Whenever you are asked to describe anything, you are most likely to give an answer filled with adjectives. English adjectives are words used to describe any noun or pronoun. Usually, an adjective answers either of the following questions: Which one? What kind? How much? or How many? An adjective usually comes before the noun it describes. However, it may also come after the noun.

Most students have been being asked about their cultural background. In fact, a lot of language exercises include a description of the city or country from where you came from.

Here are some English adjectives you can use to describe your own culture or city.  

Adjectives Used in Describing a Way of Life

Do you need to describe the traditions, customs, and lifestyle of a certain place? These are some English adjectives you can use:


english adjectives
Osaka is a bustling city.

A bustling place is a place that is full of activity i.e. lively. It also means ‘moving about in an energetic or busy manner’.

  • New York City is full of busy streets and a bustling nightlife.
  • Brazil turns into one giant bustling party during Carnival season.
  • Every year, bustling tourists fill the Great Wall of China.


Describes someone who is ‘averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.’ It could also refer to someone’s dress or tastes.

  • The Puritans have very conservative beliefs.
  • Alice came to the party wearing a conservative black dress.
  • I grew up with a conservative grandma who basically lived by the Bible.


Anything that is global means it relates to the whole world i.e. worldwide. It also means ‘relating to the whole of something, or a group of things.’

  • Indeed, English is a global language.
  • Broadway caters to a global audience.
  • Without a doubt, K-Pop is a huge, global phenomenon.


Anything that is patriarchal relates to a system of society or government controlled by men.

  • Most Asian countries like China and India are quite patriarchal.
  • Christianity and Judaism are basically patriarchal in nature.
  • Patriarchal societies are led by powerful men.


Refers to anything that concerns the places outside the capital city of a country. It also describes something or someone considered as narrow-minded or uncivilized.

  • Unlike others, I do not enjoy living provincial life.
  • George taught in a provincial school before moving here.
  • Provincial food is as exotic as the food in the city.


Anything or anyone that is noisy and disorderly.

  • Rowdy New Yorkers flock to Times Square to celebrate the coming of the New Year.
  • I’ve attended a couple of rowdy beach parties while I traveled the world.
  • Irish pubs can be quite rowdy especially on St. Patrick’s Day.


This means ‘relating to, or typical of a town or city’. It also means ‘modern’.

  • Gina is just a small-town girl who decided to try urban living.
  • Most of the buildings here have an urban design.
  • If you think about it, London has a fair share of urban tourist spots we can visit.

Adjectives Used in Describing Scenery or Environment

Meanwhile, do you need to describe the surroundings e.g. landscape, cityscape, buildings, etc.? Then, you may use the following English adjectives:


english adjectives
The Parthenon in Greece is an ancient structure.

Anything that belongs to the very distant past and is no longer in existence is considered ‘ancient’. It may also describe anything that has existed for a very, very long time.

  • The ocean floor contains some very ancient lifeforms.
  • You can find ancient records about the Mayan civilization in my grandpa’s library.
  • This house is so ancient you can hear the voices of the past whispering through the walls.


This word describes anything that follows modern ideas in style or design. It also means ‘living or happening at the same time’ i.e. present time.

  • You have to visit Dubai if you want to see some contemporary architecture.
  • Contemporary fashion is beyond my taste.
  • Tell me honestly, do you enjoy contemporary art?


This means showing a great deal of variety i.e. very different.

  • When in a foreign place, never forget to try diverse food options.
  • Our town is made up of very diverse communities.
  • The USA contains diverse ethnicities because of immigrants.


This means ‘of or about history or past events’. It also means ‘belonging to the past’.

  • Most travel agencies offer guided tours to historical places.
  • The Hagia Sophia is a historical building famous for its dome.
  • Portugal has a lot of villages with a rich historical background.


Relates to or denotes the parent state of a colony. It also means ‘relating to or denoting a metropolis or a city’.

  • Tokyo is one of the best metropolitan areas in the world.
  • I never got used to metropolitan living.
  • Metropolitan cities usually have a population of 2 million and above.


english adjectives
The Matterhorn is part of the Alps.

Describes a place or scenery that is visually attractive and charming.

  • I had a picturesque view of the Alps from my hotel room.
  • Sicily is a picturesque island located in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The sun setting behind the Eiffel Tower gives it an unusually picturesque appearance.


This means ‘attractively unusual or old-fashioned’.

  • Quaint little cottages fill the English countryside.
  • Riverblossom is a quaint town with lovely scenery.
  • You can find quaint Irish pubs almost everywhere in Dublin.

Other English Adjectives Used in Describing Culture

Lastly, here are other English adjectives you can use to describe other parts of your culture or city:


Means ‘coming from or appearing naturally in a particular place i.e. native’.

  • Indigenous tribes from the Amazon rarely communicate with outsiders.
  • The tarsier is indigenous to Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
  • The indigenous people of Australia are called Aborigines.


This word means ‘relating to, or typical of the countryside rather than the town’.

  • I enjoy roadtrips that lead to remote rural areas with my friends.
  • It took us at least 2 hours to reach Jenny’s rural farm.
  • Paul spent most of his life in rural Ohio before finally moving to Chicago.


This word can mean two opposite things: firstly, it can refer to anyone or anything that has no connection with religious or spiritual matters. Secondly, it also refers to a priest or nun that doesn’t belong to a religious order.

  • My cousin decided on being a secular nun when she couldn’t make up her mind between the Carmelites and Dominicans.
  • You can be assured of a secular environment for your children if you enroll them in public school.
  • Natives participated in secular practices before the Spaniards arrived to introduce Christianity.

So, there you have it. Now, you have added a few more words to your dictionary. Why don’t you describe your culture with us using these words? Don’t forget to share them with us in the comments.

Source: OxfordDictionaries.com