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400 Words to Describe Texture

Updated on December 1, 2015

The Difficulty of Describing Texture

Describing texture is a problem for both established and new writers, who often forget to write with senses other than sight. In reality, writers should use every sense.

Here are 400 words to help you find the right word for the texture you're trying to describe.

Not the texture of wood

Nor the texture of steel,

But the texture of you

Is what makes your soul real

— Anonymous

A

Abrading
Affected
Angular
Attractive
Abrasive
Affordable
Arid
Awkward
Acute
 
 
 

B

Bald
Blistered
Bouncy
Bulky
Ballooned
Bloated
Bristly
Bumpy
Barbed
Blunt
Broad
Burning
Bendable
Boiling
Bubbly
Burnished
Biting
Bolstered
Bulging
Bushy
Blemished
 
 
 

C

Caked
Clammy
Cool
Crawly
Caressing
Clean
Copious
Creepy
Carved
Clear
Corduroy
Crenelated
Chafing
Clear-cut
Corrugated
Crocheted
Channelled
Coagulated
Cosy
Crude
Chapped
Coarse
Cottony
Cushioned
Cheap
Coated
Covered in dust
Cut
Cheerful
Cold
Covered with hair
Cut into
Cheery
Concentrated
Covering
Cutting
Chunky
Confused
Cratered
 

D

Damaged
Definite
Dirty
Dripping
Damp
Dehydrated
Discolouration
Dry
Dank
Dense
Disfigured
Dry as a Bone
Dead flat
Dented
Distended
Ductile
Decorated
Diaphanous
Downy
Dull
Deep
Difficult
Dreary
Durable
Defective
Dirt-free
Drenched
Dusty

E

Effective
Enamelled
Engraved
Even
Elastic
Encrusted
Enlarged
Expanded
Emblazoned
Engorged
Etched
Extreme
Embossed
 
 
 

F

Fatty
Firm
Flawless
Fresh
Feathery
Fizzy
Fleecy
Frigid
Fiery
Flaky
Fluffy
Frothy
Filmy
Flat
Fluted
Furred
Filthy
Flat as a Pancake
Foamy
Furry
Fine
Flattened
Freezing
Fuzzy
Finished
Flawed
 
 

G

Gelatinous
Gooey
Gravelly
Gritty
Glassy
Gossamer
Grimy
Grooved
Glazed
Grainy
Grinding
Grubby
Glossy
Granular
Gripped
Grungy
Glutinous
Grating
 
 

H

Hairy
Hatched
Hoarse
Hot-pressed
Hard
Hazy
Honeyed
Humid
Harsh
Heated
Hot
Hygienic

I

Icy
Imprinted
Inflexible
Inviting
Ill-defined
Incised
Inlaid
Ironed
Immaculate
Incisive
Inscribed
Irregular
Impenetrable
Incrusted
Inserted
Itchy
Imperfect
Indented
Inset
Ivory
Imprecise
Inflated
 
 

J

Jagged
Jarring
Jumbled
 

K

Keen
Knitted
Knobbed
 

L

Layered
Limp
Longhaired
Lustrous
Level
Lined
Lustreless
 

M

Malleable
Mellifluous
Moist
Mushy
Marked
Metallic
Mosaic
Muted
Matte
Mild
Mucky
Mutilated

N

Neat
Not glossy
Not shiny
Numbing
Nonglossy
 
 
 

O

Orderly
Ornamented
 
 

P

Padded
Pitted
Pointy
Printed
Parched
Pleated
Polished
Protected
Patinated
Pliable
Potholed
Puffed out
Patterned
Pocked
Precise
Puffed up
Perfect
Pockmarked
Pressed
Pulpy
Piercing
Pointed
Prickly
Pure

R

Ragged
Refined
Ridged
Runny
Rasping
Reflective
Rigid
Rutted
Raw
Restful
Rocking
 
Razor sharp
Ribbed
Rough
 

S

Sandy
Sharp-edged
Snarling
Stain
Sanitary
Sheen
Snug
Stamped
Saturated
Sheer
Soaked
Steamed
Scalding
Shielded
Soaking
Steely
Scaled
Shiny
Soapy
Sterile
Scarred
Shipshape
Sodden
Stiff
Scorching
Silky
Soft
Still
Scored
Silky-smooth
Soggy
Stinging
Scraped
Skin
Soiled
Stodgy
Scratched
Sleek
Solid
Strong
Scratching
Slick
Sopping
Stubbly
Scratchy
Slight
Sound
Substantial
Sculptured
Slimy
Sparkling
Supported
Searing
Slippery
Spick-and-span
Sweltering
Serrated
Slovenly
Spikey
Swollen
Set in
Smooth
Spiny
Syrupy
Severe
Smooth as glass
Spongy
 
Shaggy
Smoothed
Spotless
 
Sharp
Smudged
Springy
 

T

Tarnished
Thorny
Tingly
Transparent
Tessellated
Tickling
Toothed
Tweedy
Thick
Tidy
Tough
 
Thin
Tiled
Translucent
 

U

Unadulterated
Uncompromising
Unexciting
Untarnished
Unblemished
Unctuous
Uninteresting
Untidy
Unbreakable
Understated
Unpolluted
Unyielding
Unclear
Undulation
Unsoiled
 
Uncomfortable
Uneven
Untainted
 

V

Vague
Velvety
Viscous
Vivacious
Varnished
Veneered
 
 

W

Warm
Well-defined
Wholesome
Wool
Waterlogged
Well-honed
Wide
Woollen
Wavy
Wet
Withered
Woolly
Welcoming
Whetted
Wooden
Woven

Y

Yielding

Why It's Important to Use Texture Descriptors

Words to describe texture are very important. Though television and the web might have raised the prominence of visual media, the value of touch remains very significant.

A setting can permeate our senses if we just let it. Thank goodness for vision, thank goodness for sound, yet why is it so hard to think of words to describe texture?

  • Texture: The quality we know as texture, a sensory perception, is a reflex action to receptor stimulation. Though it is almost intuitive, your work feels flat without it. Get the right word, however, and you will almost magically convey the sensation to your reader.
  • Touch: Touch, also known as mechanoreception, is an awareness caused by the stimulation of receptors found on the surface of the skin, tongue, and throat. Assortments of receptors react to differences in pressure (steady, sweeping, continuous, etc.) and are spontaneous (unlike finding the right word to describe something).

A Warning About Adjectives

I hope this list of words to describe texture has been of use, but please remember to use descriptive words with care.

A few words to describe texture and touch can make your work more vivid and give it energy. Overdoing it, however, will make your work seem like a pulpy romance. See what I mean?

Comments

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    • profile image

      ANYONE THERE 4 weeks ago

      I couldn't find anything to describe the texture of a mushroom. INBOX ME 4115@mackillopsh.vic.edu.au

    • profile image

      Keven 2 months ago

      Really helped my extraordinary transportation project thanks whoever made this

    • profile image

      Anonymous Person 2 months ago

      Thanks! Really helped

    • profile image

      ur hairline is not straghi 4 months ago

      lollllllll

    • profile image

      google me mate 5 months ago

      Yo whatssup

    • profile image

      ddf 5 months ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      ghghhf 5 months ago

      cool

    • profile image

      manasa 6 months ago

      this helped me a lot!!!! & I liked i.

    • profile image

      Jeanette Stone Bishop 6 months ago

      Great list of descriptive words. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Copeland Whitfield 7 months ago

      This is wonderful, I often struggle to capture a texture perfectly, as some has such unique textures.

    • profile image

      Holly Green 7 months ago

      This must be very useful for some people, but I am writing I story about a blind girl, so I can't use most of these.

    • profile image

      Megan 8 months ago

      Super helpful!

    • profile image

      archie kendall 8 months ago

      thanks so much for this article its really helped me with my school project

    • profile image

      DERTOAJ MILAN 11 months ago

      nice

    • profile image

      anonymous 12 months ago

      This is helping me a lot with my descriptive essay. Thank you so much for writing this

    • profile image

      Ms_G 14 months ago

      I am using your wonderful list for my painting students :) Thank you!

    • profile image

      willian grey-north 15 months ago

      oh why thank you this works wonders for my year 11 coursework.

    • profile image

      Kelbelle 16 months ago

      Does anyone know good texture words for cantaloupe outside besides bumpy and rough

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great list of words to describe texture in your writing. Some I never heard or thought of. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      bla 21 months ago

      just what I needed- I was doing a list on detail words.

    • ajbarnett profile image
      Author

      ajbarnett 3 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thank you, Terry. Glad it was okay

    • profile image

      Terry 3 years ago

      This is a very helpful article, thank you!

    • profile image

      jack 3 years ago

      thanks

    • ajbarnett profile image
      Author

      ajbarnett 4 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thank you, Julie. I'm glad you found this useful

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      Great words and a bookmarkable list! Thanks :)

    • profile image

      Peter Tangkhul 4 years ago

      Fantastic! Thanks a ton.

    • profile image

      Home_Gurl 5 years ago

      Thanks this helped A lot! 8D

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