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Attributive Nouns

The italicized label often attributive placed after the functional label noun indicates that the noun is often used as an adjective equivalent in attributive position before another noun:

1bot·tle . . . noun, often attributive
busi·ness . . . noun, often attributive

Examples of the attributive use of these nouns are bottle opener and business ethics.

While any noun may occasionally be used attributively, the label often attributive is limited to those having broad attributive use. This label is not used when an adjective homograph (as iron or paper) is entered. And it is not used at open compounds (as health food) that may be used attributively with an inserted hyphen (as in health-food store).