mass noun

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uncountable noun

Nouns that cannot be divided or counted as individual elements or separate parts are called uncountable nouns (also known as mass nouns or non-count nouns). These can be tangible objects (such as substances or collective categories of things), or intangible or abstract things, such as concepts or ideas. Nouns that can be divided are called countable nouns, or simply count nouns.
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mass noun

A noun, such as furniture, water, or honesty, that cannot be modified by the indefinite article, does not occur in the plural, and is often preceded by modifiers such as some or much or by a phrase containing a unit of measurement. Some nouns can function both as mass nouns (There are sixty boxes of tile in the warehouse) and as count nouns (We had to cut a tile in half to fit the end of the row). Also called noncount noun. See Usage Note at collective noun.

mass noun

(Linguistics) a noun that refers to an extended substance rather than to each of a set of isolable objects, as, for example, water as opposed to lake. In English when used indefinitely they are characteristically preceded by some rather than a or an; they do not have normal plural forms. Compare count noun

mass′ noun`

a noun, as water, electricity, or happiness, that typically refers to an indefinitely divisible substance or an abstract notion and that in English cannot be used, in such a sense, with the indefinite article or in the plural. Compare count noun.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mass noun - a noun that does not form pluralsmass noun - a noun that does not form plurals  
noun - a content word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or action
denombre incontablesustancia
nom massif
niet-telbaar substantiefniet-telbaar zelfstandig naamwoord
References in periodicals archive ?
Nevertheless, it is rather hard to define what we consider a mass noun.
Minimal parts can be illustrated for the mass noun 'water' in the following way.
What we find here is that twice must be used in place of two times in the (a) sentences and also in the (b) sentences, involving as many as (for a countable noun such as kangaroos) or as much as (for a mass noun such as money).
Linguistically, we distinguish between thing terms and stuff terms, where, roughly, "thing" is a count noun, and "stuff" is a mass noun.
This/that are optionally singular, and so may take either a count or a mass noun, but not the plural inflexion.
There exist things, and there exists stuff, where roughly, "thing" is a count noun, and "stuff' is a mass noun.
If the subject-NP is a mass noun or a count noun in the plural, quantitative indefiniteness may be marked by the partitive.
When it is a count noun, such as thing and ball, it can be referred to with him, en and em in western and southwestern English dialects, when the referent is a mass noun like broth this possi bility is quite restricted, almost non-existent.
Chierchia (1998: 353-354) also based on the premise of transnumerality to propose that all nouns in Chinese are mass nouns so that a numeral cannot be combined with a noun because a classifier is necessary to individuate the mass noun to an appropriate counting level.
In this case the distinction is to some extent based on semantic grounds: a big cake which can be divided into portions functions as a mass noun, whereas a small cake -- an indivisible unit -- functions as a countable noun.
It is known that when a mass noun denotes more than one kind, it gets pluralized.
So, the property of boundedness, which is a property of roots according to Harley, determines both the property mass noun or count noun (in case the root shows up as a noun) and the telicity (in case the root shows up as a verb), lending support to the idea that the same roots underlie both verbs and nouns.