Are feelings always a noun? For example, "headache" or "nausea". Why I am asking this question is because I always have a problem with countable and uncountable nouns. First job is identify the nouns. Thus, I am asking is feeling a noun always.

  • The feeling in I'm not feeling well is not a noun. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 13:14
  • A word that can be replaced by he/she/it is a noun singular and a word that can be replaced by they is a noun plural. And you can place the article before a noun (in most cases. It works not so well with proper nouns).
    – rogermue
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 7:17
  • headache and nausea are not feelings. They are physical states. feelings would be: anger, happiness, annoyance, irritation, etc.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 12:58
  • @Lambie, for someone who is probably not a native English, the word "feeling" can be quite broad, when thinking for examples from his own language and English. In English, physical feelings might be better described as sensations, but it's normal to say "I feel pain." so you can say that pain is a feeling.
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 16:05

4 Answers 4


A noun is generally defined as "a person, place, thing, or idea". So a thing that you are feeling or can feel must be a noun, because it is a "thing". So yes, "headache", "nausea", "happiness", "depression", etc, are all nouns.

The state of feeling a certain way is an adjective. So in "I feel nauseous" or "The happy man left the room", "nauseous" and "happy" are adjectives.

  • You should cover verb usages as well: nauseating, saddening, angering, etc.
    – tuespetre
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 2:26
  • Well, okay. Sure, there are verbs for some things that cause a feeling. Like you say, "His actions angered me" or "The bad food sickened me." Note that "nauseating" is most often used as an adjective, as in "That movie was so bad it was nauseating." I think we usually say that something "made me feel X" or "made me X" rather than "it Xed me". For example, we say, "That made me happy". No one says, "That happied me."
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 2:49
  • True and valid point.
    – tuespetre
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 3:15

"Feel" is a verb. It's present participle is "feeling", as @Damkerng T. mentioned in the comments.

However, "feeling" is also the noun. It is countable. Here are some examples of its usage:

I have a feeling tonight's going to be a good night.

It's an uncomfortable feeling, knowing that it could all be over soon.

I hate feelings of pain; headaches, nausea etc.


I couldn't resist citing this welll-known phrase:

I have a bad feeling about this

(just to make an example of feeling used as a countable noun)


The question asks about feelings, which may refer to:

  • Normal body sensations, like warmth and sleepiness
  • Feelings as symptoms of a disease, like a headache and nausea
  • Heart feelings or emotions, like joy, peace, fear or anger
  • Certain mental states, like confidence, uncertainty

A noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance, or quality (Cambridge Dictionary). You can say that a feeling is a quality, so, in general, all feelings as independent words are nouns.

Most body sensations, emotions and mental states are uncountable. You don't say warmths, joys, angers or confidences. Still, some can be countable, for example, "I have a fear of driving." or "I have many fears."

Feelings as symptoms of a disease may be countable or not, which depends more on the usage of the articles in medical terminology rather than on grammar.

Example of countable symptoms:

  • I had a headache/frequent headaches, a fever/frequent fevers, a pain/frequent pains.

Examples of uncountable symptoms:

  • I had nausea and jaundice.

Some symptoms end with -ing, but they are still nouns, like itching or bloating.

And of course, you can express feelings as adjectives: happy feeling, painful arm, etc.

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