Noun is just the grammatical equivalent of Entity, and that term might suit, depending on what you need it for. This is what Frawley says, in Linguistic Semantics, Lawrence Erlbaum 1992, p xvii, 533. [A college text in semantics; the class comes after Intro Ling -jl]
From Chapter 3, "Entities", pp 62-63. [Chapter 3 deals with nouns.
Chapter 4, "Events", deals with verbs, using much the same analyses. -jl]
3.11 Nouns and Entities: Formal and Notional Definitions.
"Any student reared in the Western grammatical tradition will say
that a noun is the name of a person, place, or thing and thus define
a noun by its semantic representation. Two observations conspire to
weed this view out of our untutored beliefs about language. First,
there are many things that are nouns but not exactly persons,
places, or things. 'Smoothness' is a noun, but it does not readily
appear to represent a thing.
"Second, a noun is not a notional class, something defined by its
conceptual content, but a form class, something defined by its
structural or formal properties (Lyons 1966, 1968). Formally, a
noun is identifiable because of what other categories and forms
co-occur with it. Under this view, a noun is something that can
be a subject (that which controls agreement with a verb) or
something that takes certain modifiers, like a definite article. By
these criteria, 'smoothness' is a noun, in spite of the variation in
its notional content, because it co-occurs with the definite
article: 'the smoothness of the wood'.
"But curiously, when the traditional notional definition ("A noun is
the name of a person, place, or thing") is reversed, the definition
turns out to be true. Nouns are not always persons, places, or
things, but persons, places, and things always turn out to be
"Nouns do have purely formal properties because at the grammatical
level they are contentlessly manipulated by syntax, just like any
other category, but these formal properties are supported by
overwhelmingly consistent semantic factors. Nouns incontrovertibly
tend to encode entities, broadly construed."
- Study guide here
- Properties of Entities here