Dictionary.com Word FAQs
How can I find an adjective pertaining to a noun, like "ecclesiastical" for "church?"
The best way to find related adjectives for a noun is to use a thesaurus. For example, if you looked up church as an adjective in a thesaurus, you would likely find these other adjectives: churchly, churchmanly, ecclesiastical, spiritual. Other options are to use a reverse dictionary or an electronic (CD-ROM or online) dictionary that allows a reverse look-up, which means you are searching on a word within a definition. Say you wanted to know the adjectives that mean "goatlike," you could look in a dictionary with reverse look-up by searching on "goat" and it will come back with a list that will include: bovid, capric, caprid, caprine, goatish, and hircine. In Roget's International Thesaurus Sixth Edition (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), you would find a paragraph under ANIMALS, INSECTS that says: ungulate, hoofed, hooved; equine, hippic, horsy, horselike; equestrian; asinine, mulish; bovid, ruminant, bovine, cowlike, cowish; bull-like, bullish, taurine; cervine, deerlike; caprine, caprid, hircine, goatish, goatlike; ovine, sheepish, sheeplike; porcine, swinish, piggish, hoggish.