Abstract Noun - Explore What is, Definition, Examples and Usage

Abstract nouns are naming words that you cannot see, smell, touch or perceive by any of your five senses. Learn more about abstract nouns, definitions, examples and usage of abstract nouns in this article.

What is an Abstract Noun?

An abstract noun is used to refer to concepts, ideas, experiences, traits, feelings or entities that cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelt or touched. Abstract nouns are not concrete or tangible. There are a lot of abstract nouns (virtues) used in proverbs.

Definition of an Abstract Noun

An abstract noun is defined as ‘a noun, for example, beauty or freedom, that refers to an idea or a general quality, not to a physical object’, according to the Oxford Learners Dictionary. According to Collins Dictionary, ‘an abstract noun refers to a quality or idea rather than to a physical object.’

Examples of Abstract Nouns

Check out the following examples of abstract nouns.

  • Glory
  • Honour
  • Courage
  • Love
  • Truth
  • Honesty
  • Symbolism
  • Puritanism
  • Reflection

Converting Verbs and Adjectives into Abstract Nouns

A verb or an adjective can be converted into an abstract noun by the addition of a suffix and vice versa. Have a look at the examples given below.

Converting Verbs to Abstract Nouns

  • Move – movement
  • Reflect – reflection
  • Perceive – perception
  • Conscious – Consciousness
  • Appear – Appearance
  • Resist – Resistance
  • Appoint – appointment
  • Enjoy – enjoyment
  • Assign – assignment
  • Inform – information
  • Decide – decision
  • Describe – description
  • Determine – determination
  • Block – blockade

Converting Adjectives to Abstract Nouns

  • Brave – bravery
  • Truth – truthful
  • Honest – honesty
  • Weak – weakness
  • Happy – happiness
  • Sad – sadness
  • Mad – madness
  • Responsible – responsibility
  • Possible – possibility
  • Probable – probability
  • Able – ability
  • Independent – independence
  • Free – freedom
  • Silent – silence

Some words can function both as a noun and a verb without any change in spelling. Here are some examples for you.

  • Love as a verb – I love the way she works with it.
  • Love as a noun – Love is one of the qualities everyone should possess

  • Divorce as a verb – Harry cannot divorce his wife.
  • Divorce as a noun – Are you getting a divorce?

  • Aim as a verb – You have to aim for the highest grades.
  • Aim as a noun – What is your aim?

  • Battle as a verb – Teena had to battle hard to stay in shape.
  • Battle as a noun – Do you know who won the battle?

  • Play as a verb – The children are playing outdoor games.

Play as a noun – The Shakespearean play was performed by young artists.

Test Your Knowledge on Abstract Nouns

Let us now check how much you have learned about abstract nouns. Identify the abstract nouns in the following sentences.

  1. Honesty is the best policy.
  2. There is no possibility for you to reach home by six in the evening.
  3. This place has a really pleasant ambience.
  4. Pride goes before a fall.
  5. Brevity is the soul of wit.
  6. That man is testing my patience.
  7. Have you read about the theory of evolution?
  8. Truthfulness is always appreciated.
  9. Gluttony is a sin.
  10. What do you think about his idea?

Let us find out if you have understood correctly. Check your answers here.

  1. Honesty is the best policy.
  2. There is no possibility for you to reach home by six in the evening.
  3. This place has a really pleasant ambience.
  4. Pride goes before a fall.
  5. Brevity is the soul of wit.
  6. That man is testing my patience.
  7. Have you read about the theory of evolution?
  8. Truthfulness is always appreciated.
  9. Gluttony is a sin.
  10. What do you think about his idea?

Frequently Asked Questions on Abstract Nouns

What is an abstract noun?

An abstract noun is used to refer to concepts, ideas, experiences, traits, feelings or entities that cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelt or touched. Abstract nouns are not concrete or tangible.

Give some examples of abstract nouns.

Love, concept, experience, courage, judgement, probability, freedom and soul are some examples of abstract nouns.

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