proper noun


Definition of proper noun

: a noun that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English

called also proper name

Examples of proper noun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This essence of a sociality is why Twitter appeals to black people, so much so that there’s a subset of the platform with its own proper noun (Black Twitter). Namwali Serpell, The New York Review of Books, 6 July 2022 Not like, a proper noun place, but a place all the same. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 29 May 2022 Or another Columbine, Virginia Tech, Gabby Giffords, Aurora — one more proper noun added to an ever-growing list? Eli Saslow, Washington Post, 8 June 2013 Norris immediately protested to the judges: Nemesis, the goddess of divine retribution and revenge, was technically a proper noun and not an eligible word., 12 July 2021 Next month will mark 100 years since one of the most unusual team names in college sports--the Wonder Boys--first appeared as a proper noun in print. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, 31 Oct. 2020 Edward and Annie liked inventing proper nouns for their world. Hilary Leichter, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2020 And the characters in a proper noun like Boston (波士顿, bōshìdùn) or the US (美国, měiguó) do not mean the same thing once split apart. John Keefe, Quartz, 27 Dec. 2019 The hearings leading to the articles of impeachment introduced a few proper nouns that cannot be found in the dictionary. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, 12 Dec. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of proper noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for proper noun

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The first known use of proper noun was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near proper noun

proper motion

proper noun


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Statistics for proper noun

Last Updated

17 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Proper noun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for proper noun

proper noun


Kids Definition of proper noun

: a noun that names a particular person, place, or thing "Tom," "Chicago," and "Friday" are proper nouns.


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