nou·​me·​non ˈnü-mə-ˌnän How to pronounce noumenon (audio)
plural noumena ˈnü-mə-nə How to pronounce noumenon (audio)
: a posited object or event as it appears in itself independent of perception by the senses
noumenal adjective

Word History


German, from Greek nooumenon that which is apprehended by thought, from neuter of present passive participle of noein to think, conceive, from nous mind

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of noumenon was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near noumenon

Cite this Entry

“Noumenon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on noumenon

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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