Common Nouns - Definition, Examples and Usage

Often heard about proper nouns and common nouns? Want to learn more about it? This article on common nouns will help you in understanding the definition of a common noun, the difference between proper nouns and common nouns and the usage of common nouns in sentences. Check out the following topics for a good understanding of common nouns.

Table of Contents

What Is a Common Noun?

Nouns are classified into two main categories – common nouns and proper nouns. While proper nouns are naming words that refer to specific people, places, brands, months, days, important historical events, eras and periods, nationalities, countries and languages; common nouns refer to common terms that are used to name common people, places, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, ideas, objects and so on.

Common Noun Definition

The definition of a common noun, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is ‘a noun that may occur with limiting modifiers (such as a or an, some, every, and my) and that designates any one of a class of beings or things’. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a common noun is defined as ‘a noun that is the name of a group of similar things, such as “table” or “book”, and not of a single person, place, or thing’.

Examples of Common Nouns

Common Nouns Referring to Human Beings

  • Lad
  • Girl
  • Boy
  • Individual
  • Child
  • Chap
  • Woman
  • Female
  • Man
  • Male
  • Citizen
  • Lass

Common Nouns Referring to Animals

  • Elephant
  • Dog
  • Pet
  • Goat
  • Horse
  • Pig
  • Donkey
  • Chimpanzee
  • Animal
  • Cow
  • Calf
  • Pup
  • Kitten

Common Nouns Referring to Birds

  • Dove
  • Crow
  • Pelican
  • Flamingo
  • Bird
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Swan
  • Cuckoo
  • Sparrow
  • Hummingbird
  • Eagle
  • Vulture

Common Nouns Referring to Insects

  • Housefly
  • Mosquito
  • Grasshopper
  • Honeybee
  • Stick insect
  • Insect
  • Wasp
  • Ant
  • Beetle
  • Butterfly

Common Nouns Referring to Reptiles

  • Snake
  • Crocodile
  • Alligator
  • Monitor lizard
  • Chameleon

Common Nouns Referring to Places

  • College
  • Airport
  • School
  • Railway station
  • Court
  • Terminus
  • Street
  • State
  • District
  • Junction
  • Bus stand
  • Clinic
  • Store
  • Playground

Common Nouns Referring to Things/Objects

  • Stationery
  • Water bottle
  • Car
  • Spray
  • Plant
  • Necklace
  • Tie
  • Shoes
  • Orange
  • Cucumber
  • Thread
  • Pant

Common Nouns Referring to Ideas

  • Truth
  • Grace
  • Discovery
  • Cleanliness
  • Poverty
  • Movement
  • Idea
  • Though
  • Feeling
  • Expression

Examples of Common Nouns Used in Sentences

Here are some examples of common nouns used in sentences.

  • I did not go to school yesterday as I was sick.
  • Where can I find a restaurant?
  • The computer is not working properly.
  • Your hair looks really good.
  • The girls took a trip to Goa.
  • Do you want to go watch a movie?
  • Marian likes her new cycle.
  • The man was arrested for stealing his neighbour’s car tyres.
  • Mom asked me to open the door.
  • My roommate just moved out.

Frequently Asked Questions on Common Nouns


What is a common noun?

Common nouns refer to common terms that are used to name common people, places, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, ideas, objects and so on.


Give 10 examples of common nouns.

Fork, dish, goat, dove, man, child, boat, ship, ambulance, water bottle are 10 examples of common nouns.


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