What Is an Abstract Noun? (with Examples)
What Is an Abstract Noun? (with Examples)An abstract noun is a noun that denotes an intangible concept such as an emotion, a feeling, a quality, or an idea. In other words, an abstract noun does not denote a physical object.
It is sometimes helpful to think of an abstract noun as a word that names something that you cannot see, hear, touch, smell, or taste (i.e., something you cannot perceive with one of your five senses). For example:
A Video SummaryHere is a short video summarizing the difference between abstract nouns and concrete nouns:
More Examples of Abstract NounsHere are some more examples of abstract nouns categorized under conceptual headings:
|Feelings||anxiety, fear, pleasure, stress, sympathy|
|States||being, freedom, misery, chaos, luxury|
|Emotions||anger, hate, joy, grief, sorrow|
|Qualities||courage, patience, determination, generosity, honesty|
|Concepts||charity, deceit, opportunity, comfort, democracy|
|Moments||birthday, childhood, marriage, career, death|
Abstract Nouns Contrast with Concrete NounsAbstract nouns contrast with concrete noun, which denote tangible things, i.e., things that can be perceived with one of the five senses. Here is a table with some abstract and concrete nouns:
|Abstract Noun||Concrete Noun|
It is not always easy to differentiate between an abstract noun and a concrete noun, and it is not unusual for students to argue over whether a noun is abstract or concrete. For example, laughter is often cited as an abstract noun, but laughter can be heard, which would make it a concrete noun.
We would agree that laugher is a concrete noun, but what about love, work, and result? It is fairly easy to make cases for these being concrete nouns, but they are classified as abstract nouns. Be aware that the distinction between abstract noun and concrete noun is sometimes blurry.
Yet More Examples of Abstract NounsHere are some more examples of abstract nouns:
Anger, Anxiety, Beauty, Beliefs, Bravery, Brilliance, Chaos, Charity, Childhood, Comfort, Communication, Compassion, Courage, Culture, Curiosity, Deceit, Dedication, Democracy, Determination, Energy, Failure, Faith, Fear, Freedom, Friendship, Generosity, Gossip, Happiness, Hate, Honesty, Hope, Imagination, Information, Integrity, Intelligence, Joy, Justice, Justice, Kindness, Knowledge, Liberty, Life, Love, Loyalty, Luxury, Misery, Motivation, Opportunity, Pain, Patience, Peace, Perseverance, Pleasure, Pride, Relaxation, Sacrifice, Satisfaction, Skill, Strength, Success, Sympathy, Talent, Thought, Trust, Truth, Warmth, and Wisdom