichpublicprivatprivate
ordentlichneat, tidyunordentlichdisorderly, messy, unkempt
persönlichpersonal, privateunpersönlichimpersonal
positivpositivenegativnegative
praktischpractical, handy, usefulunpraktischimpractical
pünktlichpunctual, prompt, on timeunpünktlichunpunctual, tardy
rechtrightunrechtwrong
reichricharmpoor
richtigright, correctfalschfalse, not correct
rundroundeckigangular, square
sanftgentlyunsanftrude, ungentle
saubercleandreckig, schmutzigdirty
schnellfastlangsamslow
schönbeautifulhässlichugly
schwer, schwierighard, difficultleicht, einfacheasy, simple
sichersafe, certain, sureunsicherunsure
sozialsocialunsozialantisocial
spätlatefrühearly
spitzpointed, sharp, spikedstumpfdull
sportlichsporty, athletic, fitunsportlichunathletic, unsporting, out of shape
starkstrongschwachweak
süßsweetsauersour, angry
sympathischsympatheticunsympathischunsympathetic
teuerexpensivebilligcheap, inexpensive
treuloyal, true, faithfuluntreuunfaithful
unterschiedlichdifferent, diverse, variedgleich, identischsame, identical
vielmany, a lotwenig, geringlittle, low
vollfullleerempty
vorsichtigcareful, cautiousunvorsichtigcareless
wahrscheinlichprobable, plausibleunwahrscheinlichimprobable, unlikely
wertvollprecious, valuablewertlosworthless
wesentlichessential, significantunwesentlichinessential, insignificant
wichtigimportantunwichtigunimportant
wildwildzahmtame
zufriedensatisfied, content, happyunzufriedendissatisfied, discontent, unhappy

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