• The cat sat on the mat.
  • Please hand in your assignments by the end of the week.
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness.
  • Plato was an influential philosopher in ancient Greece.
  • Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit/The oldest sins the newest kind of ways? Henry IV Part 2, act 4 scene 5

A noun can co-occur with an article or an attributive adjective. Verbs and adjectives cannot. In the following, an asterisk (*) in front of an example means that this example is ungrammatical.

  1. the name (name is a noun: can co-occur with a definite article the.)
  2. *the baptise (baptise is a verb: cannot co-occur with a definite article.)
  3. constant circulation (circulation is a noun: can co-occur with the attributive adjective constant.)
  4. *constant circulate (circulate is a verb: cannot co-occur with the attributive adjective constant.)
  5. a fright (fright is a noun: can co-occur with the indefinite article a.)
  6. *an afraid (afraid is an adjective: cannot co-occur with the article a.)
  7. terrible fright (The noun fright can co-occur with the adjective terrible.)
  8. *terrible afraid (The adjective afraid cannot co-occur with the adjective terrible.)

A noun (from Latin nōmen, literally meaning "name")[1] is a word that functions as the name of some specific thing or set of things, such as living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.[2][note 1] Linguistically, a noun is a member of a large, open part of speech whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.[3]

Lexical categories (parts of speech) are defined in terms of the ways in which their members combine with other kinds of expressions. The syntactic rules for nouns differ from language to language. In English, nouns are those words which can occur with articles and attributive adjectives and can function as the head of a noun phrase.


Word classes (parts of speech) were described by Sanskrit grammarians from at least the 5th century BC. In Yāska's Nirukta, the noun (nāma) is one of the four main categories of words defined.[4]

The Ancient Greek equivalent was ónoma (ὄνομα), referred to by Plato in the Cratylus dialog, and later listed as one of the eight parts of speech in The Art of Grammar, attributed to Dionysius Thrax (2nd century BC). The term used in Latin grammar was nōmen. All of these terms for "noun" were also words meaning "name".[5] The English word noun is derived from the Latin term, through the Anglo-Norman noun.

The word classes were defined partly by the grammatical forms that they take. In Sanskrit, Greek and Latin, for example, nouns are categorized by gender and inflected for case and number. Because adjectives share these three grammatical categories, adjectives are placed in the same class as nouns.

Similarly, the Latin nōmen includes both nouns (substantives) and adjectives, as originally did the English word noun, the two types being distinguished as nouns substantive and nouns adjective (or substantive nouns and adjective nouns, or short substantives and adjectives). (The word nominal is now sometimes used to denote a class that includes both nouns and adjectives.)

Many European languages use a cognate of the word substantive as the basic term for noun (for example, Spanish sustantivo, "noun"). Nouns in the dictionaries of such languages are demarked by the abbreviation s. or sb. instead of n., which may be used for proper nouns or neuter nouns instead. In English, some modern authors use the word substantive to refer to a class that includes both nouns (single words) and noun phrases (multiword units, also called noun equivalents).[6] It can also be used as a counterpart to attributive when distinguishing between a noun being used as the head (main word) of a noun phrase and a noun being used as a noun adjunct. For example, the noun knee can be said to be used substantively in my knee hurts, but attributively in the patient needed knee replacement.

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: ЩыӀэцӀэ
Alemannisch: Substantiv
አማርኛ: ስም (ሰዋስው)
العربية: اسم (نحو)
aragonés: Substantivo
asturianu: Sustantivu
azərbaycanca: İsim
বাংলা: বিশেষ্য
Bân-lâm-gú: Bêng-sû
беларуская: Назоўнік
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Назоўнік
Boarisch: Substantiv
bosanski: Imenice
brezhoneg: Anv-kadarn
català: Substantiu
Чӑвашла: Япала ячĕ
Cymraeg: Enw
dansk: Navneord
Deutsch: Substantiv
eesti: Nimisõna
Ελληνικά: Ουσιαστικό
español: Sustantivo
Esperanto: Substantivo
euskara: Substantibo
فارسی: اسم
Fiji Hindi: Naam
føroyskt: Navnorð
français: Nom (grammaire)
Frysk: Haadwurd
Gaeilge: Ainmfhocal
Gaelg: Ennymockle
Gàidhlig: Ainmear
galego: Substantivo
ГӀалгӀай: ЦIердош
ગુજરાતી: સંજ્ઞા
한국어: 명사 (품사)
हिन्दी: संज्ञा
hornjoserbsce: Wěcownik
hrvatski: Imenice
Bahasa Indonesia: Nomina
Iñupiak: Atiqausiq
Ирон: Номдар
isiXhosa: Isibizo
íslenska: Nafnorð
italiano: Sostantivo
עברית: שם עצם
Basa Jawa: Tembung aran
ಕನ್ನಡ: ನಾಮಪದ
къарачай-малкъар: Ат
kaszëbsczi: Jistnik
қазақша: Зат есім
Kiswahili: Nomino
kurdî: Navdêr
Кыргызча: Зат атооч
ລາວ: ຄຳນາມ
latviešu: Lietvārds
lietuvių: Daiktavardis
Lingua Franca Nova: Nom (gramatica)
magyar: Főnév
македонски: Именка
മലയാളം: നാമം
मराठी: नाम
Bahasa Melayu: Kata nama
монгол: Нэр үг
မြန်မာဘာသာ: နာမ် (သဒ္ဒါ)
日本語: 名詞
norsk: Substantiv
norsk nynorsk: Substantiv
олык марий: Лӱммут
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Ot (soʻz turkumi)
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਨਾਂਵ
پنجابی: ناں
Piemontèis: Sostantiv
Plattdüütsch: Substantiv
polski: Rzeczownik
Ποντιακά: Ουσιαστικόν
português: Substantivo
română: Substantiv
Runa Simi: Sutirimana
русиньскый: Назывникы
саха тыла: Аат тыл
Scots: Noon
Seeltersk: Haudwoud
Simple English: Noun
سنڌي: اسم
SiSwati: Libito
slovenčina: Podstatné meno
slovenščina: Samostalnik
српски / srpski: Именице
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Imenica
svenska: Substantiv
Tagalog: Pangngalan
татарча/tatarça: Исем (сүз төркеме)
తెలుగు: నామవాచకం
ไทย: คำนาม
ತುಳು: ನಾಮಪದ
Türkçe: İsim
українська: Іменник
اردو: اسم
Tiếng Việt: Danh từ
Volapük: Subsat
walon: Sustantif
文言: 名詞
Winaray: Pan-ngaran
吴语: 名词
粵語: 名詞
žemaitėška: Daiktavardis
中文: 名詞