Amazing is an adjective that means to cause wonder or astonishment. We use it to express a positive opinion about something, but it doesn’t tell the reader why we have such an opinion. As such, it is an example of subjective language that focuses on the thoughts and values of the writer rather than plain facts.
It is best to avoid subjective language in essays and other academic writing because your readers are more interested in your presentation of verifiable data than your personal opinion. In this post, therefore, we’ll look at some more descriptive alternatives to “amazing.”
What Does “Amazing” Mean?
The word amazing first appeared in the English language in the sixteenth century. Originally, it was used to describe things that were so surprising and wonderful they would cause bewilderment and confusion (as if one were in a maze!).
Nowadays, we use the word to describe anything that we are somewhat impressed by:
These triple chocolate cupcakes are amazing.
I had an amazing time in Barbados.
I couldn’t have done it without my amazing colleagues.
These examples tell us that the writer likes chocolate cakes, enjoyed being in Barbados, and appreciates their colleagues. However, we have no idea why, because the word amazing only tells us about the writer’s feelings towards these things.
Synonyms for “Amazing”
You don’t have to look far to find plenty of alternative words for amazing. The end credits of The Lego Movie 2 feature the song “Super Cool,” which includes the following lyrics:
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous, and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
However, we’re not suggesting you use any of these in your next essay (especially not “woo-hoo,” which is an exclamation of joy rather than a synonym for amazing.)This is simply a collection of more subjective words. We could add stunning, marvelous, awesome, and many more to the list. Words like these are useful in advertising copy, but they’re not suitable for academic writing.
If you want to express wonder or surprise about something, try using a more descriptive adjective so that your readers understand what is notable about it:
It is amazingunusual to see these birds so far south.
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The tower is an amazing a unique feature of this building.
An amazingextraordinary number of discoveries were made.
The experiment produced amazingvaluable results.
Her book is an amazing a significant contribution to Italian literature.
The study produced some amazingcompelling evidence.
He gave an amazinginsightful presentation.
This list of alternatives to amazing is by no means exhaustive. The key thing is to choose a word that tells the reader what is surprising or noteworthy about what you’re describing.
Summary: Words to Use Instead of “Amazing”
Amazing is an adjective that conveys the writer’s opinion of something rather than an objective fact about it. It is therefore a great word to use in marketing material or song lyrics, but it would be out of place in academic writing.
In essays and other critical writing, you should stick to objective language that allows your readers to form their own opinions about the information you present.
For more writing tips, check out our blog. And if you’d like an expert to review your academic writing for subjective language and other errors, our proofreaders are here to help. Try us out today by sending us 500 words to proofread for free.