mass noun(redirected from Non-countable noun)
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Related to Non-countable noun: collective 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.
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.
(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
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.