The noun "adjective" yields the adjective "adjectival"; the noun "adverb" yields the adjective "adverbial"; but the noun "verb" does not yield the adjective "verbal".

What is the word I am looking for?

And, while we're about it, what adjective does the noun "noun" yield?

I guess I would be pushing my luck in asking for the verb-related and noun-related equivalents to "adjectivally" and "adverbially"...

  • 3
    But "verbal" does mean "Of, pertaining to, or derived from a verb" (that's OED's definition #6). It's just that we also use the same word more generally for "Dealing in or with words, esp. with mere words in contrast to things or realities" (OED's definition #1). They also list "nounal", defined as " Of, relating to, or characteristic of a noun or nouns; that functions as a noun". Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 18:24
  • @FumbleFingers The adjective normally associated with noun is actually nominal, just as the one associated with pronoun is pronominal.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 18:27
  • a nominal phrase can function as the subject or object of a verb.
    – Misti
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 18:32
  • @tchrist: Obviously. But since I had OED open I just thought I may as well throw that one in to mirror "verbal". And let's not forget that even seasoned professionals like John Lawler habitually use terms like "nouny", "nouniness". Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 18:41
  • Thank you, all. I didn't think of "nominal" and had never heard of "nounal". Which of the two would be more commonly used by grammarians? I suppose there is no unambiguous alternative to "verbal"? Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


The answer's a whole lot simpler than you're making it:

verbal - Relating to, having the nature or function of, or derived from a verb; Used to form verbs: a verbal suffix.

nounal - Of or pertaining to a noun.

The Free Dictionary lists verbally as the appropriate adverb form of verbal. And it lists nounally as the adverb form of noun.

  • 1
    Nounal is so rare as to be virtually unrecognizable.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 19:01
  • 1
    @tchrist That's completely an apples to oranges comparison. Nominal is widely used under it's other definitions. Nounal has no other definitions. Based on basics of English grammar, I completely understand what nounal is trying to convey without referring to a dictionary. I think it's hardly unrecognizable.
    – Nick2253
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 19:04
  • 1
    Good luck with all those nounal modifiers then.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 19:06

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