I am looking for a word or phrase that encapsulates the following collection of nouns in the sense that they are all physical, proper entities, and that you can go inside them:

Words that apply to the concept:

  • home
  • office
  • transport
  • shop

Words that do not apply to the concept:

  • street
  • field
  • digital (web sites)

Terms that I would prefer to exclude comprise the following:

  • location (too generic)
  • bricks-and-mortar
  • retail (doesn't comprise transportation)

What is a word or phrase that is a generic term for a physical location that a human can enter/occupy?

  • 1
    Building? Edifice? – Dan Bron Nov 18 '14 at 12:26
  • But you can enter a field, an alleyway, a courtyard. You can't enter a horse-drawn cart, but it is nonetheless transport. Your term appears to mean something that encloses the occupying person- so how about 'enclosure'? – Marv Mills Nov 18 '14 at 16:35

If it is the physicality of the entities that you wish to underline, rather than the type of location (i.e. a type of building or place) then you are looking for a word that is the opposite of 'virtual' and synonymous with 'physical'.

The only suitable word I can think of is 'Actual', as in "Actual Locations" which could work quite well as a list title if accompanied by another list headed "Virtual Locations", but might otherwise be a bit too broad for your context. The word 'Physical' does also work well in this context.

As is often the case, context is everything when trying to determine the most suitable word, so perhaps it might be worth expanding your question to include how you expect to use this word?

The main problem is that you are not just needing to differentiate between physical and virtual "destinations" but that the physical locations must also be meaningful to your usage (e.g. not a "field"). I am not certain that a suitable word exists for the subset of physical locations that are also meaningful (and can be both nouns (a building) and a collective noun/adjective such as 'transport'). 'Physical Destinations' is the only term I can come up with that satisfies all your criteria, except for the one about it being only one word!

  • Yes, it is hard. It is also perhaps an area that needs work as the roles and distinctions between virtual and physical continue to change. For now, I'm going with physical - so thank you for your kind suggestion. – atdfairfax Nov 19 '14 at 14:04

From dictionary.com, definition 2b...

premises - a building together with its grounds or other appurtenances

Some people only use this term (always plural in this sense) for commercial properties, but just as a landlord can evict a tenant from the premises, I see nothing wrong with a tenant or homeowner evicting an uninvited guest from the premises (which are his home).


How about "Real destinations"?

It is an antonym of virtual.

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