Grammatical construct common to most romance and germanic languages that refers to places, or things. Nouns can be objects or subjects in a sentence, can be described using adjectives, can be replaced by pronouns (such as "it"), and are generally preceded by a direct or indirect article (such as "the" or "a" in english).

Students used to be taught that A Noun is the Name of a Thing. The teaching nowadays is that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea (or as in the dictionary, a person, thing, place, action, quality, etc.). For sufficiently loose definitions of "thing," the original idea is far more accurate, comprehensive, and succinct; when you think about it, persons, places, things, and ideas are all "things."

Noun (?), n. [OF. noun, nun, num, non, nom, F. nom, fr. L. nomen name. See Name.] Gram.

A word used as the designation or appellation of a creature or thing, existing in fact or in thought; a substantive.

By some grammarians the term noun is so used as to include adjectives, as being descriptive; but in general it is limited to substantives.

 

© Webster 1913.

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