Is there a collective noun for words that describe something that this word itself contains or is?

Here are some examples of what I mean:

  • ‘noun’ is a noun itself;
  • ‘háček’ contains a letter with a háček;
  • ‘plurals’ is plural itself.
  • 3
    You will find the answer to this question here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/210942/…
    – Marv Mills
    Nov 29, 2014 at 11:13
  • 1
    You are referring me to my own question… Nov 29, 2014 at 11:14
  • 3
    That would be @MarvMills creating a self-referential joke.
    – itsbruce
    Nov 29, 2014 at 11:15
  • 2
    Haha, okay, I see. Now that there is an answer, they're not wrong though. Nov 29, 2014 at 11:16

1 Answer 1


Such a word is autological and can be called an autonym.

  • Interesting, thank you! I am actually somewhat surprised there is a word for this. Nov 29, 2014 at 11:17
  • 1
  • I am unsure where words like ‘vowel’ and ‘háček’ fit in. They don't seem to be autological, because they do not describe themselves, but merely a part of themselves. Moreover, ‘letters’ is autological, but as far as I can tell ‘letter’ is not, because it does not describe itself entirely; only a part of itself. Is there a separate term for words that are not quite autological, but still do describe a part of themselves? Nov 29, 2014 at 22:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.