Browse Definitions :
Definition

noun

A noun is a word used to identify an entity, a place, a thing or a concept; respectively, for example, Grace Hopper, Silicon Valley, a smartphone and synchronicity.

Nouns may be either single words or compounds made of two or more nouns, like football, or an adjective followed by a noun, like emotional intelligence. Compound nouns may be spelled as two words, hyphenated or combined as a single word. As long as they refer to a single thing, the words are considered a compound noun. 

There are quite a few subcategories of nouns but they all fall into one of two main categories: proper nouns and common nouns. Proper nouns are official names for specific entities, places, things and concepts, which are identified as such through capitalization. Days of the week, months, place names, people’s names, official holidays and company names are among the many examples of proper nouns (which are sometimes broken down into proper nouns and proper names).

Concrete nouns identify things that have some kind of physical presence or impact that are usually detectable through one of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste. However, some things that humans can’t detect – carbon monoxide, for example, or a sound pitched beyond the human range of hearing, like ultrasound or (for adults) the mosquito teen repeller – are still considered concrete because they have physical presence.

Abstract nouns identify things without a physical presence, such as emotions, concepts, qualities and experiences, among other things. A few somewhat random examples include blue, bliss, love, privacy, compatibility, Cyber Monday, anthropomorphism and quantum theory.

Countable nouns are things that are identifiable as discrete units, like beans; mass nouns, on the other hand refer to things that can’t be counted, like bean dip. Pronouns are also considered a type of noun, although they are words that substitute for nouns. She, for example, is a pronoun that could be used to refer to Grace Hopper, once it had been established that was the person we were talking about. 

Depending on how they are used, nouns and other parts of speech often change from one to another. Gerunds, for example are nouns that are formed from verbs with the addition of the ing prefix. In the sentence, Tweeting is an important part of my job, tweeting is a gerund. However, in another sentence, such as I was tweeting about gerunds, tweeting is a different part of speech known as a present participle. 

This was last updated in May 2014

Continue Reading About noun

SearchCompliance

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • PKI (public key infrastructure)

    PKI (public key infrastructure) is the underlying framework that enables entities -- users and servers -- to securely exchange ...

  • obfuscation

    Obfuscation means to make something difficult to understand.

  • dumpster diving

    Dumpster diving is looking for treasure in someone else's trash.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close