I am looking for a grouping word that would include nouns and adjectives but not other parts of speech like verbs, adverbs, and prepositions. Does such a word exist?

Example: The words "tree", "red", and "dog" are all _________s, but words like "run", "quickly", and "when" are not.

  • In many languages (Latin, for instance) they would simply both be called nouns. Latin had no category of adjective; as far as the grammarians were concerned, if they took noun endings and could act like nouns, they were nouns. The fact that they could modify other nouns is nothing new; noun compounds are common. Commented May 30, 2017 at 19:35
  • 5
    But we are discussing English, which does make a substantial distinction between adjectives and nouns. English is much less agglutinative than Latin and tends to use phases made up of different parts of speech for the same purpose. I don't think there is such a word, or even a concept, as GamrCorps is looking for. Commented May 30, 2017 at 22:36
  • 1
    What is the meaning/purpose of this grouping?
    – ruakh
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


Coming from my background as a programmer, if I were to come up with a naming scheme to group these, I would create these groups:

Object Descriptors: Nouns, Adjectives

Action Descriptors: Verbs, Adverbs, Prepositions

Articles and conjunctions, would probably fall into a separate named category.

Are you asking this question for the purpose of implementing some type of natural language processing? Because if so, you should look into the naming schemes used there.

Adjectives and nouns grouped together are referred to as "Noun Phrases" and Adverbs and Verbs are grouped together into "Verb Phrases".

See: http://www.bowdoin.edu/~allen/nlp/nlp1.html


NLP Breakdown


Given that a Noun is a name (from the latin nōmen, literally meaning "name"), I would suggest that a good name for the collective grouping of nouns and adjectives could be rubrics.

  • 1
    I don't understand this answer; the word rubrics seems to have come out of the blue at the end. Can you clarify that end of your thought process?
    – ruakh
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 15:56

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.