A, E, I, O, U. With the exception of "sometimes Y", the letter U always falls to the bottom of the vowel list. But, it can start a powerful noun, providing an interesting upgrade to your next piece of writing. One of your main characters can have an umbrage, or resentment, causing major upheaval in the family unit.
Or perhaps someone will be rescued from the grips of an undertow, thanks to a kindly unicorn with wings. Let’s take a look at 50 nouns that start with U, after a brief pause to discuss the general function of nouns.
A noun is “a person, place, thing, or idea.” Most nouns come after an article, like "a," "an," or "the." They commonly act as the subject of a sentence. For example, "An uncle should always love his nieces and nephews."
Knowing any of these words can function as subjects or objects, let’s take a look at a nice, long list of U-nouns.
- Udder - a baglike organ containing two or more glands, like teats on a cow
- Uganda - a country in east-central Africa
- Ugliness - the condition of being visually unpleasing
- Ukulele - a small, four-stringed, guitar-like musical instrument
- Ulcer - an open sore inside the body of a mucous membrane, like the stomach
- Ultimatum - a demand which, if not met, will result in a serious consequence
- Ultrasound - a medical process that uses sound waves to obtain images of internal organs
- Umbrage - a resentment or annoyance
- Umbrella - a piece of material stretched over a round frame that provides protection
- Umpire - an official who administers the rules in certain team sports
- Unacceptability - the property of being unsatisfactory
- Unaffordability - the state of being too expensive to afford
- Unavailability - the state of being inaccessible
- Unawareness - the condition of being uninformed
- Uncertainty - doubt
- Unchastity - the state of being unchaste or lewd
- Uncle - the brother (or brother-in-law) of someone’s mother or father
- Unconsciousness - the state of not being awake or alert
- Unconventionality - the state of deviating from the norm or accepted standard
- Undergraduate - a college student who hasn’t completed a degree yet
- Underachievement - an achievement that’s less that expected
- Underarm - an area under the arm; the armpit
- Undergrowth - shrubs or plants that grow beneath the trees in a forest
- Underdog - the person not favored to win
- Underpayment - an insufficient payment
- Understatement - when something is said that’s less than what’s true
- Understudy - an actor who learns the role of another actor and performs when the actor is unavailable
- Undertone - an underlying quality or element
- Undertow - an underwater current flowing strongly away from the shore
- Uneasiness - the state of being nervous or restless
- Unevenness - the quality of being irregular
- Unfairness - the state of being impartial or biased
- Unhappiness - the feeling of not being joyful
- Unicorn - a mythical horse-like animal with a horn on the center of its forehead
- Unicycle - a one-wheeled vehicle straddled by a rider who pushes its pedals
- Uniformity - the state of being even, equal, or similar
- Unimportance - a lack of significance
- Uniqueness - the quality of being one-of-a-kind
- Unit - a fixed standard amount or single thing
- University - a high-level school that can lead to a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree
- Unlikelihood - the state of being improbable
- Unpleasantness - the quality of being displeasing
- Unrest - a troubled or disturbed state
- Update - a report with new information
- Upgrade - an improvement or advancement
- Upheaval - a sudden and dramatic change or disruption
- Upside - the advantageous component of something
- Urgency - something requiring fast or swift action
- Usefulness - the quality of being helpful or beneficial
- Utensil - a tool used for cooking, eating, or other useful purposes
Did you know there are over 10 different types of nouns? If a noun is referring to a person or place, it’s likely acting as a proper noun (e.g. Melanie, Savannah, Alaska, Spain, and Highclere Castle). An example of that would be, "Uruguay is a beautiful haven for artists and writers."
The opposite of a proper noun is a common noun. These nouns refer to general, unspecified things. In the example above, Uruguay is a proper noun. But, if that line simply read, "The country is a beautiful haven," you'd know the subject was a common noun. Common nouns are neither capitalized nor specific.
Then, there are compound nouns (e.g., uproar and underworld), countable nouns, possessive nouns, and pronouns. It’s common to see both nouns and pronouns in a single sentence: "Ursula stopped the car and jumped out to hug her.”
U-nouns tend to begin with “un-,” but they’re much more than that. Let’s look at ten sentences containing U-nouns. Click on the link in each sentence to see more example sentences containing that U-noun:
- As they sat on the Hawaiian beach, they listened to the soft sounds of a ukulele.
- Another rainy day meant she needed her umbrella.
- The entire team was mad at the umpire for his most recent call.
- She was so excited to begin her next four years as an undergraduate.
- He was sick and tired of always being the underdog.
- The peach undertone in your dress pairs really well with your lipstick.
- Your recent unfairness toward me is less than appealing.
- I love the uniqueness of your apartment!
- His negative attitude creates tremendous unrest in the household.
- My new cell phone is a major upgrade.
Did reviewing nouns that begin with U unleash your curiosity? Visit WordFinder by YourDictionary to uncover a comprehensive list of words that start with the letter U that is organized based on how long each word is. Once you explore the full word list, you can use the on-screen filters to narrow it based on the number of letters or to words that have certain letters in specific positions. It’s unreal just how easy this word list tool is to use.
The vowel U isn’t quite as popular as its comrades A, E, I, and O. But, it can be the underpinning, or foundation, for your next short story or poem. If you’re ready to dabble in a little storytelling, why not see if you can pair a couple of your U-nouns with these short story examples will be just the push you need to rise from underdog to published author.