Whether you’re an author writing a book, a journalist describing a woman in politics, or an employer crafting a performance review, describing women in the 21st century means looking beyond appearances. Many (if not all) of the positive adjectives below are applicable to any person, not just women.
While writers are quick to describe their male characters as intelligent, they are less likely to do so with their female counterparts. Many admirable male attributes seem overbearing or bossy when a woman exhibits them.
To make sure this doesn’t happen in your writing, use the following words to describe an intelligent woman:
- Astute – She has clever solutions to problems based on her sharp perception.
- Clear-sighted – She is perceptive and able to see decisions clearly.
- Creative – She comes up with ideas that others have not considered before.
- Decisive – She commits to a decision after properly weighing the consequences.
- Discerning – She demonstrates good judgment and taste.
- Innovative – She applies new ideas to old problems to find creative solutions.
- Inquisitive – She asks direct, relevant questions to learn more about a subject.
- Intuitive – She balances her gut feeling with experience to form a keen sense of the right decision.
- Observant – She notices small but important details that others may have overlooked.
- Quick-witted – She has a sharp intellect that helps her respond to situations deftly.
- Resourceful – She makes use of what she has available to solve problems.
- Shrewd – She makes practical decisions based on her needs, but does not give away more than she thinks is necessary.
- Sincere – She uses evidence and experience in her effort to provide honest answers.
A woman doesn’t need to lift a car over her head to be strong. Indeed, women often show their strength in more measured ways than with physical strength.
Convey how strong your female character or friend is with these adjectives:
- Assertive – She is clear about what she wants without being aggressive.
- Athletic – She can move quickly and respond with physical strength.
- Capable – She applies her skills to the task at hand and never shies away from a more challenging request.
- Courageous – She fights for what she believes in, no matter the cost.
- Diligent – She works hard toward a goal without giving up.
- Disciplined – She can’t be distracted from her steady work habits that lead toward her goal.
- Empowered – She confidently speaks up for herself and others when necessary.
- Motivated – She has an applicable reason to pursue her goals.
- Persistent – She keeps working toward her goal, no matter what setbacks come her way.
- Resolute – She does not change her mind when she has set it to a goal.
- Skilled – She has developed a variety of skills and talents that help her in both everyday life and more challenging situations.
- Steadfast – She stays firm and strong in the face of adversity.
- Tenacious – She takes chances and risks when trying to achieve her goals.
Compassion is often seen as a female quality, even to the point of self-sacrifice. But there are more interesting words to describe a woman’s kindness than “nice” or “loving.”
Here are some possible words to use to talk about a compassionate woman:
- Affectionate – She demonstrates kindness to others in a physical way.
- Amicable – She is friendly and cares about the needs of others.
- Benevolent – She makes decisions that benefit others more than herself.
- Considerate – She predicts what others need and acts before she is asked.
- Devoted – She is loyal to the people and causes she loves.
- Doting – She takes care of others when they need her.
- Diplomatic – She can speak honestly without taking sides and hurting others’ feelings.
- Empathetic – She knows how others feel in a situation and acts accordingly.
- Generous – She is happier providing for others than she is providing for herself.
- Kindhearted – She sees the world through a kind perspective and cannot tolerate cruelty or meanness.
- Merciful – She forgives easily and does not seek vengeance when she has the power to do so.
- Trustworthy – She does not betray the trust of others and always does what she says she will do.
Any person with an engaging personality can draw you or a reader in, no matter their gender. That’s why describing a woman’s personality is more compelling than simply talking about her looks. Readers are much more likely to follow a dynamic or captivating woman in her adventures.
Try out these adjectives when describing a fascinating woman:
- Adventurous – She is eager to try new experiences and live life to the fullest.
- Affable – She has many friends and is a pleasure to be around.
- Ambitious – She has a personality that revolves around her goals and improving her situation.
- Captivating – She is a delightful person; you can’t take your eyes off her.
- Confident – She trusts her own abilities and knows that she has value.
- Dazzling – She is the life of the party and impresses everyone she meets.
- Dynamic – She is often the most interesting person in the room; her stories are fascinating to hear.
- Effervescent – She has a lively personality and seems to accomplish everything with graceful ease.
- Enigmatic – She has a mysterious air about her that leaves you wanting to know more.
- Inspiring – She acts in a way that encourages others to be more like her.
- Magnetic – She draws people to her as if they are pulled by a magnetic force.
- Self-assured – She knows her worth and acts in a way that lets everyone else know it, too.
Using powerful words to describe women is just one way to make your writing more compelling. Interesting stories come from interesting characters, and whether you are writing a fictional story or an article about a woman you know, it’s important to find just the right words. If you still need more ideas, check out a list of adjectives to describe personality or some words that will help to describe a man.