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 But perhaps even worse is the alternate fashion of just using common nouns as names, for example, Rust, Ruby, and Scheme. Stephen Cass, IEEE Spectrum, 5 Sep. 2023 Surprisingly, the team’s results suggest that at least 10 to 30 quantifiably different concept variants exist for even common nouns such as penguin. Simon Makin, Scientific American, 25 Apr. 2023 The word perpetua became a common noun for house helpers of priests after Manzoni used it as the name of a house helper in his novel. The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2022 His proper name would become a common noun, a contemptible exclamation and novel profanity. Jack Hitt, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'common noun.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1561, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of common noun was in 1561

Dictionary Entries Near common noun

Cite this Entry

“Common noun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

common noun

: a noun (as chair or fear) that names a class of persons or things or any individual of a class
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