- A noun that denotes any member, or all members, of a class; an ordinary noun such as "dog" or "city".
2001, Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl, page 15:
- The Butlers had been serving the Fowls for centuries. It had always been that way. Indeed, there were several eminent linguists of the opinion that this was how the common noun had originated.
In English, most common nouns can be preceded by an indefinite article, but there are exceptions (one does not normally say "there is a molybdenum on earth", for instance, instead saying "there is molybdenum on earth"). Many common nouns are also uncapitalized, but some are capitalized (e.g. Frenchman) and the distinction between capitalized vs uncapitalized nouns should not be confused with the distinction between proper and common nouns.