620 Negative Words That Begin With The Letter “P”

Last Updated on May 31, 2023

Poverty, Poisonous, Painful

Negative P words anyone? Every letter has something to offer, but the letter P has a lot of fantastic choices of words that can really give your vocabulary a boost!

In this article I am focussing on negative P words. Broadening your vocabulary can really help when you are writing a report, giving a presentation, or just expressing yourself on social media with your friends.

The words are listed in categories to make it easy for you to find what you’re looking for. There are 620 words in all, giving you tons of options, and opportunities to expand your vocabulary!

Come along with me and let’s explore the possibilities as we look at words with negative meanings that begin with the letter P.

Negative Adjectives That Start With P

Adjectives are those words we use to describe something, some place, or someone. When we have the right words to describe people, places and things, we can accurately paint a picture.

Pedantic is a useful negative P adjective. It means being picky about little mistakes and bothering people with details that don’t really matter. 

Someone who is pedantic wants to show off their knowledge in a particular subject area. This tends to get eye rolls from others who really don’t care and want to move on to more important things.

Another handy negative P adjective to know is parsimonious. This word refers to people who are stingy or frugal. They don’t like to part with their money.

It is certainly important to pay off debts and to save money for emergencies, but being tight-fisted all the time can be a drag.

Balance is the key, allowing yourself a ‘fun money’ amount for spending.

Negative Adjectives That Start with P

1 “Pedestrian”

2 “Pathological”

3 “Piddling”

4 “Patronizing”

5 “Past”

6 “Perverse”

7 “Petulant”

8 “Patchy”

9 “Perturbing”

10 “Pale”

11 “Perturbed”

12 “Poisonous”

13 “Pathetic”

14 “Pernicious”

15 “Perplexing”

16 “Painstaking”

17 “Penniless”

18 “Persnickety”

19 “Padded”

20 “Pigheaded”

21 “Plunderous”

22 “Perplexed”

23 “Peeved”

24 “Pedantic”

25 “Piggish”

26 “Paltry”

27 “Perilous”

28 “Panicky”

29 “Portly”

30 “Perjurious”

31 “Particular”

32 “Passive”

33 “Parched”

34 “Parasitic”

35 “Pallid”

36 “Puzzling”

37 “Perverted”

38 “Preoccupied”

39 “Parsimonious”

40 “Peevish”

41 “Pudgy”

42 “Pampered”

43 “Palpable”

44 “Pesky”

45 “Pungent”

46 “Predatory”

47 “Prying”

48 “Pessimistic”

49 “Paranormal”

50 “Partial”

51 “Perishable”

52 “Paranoid”

53 “Punky”

54 “Pleasureless”

55 “Painful”

56 “Peculiar”

Negative Adverbs That Begin With P

Adverbs can do three different things. They can provide additional information about an adjective, about a verb (action word), or about another adverb.

Adverbs typically end in “ly”. The letter P provides some excellent negative adverbs to add to your wordbank.

If someone acts in a way that is showing off, you could say they are acting pridefully. 

We can connect to the adverb, pridefully, another P adverb, presumptuously, and say, “Behaving presumptuously, the woman assumed everyone was interested in what she had written, and pridefully read out her poem.”

Yet a third negative P adverb is, punitively. When we act in such a way as to inflict punishment, we are acting punitively.

Schools often feel that giving out a punishment is a good way for youth to learn that a negative action results in a negative consequence, however, acting punitively has been argued to have no positive effect on behavior.

Adverbs That Start With P

57 “Prevalently”

58 “Ploddingly”

59 “Peripherally”

60 “Punctually”


61 “Punishingly”

62 “Preventingly”

63 “Perceptually”

64 “Purely”

65 “Plumply”

66 “Presumingly”

67 “Perennially”

68 “Percase”

69 “Puritanically”

70 “Perceptively”

71 “Perilously”

72 “Perchance”

73 “Pleasurably”

74 “Plurally”

75 “Playfully”

RELATED: 832 Negative Words That Start With The Letter “C”

76 “Prevailingly”

77 “Purposively”

78 “Perhaps”

79 “Perfunctorily”

80 “Perdie”

81 “Pridefully”

82 “Pressly”

83 “Perfectively”

84 “Plenarily”

85 “Perceptibly”

86 “Pulingly”

87 “Perkily”

88 “Plausibly”

89 “Periphrastically”

90 “Peremptorily”

91 “Presently”

92 “Presumably”

93 “Plunk”

94 “Perforce”

95 “Presumptuously”

96 “Perfectly”

97 “Pressingly”

98 “Pluckily”

99 “Pleasingly”

100 “Pyramidally”

101 “Pleadingly”

102 “Presumptively”

103 “Preternaturally”

104 “Periodically”

105 “Pusillanimously”

106 “Plentifully”

107 “Punitorily”

108 “Perdy”

109 “Perishably”

110 “Prestissimo”

111 “Plenteously”

112 “Pleasantly”

113 “Purposelessly”

114 “Pneumatically”

115 “Preventively”

116 “Priggishly”

117 “Prettily”

118 “Pleonastically”

119 “Pungently”


120 “Purportedly”

121 “Pyramidically”

122 “Punctiliously”

123 “Purgatively”

124 “Pursuantly”

125 “Punitively”

126 “Purposely”

127 “Punily”

128 “Platonically”

129 “Presidentially”

130 “Purposefully”

131 “Perfidiously”

132 “Plum”

133 “Pretentiously”

134 “Plumb”

Obscure Words That Start With The Letter P

Obscure words are those that we don’t hear very often or whose meaning is not always clear. Adding some obscure words to your vocabulary is a good way to increase your word power.

Have you ever heard of the word plebeian? This word simply means commoner, or a member of the common people. It clearly separates the aristocracy or upper crust of society from the common person.

The word, plebeian, originated in Rome, but is still used today. Sometimes you will hear it in a shortened form, pleb.

Another word associated with a group within society is penury. Penury is poverty. Sadly there are many in our world today who live in a state of penury, and the division between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ seems wider than ever.

Obscure Words Starting With Letter P

135 “Pandemic”

136 “Patrician”

137 “Pastoral”

138 “Parody”

139 “Perfidious”

140 “Panacea”

141 “Pertinent”

142 “Paragon”

143 “Pecuniary”

144 “Partisan”

145 “Penurious”

146 “Patriotism”

147 “Pillage”

148 “Paradigm”

149 “Personification”

150 “Patriarchal”

RELATED: 126 Positive Words That Begin With The Letter “Y”

151 “Paucity”

152 “Pandemonium”

153 “Philanthropist”

154 “Perish”

155 “Pacifist”

156 “Peruse”

157 “Pedagogy”

158 “Pithy”

159 “Pinnacle”

160 “Paradox”

161 “Pliable”

162 “Perpetuate”

163 “Pervasive”

164 “Palliative”

165 “Penitent”

166 “Poignant”

167 “Plethora”

168 “Plunder”

169 “Placid”

170 “Plight”

171 “Plebeian”

172 “Posterity”

173 “Plutocracy”

174 “Placate”

175 “Portentous”

176 “Plummet”

177 “Polarize”

178 “Plausible”

179 “Potentate”

180 “Pompous”


181 “Predominance”

182 “Precarious”

183 “Precursor”

184 “Prerequisite”

185 “Preposterous”

186 “Pragmatic”

187 “Precocious”

188 “Prerogative”

189 “Precedent”

190 “Premonition”

191 “Predator”

192 “Preamble”

193 “Preponderance”

194 “Primitive”

195 “Prevalent”

196 “Prognosticate”

197 “Pristine”

198 “Prescience”

199 “Prevaricate”

200 “Privation”

201 “Prodigy”

202 “Propel”

203 “Prodigious”

204 “Prophecy”

205 “Prolific”

206 “Propensity”

207 “Prodigal”

208 “Prolix”

209 “Propitious”

210 “Protege”

211 “Propriety”

212 “Provocative”

213 “Prostrate”

214 “Puerile”

215 “Proportional”

216 “Proverbial”

217 “Pugnacious”

218 “Prosaic”

219 “Prototype”

220 “Prowess”

221 “Proprietor”

222 “Puissant”

223 “Pugilist”

224 “Prosperity”

225 “Pusillanimous”

RELATED: 1010 Negative Words That Begin With The Letter “H”

Negative Words That Begin With P To Describe A Person

The beloved Disney character, Mary Poppins, describes herself as “practically perfect in every way”, but sometimes we need negative words to describe someone’s character.

What P words are there to describe the villains, the bad guys, or just someone you don’t really care for?

Do you have a co-worker whose behavior gradually decreases the boss’ good opinion of others in the workplace?

This sort of behavior is called pernicious. The pernicious individual won’t come right out and do something clearly against you. 

They will act subtly, and after a while you find yourself in a negative situation caused by them.

Another negative P word to describe a person is pretentious. Pretentious people pretend to be more successful, wealthier, skilled, knowledgeable, and talented than they are.

People who are pretentious lack confidence and they try to make up for it by putting on a facade. They have trouble accepting themselves for who they are.

Negative Words That Start With P To Describe A Person

226 “Panic”

227 “Pedantism”

228 “Paranoia”

229 “Pedantry”

230 “Paltering”

231 “Pavonine”

232 “Paradoxical”

233 “Perfidy”

234 “Pariah”

235 “Perjury”

236 “Pejorative”

237 “Parasitism”

238 “Paroxysm”

239 “Penury”

240 “Perniciousness”

241 “Parochialism”

242 “Pessimism”


243 “Physiognomy”

244 “Perfidiousness”

245 “Parochial”

246 “Perversion”

247 “Peculation”

248 “Perspicacious”

249 “Perfunctory”

250 “Philistinism”

251 “Pharisaic”

252 “Platitudinous”

253 “Pettiness”

254 “Plodding”

255 “Pitiable”

256 “Pious”

257 “Pettifogging”

258 “Plagiarism”

259 “Plebiscite”

260 “Philandering”

261 “Petty”

262 “Piteous”

263 “Polarization”

264 “Possessive”

265 “Poltroonery”

266 “Possessed”

267 “Predation”

268 “Poltroon”

269 “Prattle”

270 “Pragmatism”

271 “Precipice”

272 “Pomposity”

273 “Presumption”

274 “Prejudice”

275 “Priggish”

276 “Profane”

277 “Predilection”

278 “Presumptuous”

279 “Provincialism”

280 “Pugnacity”

281 “Prone”

282 “Puerility”

283 “Pushy”

284 “Pyromania”

285 “Purblind”

286 “Propagandist”

287 “Pusillanimity”

288 “Putrid”

289 “Psychopath”

290 “Puritanical”

Avoid These Negative P Words

There are some words that are very negative, and you hope you don’t have to associate with people who are like this, or deal with situations that are like these words.

For example, the word piranha. A piranha is a freshwater fish found in South America. They are known for their razor-sharp teeth, and their attacks on animals and humans.

The word, piranha, may be applied to people to suggest they are vicious and will attack you if it will further their own ends.

Hopefully, you can live your life without encountering a piranha.

Phonies are another type who can be annoying and frustrating. A phony is someone who acts in a way other than who they really are.

This type of person is difficult to like because you don’t know if you can trust them to be real with you.

Avoid These Negative Words Starting With Letter P

291 “Piranha”

292 “Pothead”

293 “Pot-head”

294 “Pretentious”

295 “Prick”

296 “Procrastination”

297 “Principle-less”

298 “Porno”

299 “Phony”

300 “Pederasty”


301 “Pontificating”

302 “Putative”

303 “Pissy”

304 “Prevaricator”

RELATED: 526 Negative Words That Begin With The Letter “G”

305 “Pimp”

306 “Pointless”

307 “Prostitution”

308 “Potty-mouth”

309 “Poser”

310 “Peeping  Tom”

311 “Pretense”

312 “Prating”

313 “Pig-headed”

314 “Pitiful”

315 “Profiteer”

316 “Peccadillo”

317 “Plague”

318 “Promiscuous”

319 “Psychotic”

320 “Putz”

321 “Pot-stirrer”

322 “Ponce”

323 “Profligate”

324 “Profanity”

325 “Pullulating”

326 “Pillager”

327 “Phobic”

328 “Provincial”

329 “Poorly-mannered”

330 “Pseudo”

331 “Preaching”

332 “Pestilence”

333 “Plunderer”

334 “Puny”

335 “Prissy”

336 “Ponderous”

337 “Pygmy”

338 “Power-hungry”

339 “Paedophilia”

340 “Pornography”

341 “Poorly-spoken”

342 “Prat”

343 “Parasite”

344 “Pyromaniac”

345 “Punishing”

346 “Pomp”

347 “Preening”

348 “Po-faced”

349 “Putrescent”

350 “Poorly-behaved”

351 “Prim”

352 “Panic-monger”

353 “Pest”

354 “Popinjay”

355 “Pinhead”

356 “Playful”

357 “Pig”

358 “Pathological  liar”

359 “Pompousness”

360 “Posturing”


361 “Pickpocket”

362 “Pretend”

363 “Pervert”

364 “Piss”

365 “Pedophile”

366 “Pus”

Negative Feelings And Emotions That Start With The Letter P

We never desire to feel negative emotions, but we all have these feelings at different times in our lives. When we can put a name to the feelings we are having, that can help us to work through them, and flip the script.

Sometimes we allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity. We feel sorry for ourselves, and take on a victim kind of mentality.

You might feel like the world has treated you badly, and question what you did to deserve this, but in the end, this kind of emotion gets us nowhere.

In fact, you might say allowing oneself to continue feeling pity and trying to get pity from others is pathetic.

All of us have feelings of fear at times, but when it is extreme fear you might say you are petrified.

The notion of being petrified comes from the idea of being turned to stone, and you therefore cannot move. Your fear is so great that you are immobilized.

Different things will cause different people to feel that extreme fear. The dark will sometimes petrify young children. 

For some adults a fear of snakes, rodents or insects can be cause for feeling petrified. A good friend of mine had an extreme fear of snakes, and upon seeing one he would break out in a sweat, his heart would race, and he could not move.

Negative Feeling And Emotions Starting With Letter P

367 “Pathos”

368 “Pilfering”

369 “Pinched”

370 “Painstakingly”

371 “Puzzled”

372 “Plagued”

373 “Plainly”

374 “Payback”

375 “Permeating”

RELATED: 208 Negative Words That Begin With The Letter “J”

376 “Pertinently”

377 “Pained”

378 “Phlegmatic”

379 “Put  out”

380 “Prudishness”

381 “Pensive  mood”

382 “Play-acting”

383 “Pickled”

384 “Preponderant”

385 “Pointlessness”

386 “Pitiless”

387 “Plastered”

388 “Promiscuousness”

389 “Prejudiced”

390 “Pathetically”

391 “Pining”

392 “Pessimistically”

393 “Punitive”

394 “Punch-drunk”

395 “Pockmarked”

396 “Pretentiousness”

397 “Paralyzing”

398 “Poisoned”

399 “Pensive”

400 “Purposelessness”

401 “Painful  memories”

402 “Pressured”

403 “Preconceived”

404 “Pitilessness”

405 “Powerless”

406 “Piqued”

407 “Prohibitive”

408 “Preoccupiedly”

409 “Petrified”

410 “Poisonousness”

411 “Pungency”

412 “Patronizingly”

413 “Picky”

414 “Perplexity”

415 “Perdition”

416 “Pliant”

417 “Purported”

Depressed Words That Start With P

Some feelings of depression can be caused by a sense of helplessness. When we feel powerless, we do not know how to put one foot in front of the other and move forward to make our situation better.

To combat the feeling of powerlessness, we need to build our self-esteem, recognize our strengths, knowledge and skills, and make a plan to move forward.

Often talking to a good friend can be what we need to feel better about ourselves. Hearing someone else spell out our good qualities can help us recognize those strengths within ourselves.

If you are feeling powerless, reach out to a friend or consider seeing a counselor. Help is available.

Another feeling which stalls our ability to live our best life is pessimism. Pessimism is the opposite of optimism.

When we feel pessimistic, we view everything negatively. We can really get into a pessimistic rut.

If you start noticing signs that you are viewing life negatively, take time to reflect on the source of this negativity, and devote some time to self-care.

Perhaps you want to explore yoga, crystals, or the power of healing oils. Spirituality can be a way to open a door to a more positive mind-body connection.

Check out the resources at https://thefifthelementlife.com/ and find the help you need to send pessimism packing.

Depressed Words That Start With Letter P

418 “Perilousness”

419 “Powerlessness”

420 “Poignancy”


421 “Philistine”

422 “Pratfall”

423 “Prosecution”

424 “Persecution”

425 “Popularity”

426 “Petulance”

427 “Persecuted”

428 “Propaganda”

429 “Purgatory”

430 “Passivity”

431 “Plasticity”

432 “Plaintive”

433 “Propinquity”

434 “Puffed-up”

435 “Perturb”

436 “Proliferation”

437 “Pseudonym”

438 “Piteousness”

439 “Putrefy”

440 “Plaint”

441 “Porcupine”

442 “Permeate”

443 “Pontificate”

444 “Platitude”

445 “Preclude”

446 “Patronize”

447 “Pique”

448 “Plastic”

449 “Propitiate”

450 “Pessimistic  view”

RELATED: 1118 Negative Words That Begin With The Letter “F”

451 “Perpetrate”

452 “Pertinacious”

453 “Postpone”

454 “Prickle”

455 “Procrastinate”

456 “Presage”

457 “Purloin”

458 “Precipitous”

459 “Protrude”

460 “Poorly”

461 “Piercing”

462 “Pox”

463 “Promiscuity”

464 “Paleness”

465 “Peril”

466 “Purge”

467 “Protest”

468 “Parting”

Non-Verbal Words That Start With P

Symbols, signs, and objects often speak louder than words. What does a pineapple or a pomegranate say to you? How about poker chips or a police badge?

All of these things can mean different things for different people. For example, some people might associate poker chips with a trip to Las Vegas and a ton of fun, while others might be burdened with a family history of gambling.

Likewise a police badge might signify help and safety to some, fear and hurt to others.

If you worked with your local police force to collect food for the local food bank then you are likely to have a very positive view of a police badge.

However, if you were involved in a serious vehicle accident, then your memory of police involvement might be frightening, and bring on feelings of great sadness.

Food can also be a powerful stimulus. When I see a pineapple, I think of Hawaii where my family vacationed once. We had such an amazing time on this incredibly beautiful island.

Pomegranates make me think of the very best gelato I ever had. I had pomegranate gelato in Granada, Spain. Did you know that the granada is Spanish for pomegranate?

Non-Verbal Words That Starts With P

469 “Potato”

470 “Pool  cue”

471 “Pineapple”

472 “Pickaxe”

473 “Police  badge”

474 “Poker  chip”

475 “Pretzel”

476 “Periscope”

477 “Pentagram”

478 “Pruning  shears”

479 “Pier”

480 “Podium”


481 “Pillow”

482 “Pliers”

483 “Prince  crown”

484 “Pitchfork”

485 “Potted  plant”

486 “Pleasure  boat”

487 “Poster”

488 “Plow”

489 “Playroom”

490 “Pomegranate”

491 “Pomelo  fruit”

492 “Purse”

493 “Ponytail”

494 “Peephole”

495 “Pacifier”

496 “Phenomenon”

497 “Peace  sign”

498 “Pink  ribbon”

499 “Protractor”

500 “Pram”

501 “Pan  flute”

502 “Paintball  gun”

503 “Pumpkin”

504 “Pressed  flower”

505 “Pendulum”

506 “Puddle”

507 “Peacock  feather”

508 “Platypus  bill”

509 “Prism”

510 “Parasail”

511 “Pyramid”

512 “Penguin”

513 “Paraglider”

514 “Pinhole  camera”

515 “Patchwork”

516 “Parrotfish”

517 “Palette”

518 “Penny  farthing”

519 “Park  bench”

520 “Pedal”

521 “Porcupine  quill”

522 “Paper  lantern”

523 “Palisade  fence”

524 “Paw  print”

525 “Piano  keys”

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526 “Pug  nose”

527 “Plumeria  flower”

528 “Postage  stamp”

529 “Panda  bear”

530 “Pointer  finger”

531 “Princess  tiara”

532 “Prime  rib”

533 “Philodendron”  

Halloween Words That Start With P

What’s not to like about Halloween? Dressing up in costume, spooky decorations, candy, and parties! Halloween is popular not only with kids, but with adults as well who also enjoy the fun of a costume party.

Under the letter P, we have one of the great symbols of All Hallows Eve, the pumpkin! The tradition of carving a face into a pumpkin and putting a light inside it came by way of Ireland where the legend of Stingy Jack originated.

Due to his cheating the Devil, Jack had to walk the earth every night for eternity with only a carved turnip and piece of coal for light.

Other P Halloween words include phantom, potion, and pirate.

Halloween Words Starting With P

534 “Prophet”

535 “Pagan”

536 “Possession”

537 “Plasm”

538 “Prowler”


539 “Plague  doctor”

540 “Pumpkin  spice”

541 “Potion”

542 “Pitch  black”

543 “Pumpkin  patch”

544 “Possessed  doll”

545 “Prankster”

546 “Polka  dot”

547 “Paranormal  activity”

548 “Phantom”

549 “Poison  apple”

550 “Phantom  of  the  Opera”

551 “Pirate”

552 “Paranormal  investigator”

553 “Phantom  limb”

554 “Pale  rider”

555 “Phantom  menace”

556 “Poltergeist”

557 “Phantom  ship”

558 “Psycho”

559 “Pumpkin  carving”

560 “Paleolithic”

561 “Paranormal  romance”

562 “Plunge”

563 “Prosthetic  makeup”

564 “Poison”

565 “Phantom  limb  pain”

566 “Party  favors”

567 “Poltergeist  activity”

568 “Planchette”

569 “Petrify”

570 “Phobia”

571 “Phantom  tollbooth”

572 “Pumpkin  carriage”

573 “Praline”

574 “Polka  dot  dress”

575 “Poltergeist  haunting”

576 “Paper  ghosts”

577 “Pallor  mortis”

578 “Phantom  of  the  Megaplex”

579 “Pickled  body  parts”

580 “Periwinkle”

581 “Paper-mache”

More P Words

Read on to learn even more negative P words!

More Words That Start With P

582 “Peckish”

583 “Precipitately”

584 “Prospectively”

585 “Patly”

586 “Propitiously”

587 “Pectorally”

588 “Prosodiacally”

589 “Pickback”

590 “Precipitantly”

591 “Proudly”

592 “Prosaically”

593 “Provably”

594 “Prayingly”

595 “Preedy”

596 “Precisely”

RELATED: 204 Positive Words That Begin With The Letter “V”

597 “Patrimonially”

598 “Providently”

599 “Propitiatorily”

600 “Piously”

601 “Pinnately”


602 “Pinchingly”

603 “Piecemeal”

604 “Pastorally”

605 “Pianissimo”

606 “Pratingly”

607 “Pectinately”

608 “Praiseworthily”

609 “Prosily”

610 “Pickapack”

611 “Pipingly”

612 “Pathologically”

613 “Precociously”

614 “Pausingly”

615 “Phylogenetically”

616 “Patchily”

617 “Patently”

618 “Piecewise”

619 “Peccantly”

620 “Piningly”

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Are Some Negative Words That Start With “P”?

Some negative words that start with “P” include “pessimistic,” “problematic,” “punitive,” “prejudice,” “passive-aggressive,” and “procrastination.”

How Do Negative Words That Start With “P” Affect Our Mindset?

Negative words that start with “P” can impact our mindset by reinforcing pessimism, highlighting problems instead of solutions, fostering prejudice and discrimination, promoting passive-aggressive behavior, and encouraging procrastination.

Are There Any Positive Alternatives To Negative Words That Start With “P”?

Yes, there are several positive alternatives to negative words that start with “P.” Here are a few examples:

  1. Positive instead of Pessimistic
  2. Progressive instead of Passive
  3. Productive instead of Procrastinating
  4. Peaceful instead of Provocative
  5. Playful instead of Prickly
  6. Polite instead of Pushy
  7. Patient instead of Impatient
  8. Passionate instead of Ponderous
  9. Persistent instead of Perplexed
  10. Prudent instead of Impulsive

These positive alternatives can help to convey a more optimistic and constructive tone in communication.

Continue Reading 👉: 550 Positive Words That Start With P


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