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 proper name would become a common noun, a contemptible exclamation and novel profanity. Jack Hitt, Washington Post, "P.T. Barnum, the showman and grifter who held up a funhouse mirror to America," 18 Oct. 2019 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

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Time Traveler for common noun

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The first known use of common noun was in 1656

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Cite this Entry

“Common noun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on common noun

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

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