According to Oxford Learner's, Wiktionary, and Cambridge dictionaries, “culture shock" is both countable and uncountable, but I've never seen or heard the word used in a way which shows it to be uncountable.

Could you please illustrate in which contexts it could be uncountable?


  • 2
    When it's a condition, it's abstract and uncountable; when it's an event (e.g, repeated shocks to the culture) it's countable. – John Lawler Nov 8 '18 at 16:12
  • When have you ever heard it used in a countable way? I never have . . . ("I've been affected by two culture shocks"?) – Jason Bassford Nov 8 '18 at 19:41
  • @Jason Bassford He had never left his village before so arriving in the capital, Manila, was a big culture shock. (Oxford Learner's Dictionary) – Paymaan Samimy Nov 9 '18 at 10:22
  • 1
    @John Lawler Accurate and convincing answer. Thank you. – Paymaan Samimy Nov 9 '18 at 10:24

See Collins definition:

Culture shock (uncountable noun [oft a noun]):

Culture shock is a feeling of anxiety, loneliness, and confusion that people sometimes experience when they first arrive in another country.

  • Callum, recently arrived in Glasgow, is jobless, homeless, friendless, and suffering from culture shock.
  • What do you say about the information in the dictionaries I mentioned regarding my question? – Paymaan Samimy Nov 8 '18 at 14:33
  • @PaymaanSamimy - they are correct. Culture shock is both countable and uncountable. I added information about the uncountable usage which you appear to be less familiar with. – user240918 Nov 8 '18 at 14:36

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