What Are Abstract Nouns? (with Examples)

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What Are Abstract Nouns? (with Examples)

An abstract noun is a word which names something that you cannot see, hear, touch, smell, or taste.

It is the opposite of a concrete noun.

  • consideration
  • parenthood
  • belief
It is not always easy to spot an abstract noun, and it is common for grammarians to argue over whether the thing represented by a noun is perceivable or not. For example, lots of grammar sites claim laughter is an abstract noun, but this is hotly contested by others which claim laughter can be heard, making it a concrete noun.

We would agree that laugher is a concrete noun, but what about work and result? It is possible to make cases for these being concrete nouns too, but many would consider them to be abstract. Be aware that the distinction between abstract noun and concrete noun is sometimes blurry.

The following example might only have abstract nouns in it. However, we could not bring ourselves to call result and work abstract nouns.
  • Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence. (Colin Powell)

More Examples of Abstract Nouns

The following are all 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


Take a longer test on abstract nouns.