A noun or adjective that defines all single-word nouns (i.e. pronouns, proper, collective). This excludes multi-word nouns such as compound-nouns.

  • Noun: Single-word nouns are called ______.
  • Adjective: Single-word nouns are called ______-nouns.
  • A noun is a word. An acronym is not multi-word. Nouns play multiple roles in English, and multi-word entities may also play those roles. They are called noun phrases.
    – deadrat
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 4:25
  • @Jim you're right, I don't know what I was thinking when I changed my question
    – Ben
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 4:36
  • 1
    How about simple nouns? Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 4:38
  • "Single word" is used with reference to both hyphenated and closed compounds.
    – JEL
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 4:40

1 Answer 1


I think the word you are seeking is "simple". If a noun is used instead of a noun phrase, that noun is a simple noun. A simple noun is not define by the number of words, but by the fact that it is not a noun phrase. However, in almost all cases, a simple noun is one word.

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