Part of speech refers to the linguistic categories for words or lexical items, such as noun, verb, adjective and adverb, etc.

Which is the single word meaning "part of speech" exactly?

  • 3
    There is no single word. The more usual term today is word class, and where the context is sufficiently narrow you may use class alone. For example: “A participle is a verb form which participates in two classes simultaneously, both verb and another.” Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 12:31
  • 2
    Why was this considered "not a real question"? I think it's pretty clear what's being answered. It may perhaps be off-topic, and it doesn't have a good answer, but I think its a real question. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 13:41
  • 1
    I don't even see how it would be off-topic. Just because the answer is "there is no such word" doesn't make it not a valid question. It just means the answer is "sorry, there is no such word". (Assuming that's the answer. I don't know of any such word, but there might be a word I'm unfamiliar with.)
    – Jay
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 14:15
  • 1
    @kiamlaluno I don't think there is a good answer. StoneyB suggested "word class", but I disagree; I think that's an overlapping term, but not a synonym, and I don't think that it's "the more usual term". The average English speaker (in my experience in the US) would simply use "part of speech". Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 14:25
  • 1
    Although I wouldn't close it for this reason, I don't think single word requests make a lot of sense on ELL. Wouldn't it be a lot more useful to know the usual way of expressing something than to ask "How do I express something under an artificial constraint which I will never be under when attempting to actually use the English language?"
    – user230
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


To summarize the discussion that has happened in the above comments:

  1. There is no general single-word replacement for "part of speech" that has any real usefulness.
  2. If you want the average English speaker to understand what you mean, just say "part of speech".
  3. If you are speaking with academic grammarians, it may be more appropriate to use the term "word class", and in some very specific circumstances, if everyone involved is paying attention, you may be able to get away with just "class", which is a one word replacement, though it is really just an abbreviated form of the longer, two-word term.

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