common noun


Definition of common noun

: a noun that may occur with limiting modifiers (such as a or an, some, every, and my) and that designates any one of a class of beings or things

Examples of common noun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His landscapes are a litany of primary colors and common nouns: blue sky, green grass. Garth Risk Hallberg, New York Times, "Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Visions for His Daughter," 29 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'common noun.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of common noun

1656, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about common noun

Statistics for common noun

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for common noun

The first known use of common noun was in 1656

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for common noun

common noun


English Language Learners Definition of common noun

: a word (such as "singer," "ocean," or "car") that refers to a person, place, or thing but that is not the name of a particular person, place, or thing

common noun


Kids Definition of common noun

: a noun that names a class of persons or things or any individual of a class and that may occur with a limiting modifier (as a, the, some, or every) The words “child,” “city,” and “day” are common nouns.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on common noun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with common noun

Spanish Central: Translation of common noun

Nglish: Translation of common noun for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about common noun

Comments on common noun

What made you want to look up common noun? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!