How many nouns are there in English?

There’s no exact answer to this question, but we can certainly come close to the real answer.

There are approximately one million words in the English language and at at least fifty-five percent of those words are nouns.

Therefore, there are about 550,000-700,000 nouns in English, give or take. These of course include abstract, collective and common nouns. You can find out more about nouns on the noun page.

It’s important to understand that languages are constantly growing and expanding. Not only that, but we often change and import words.

Let’s not forget that nouns include incredibly abstract, obscure or outright difficult things. Yes, antidisestabhlishmentarianjism is a noun; it means opposing the withdrawal of support from an Anglican church in England. But you will probably never use this word in your life (and if you do, you’ll get nightmares trying to spell it).

This very large number should be taken with a huge grain of salt though, because only about 170,000 words are in current use. So how many nouns are there in current English? Well, there should be about 100,000 nouns in current use in English, give or take.

Other languages also have a lot of words. Spanish has about 100,000 words according to the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española; Portuguese has about 400,000 according to the Vocabulário Ortográfico da Língua Portuguesa.

One curious fact is that most languages seem to have less total words than English, but you have to take into account that not every country has gone to the same lengths to write down each and every word on paper. It’s actually a very costly process. It takes hundreds (sometimes thousands) of scholars and millions of dollars to compile all this information. Not easy.

So yes, we can, I suppose, take solace in the fact that English has the most known nouns out of practically any language in the whole wide world.

Game of Thrones has the Masters of Astapor; perhaps English-speaking countries should rename themselves Masters of Nouns. I doubt anyone would care either way. Your noun size will not impress the cute girl next door.