English LanguageJunior English

Nouns with abstract meanings

Most nouns formed with ‘-acy’ and ‘-asy’ endings have abstract meanings such as the state, condition or quality of something. By far the biggest group is the ‘-acy nouns.
Here are the commonest of them.

Accuracy, adequacy, advocacy, aristocracy, autocracy, bureaucracy, candidacy.celibacy. confederacy conspiracy, delicacy, democracy, diplomacy, efficacy fallacy, legitimacy. Literacy, immediacy, inaccuracy, Indelicacy, innumeracy, Intimacy, intricacy, legacy, legitimacy. Iteracy. Lunacy magistracy, meritocracy, numeracy, obstinacy, papacy, pharmacy, privacy, profligacy, supremacy, technocracy

Some nouns end with ‘-asy’.
Apostasy, ecstasy, fantasy, idiosyncrasy

‘-al’ serves as an adjective-forming and noun-forming ending. Here is a list of adjectives ending with ‘-al’.
Abdominal, adverbial, central coastal, dental, digital, emotional, feudal, fictional, fiscal, floral, foetal, fungal, herbal, legal, manual, marginal, national, optional original, personal, pivotal, postal, regional, spiritual, textual, verbal, visual

Here is a list of nouns ending with ‘-al’.

  • Avowal adsayam
  • betrothal
  • dismissal
  • rental
  • ritual
  • withdrawal

Silent ‘e’ is dropped before adding ‘al’.

  • Adjective: adjectival
  • Approve: approval
  • Arrive arrival
  • Bane: basal
  • Bride: bridal
  • Culture cultural
  • Doctrine doctrinal
  • Globe: global
  • Hormone hormonal
  • Medicine medicinal
  • Recite recital
  • Refuse refusal
  • Remove removal
  • Suicide suicidal
  • Tide tidal

Final ‘y’ changes to “i” before ‘-al’, unless a vowel comes before ‘y’.

  • Artery arterial
  • Bury: burial
  • Colony colonial
  • Custody: custodial
  • Dery: denial
  • Family : familial
  • try: trial

Most nouns ending with ‘-ance’ and ‘-ence’ have abstract meanings. Here is a list of nouns ending with Lance

Acceptance, accordance, acquaintance, admittance, allegiance, allowance, ambulance, annoyance, appearance, appliance, arrogance, assistance, assurance, attendance, avoidance, balance, brilliance, circumstance, clairvoyance, clearance, cognizance, compliance, concordance, connivance, continuance, contrivance, conveyance, countenance, defiance, deliverance, disappearance, discordance, distance, dominance, elegance,
encumbrance, endurance, exorbitance, extravagance, exuberance, adsayam
flamboyance, forbearance, fragrance, furtherance, governance,
grievance, guidance, hindrance, ignorance, imbalance,
importance, inheritance, instance, insurance, intemperance,
intolerance, irrelevance, luminance, luxuriance, maintenance,
nonchalance, nuisance, observance, parlance, performance,
perseverance, predominance, preponderance, pursuance, radiance,
reassurance, recognizance, reconnaissance, reluctance, remembrance,
remittance, repentance, repugnance, resemblance, resistance, resonance,  semblance, significance, terrance, variance, vengeance, vigilance, substance, sufferance, surveillance, sustenance, temperance, tolerance, utterance, variance, vengeance, vigilance.

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