noun phrase

noun, often capitalized N&P

Definition of noun phrase

: a phrase formed by a noun and all its modifiers and determiners broadly : any syntactic element (such as a clause, clitic, pronoun, or zero element) with a noun's function (such as the subject of a verb or the object of a verb or preposition) abbreviation NP

Examples of noun phrase in a Sentence

In the sentence “I found the owner of the dog,” “the owner of the dog” is a noun phrase.
Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, a two-year-old child tested alongside Kanzi quickly intuits that two nouns can make up a noun phrase, tucked as a direct object into a verb phrase, which in turn is part of a sentence. The Economist, "A new book spells out the magic of language," 22 Aug. 2019

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

First Known Use of noun phrase

1884, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for noun phrase

Time Traveler

The first known use of noun phrase was in 1884

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Statistics for noun phrase

Cite this Entry

“Noun phrase.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for noun phrase

noun phrase


English Language Learners Definition of noun phrase

: a group of words that acts like a noun in a sentence

More from Merriam-Webster on noun phrase

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with noun phrase Encyclopedia article about noun phrase

Comments on noun phrase

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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