Is there a term for words that are a combination of abstract and concrete nouns?

For example: Mental floss, Pipe dream, Relational glue

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    These are all Metaphors. Metaphors always combine something concrete and sensible (like floss or pipes or glue) with something abstract and nonsensory (like minds or dreams or relations), in order to allow us to pretend we understand the abstractions. Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


See reifying at Merriam Webster. The process is called Reification. It is defined as

to consider or represent (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing : to give definite content and form to (a concept or idea)

Read this Wikipedia link. It is pretty elaborate. It explains different constructs.

You'll also find concretism to be interesting which seems to define what you're looking for, though all definitions I found are related to poetry.

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