A noun (from Latin nōmen 'name') is a word that generally functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.
Lexical categories (parts of speech) are defined in terms of the ways in which their members combine with other kinds of expressions. The syntactic rules for nouns differ between languages. In English, nouns are those words which can occur with articles and attributive adjectives and can function as the head of a noun phrase. "As far as we know, every language makes a grammatical distinction that looks like a noun verb distinction."