proper noun


plural proper nouns
: a noun (such as Seattle, Joyce, or Empire State Building) that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English

called also proper name

I think I can safely say that no rational person is hubristic enough to type "Zbigniew Brzezinski" … without first checking the spelling of the name, but the number of less formidable-looking proper nouns that wind up misspelled in manuscripts … is vast.Benjamin Dreyer

Examples of proper noun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But capitalization is sparsely employed in the Spanish language, which uses the lowercase for many proper nouns and titles. Terence McGinley, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2023 Invoking Turkey’s Anadol A1, made from 1966-1975, may be useful as a tie-breaker in board games where the use of proper nouns is permitted. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 24 Sep. 2023 Change a few proper nouns and Henson describes my son Mike. Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2023 Macros are small computer programs that perform mundane editing tasks in Microsoft Word, such as correcting capitalization, inserting comments and identifying inconsistencies among proper nouns. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 July 2023 It gets tripped up by unusual or foreign words, acronyms and proper nouns. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2023 In my tests, StoryToolkitAI does a pretty solid job at figuring out speaker timing, transcribing, recognizing proper nouns, and placing those subtitles at the correct moment, although there are almost always some errors. Chris Person, The Verge, 14 Mar. 2023 That can’t be pinned to a proper noun. Washington Post, 1 June 2021 Every single proper noun in the crypto universe would be at home in the MaddAddam world. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 7 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'proper 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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near proper noun

Cite this Entry

“Proper noun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

proper noun

: a noun that names a particular person, place, or thing

More from Merriam-Webster on proper noun

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