Examples of Abstract Nouns: An Extensive List

Abstract nouns refer to intangible things, like feelings, ideas, concepts, and qualities. Love, curiosity, grief, chaos, and friendship are all abstract nouns. These nouns can’t be felt with the senses, but you know they’re there — and you probably use them every day.

Examples of Abstract Nouns Examples of Abstract Nouns
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Abstract Nouns That Show Human Qualities

When you’re describing someone as brave or envious, you use adjectives. But the noun forms of these words, bravery and envy, are abstract nouns. More examples of abstract nouns for human qualities include:
 

awe

beauty

bravery

brilliance

brutality

calmness

charity

coldness

compassion

confidence

contentment

courage

curiosity

dedication

determination

ego

elegance

enthusiasm

envy

evil

faithfulness

fear

generosity

goodness

graciousness

hatred

helpfulness

helplessness

honesty

honor

hope

humility

humor

infatuation

insanity

integrity

intelligence

jealousy

kindness

love

loyalty

maturity

patience

perseverance

power

sanity

self-control

self-discipline

sensitivity

sophistication

strength

stupidity

sympathy

talent

tolerance

trust

warmth

weakness

wisdom

wit

Abstract Nouns That Show Emotions

You can also use abstract nouns to name the way a person feels. These emotion words may include:

adoration

amazement

anger

anxiety

apprehension

clarity

delight

despair

disappointment

disbelief

excitement

fascination

friendship

grief

happiness

joy

misery

pleasure

pride

relaxation

relief

romance

sadness

satisfaction

silliness

sorrow

surprise

tiredness

uncertainty

worry

Abstract Nouns That Show Concepts and Ideas

Words like independence and democracy represent much more than the letters that spell them out. They’re just a few examples of many abstract nouns that refer to concepts and ideas, including:

adventure

communication

consideration

crime

dictatorship

education

experience

failure

faith

forgiveness

fragility

government

idea

idiosyncrasy

imagination

impression

improvement

inflation

information

justice

knowledge

law

liberty

life

loss

luck

luxury

mercy

motivation

need

opportunism

opportunity

parenthood

patriotism

peace

poverty

reality

redemption

truth

unemployment

victory

wealth

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More Examples of Abstract Nouns

Some abstract nouns are too difficult to categorize — much like what they’re trying to describe. Take a look at even more examples of abstract nouns:

ability

artistry

belief

chaos

comfort

death

deceit

dexterity

disturbance

dream

energy

enhancement

favoritism

gossip

grace

hearsay

laughter

memory

movement

omen

opinion

peculiarity

principle

reason

rumor

service

shock

sleep

speculation

submission

thought

thrill

wish

Examples of Abstract Nouns in Sentences

Once you know how to identify abstract nouns, you’ll find that you use them all the time. Examples of sentences with abstract nouns include:

  • The education of children should be our highest priority.
  • Never change your principles.
  • Childhood memories are sources of great joy.
  • I don’t have enough energy to start my homework now.
  • Did you hear the rumor going around the office?
  • With some self-discipline, you’ll be a black belt someday.
  • Knowledge and wisdom go hand in hand.
  • Claire and Lori have enjoyed a 50-year friendship.
  • In my opinion, this restaurant is overpriced.
  • If you don’t tell the truth in court, you’re breaking the law.

Abstract Nouns in Quotes

​​There are abstract nouns everywhere you look — even in some of the most famous quotes in history. For example:

  • “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.” - Nelson Mandela
  • “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” - John D. Rockefeller
  • Justice means minding one's own business and not meddling with other men's concerns.” - Plato
  • “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” - Albert Einstein
  • ““The tyranny of some is possible only through the cowardice of others.” - José Rizal
  • “What light is to the eyes — what air is to the lungs — what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.” - Robert Green Ingersoll
  • Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.” - Mahatma Gandhi
  • “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius
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People, Places, Things, and Ideas

These examples of abstract nouns show just some of the many varieties of this noun and the ways it communicates something that cannot be experienced with the senses. Since abstract words are by definition abstract, they can mean different things to different people. Make sure that your writing also contains concrete nouns, such as dog, house and hamburger, so your meaning is clear.