11 Words that can be a Noun, a Verb, and an Adjective

There are lots of different types of word in the English language. While there are very specific ways of categorizing words – perhaps the simplest way is deciding whether they’re a noun (a naming word), a verb (an action word), or an adjective (a describing word). 

These are quick explanations of course – but even a quick glance at these descriptions is probably enough to tell you that most words can only be one of the three. Well, VocabHead is here to tell you you’re wrong!

There are actually many words that can be two different types of word. Take ‘leg” for example – it’s both a part of your body and a stage of a race. Hence, it’s both a noun and a verb.

What about words that can be nouns, verbs, and adjectives though? They’re rarer – but not impossible to find! Take a look at 11 examples and some examples of how they can be used!


It’s the name of a pattern – but it’s word that can be applied to lots of different situations and actions too.

Noun: “His notepad was covered in a criss-cross of different colored lines.”

Verb: “The park was criss-crossed in pathways – all decorated with beautiful flowers.”

Adjective: “The amount of beer he’d had meant he took a criss-cross path across the street.”


It’s how we describe a feeling of wealth – but there’s more to “flush” than just being a noun.

Noun: “A flush of embarrassment washed over her face as they read her diary.”

Verb: “All the evidence disappeared with a single flush of the toilet.”

Adjective: “He tightened the decking screws until they were flush with the boards.”


Using words to express yourself? This is a word that can help no matter what kind of word you need to use.

Noun: “He found it very hard to express his true feelings towards her.”

Verb: “I expressed her card and gift – I didn’t want to miss another birthday!”

Adjective: “The CEO didn’t waste any time – in fact, he had his own express elevator straight to his office.”


It means going it alone – but “solo” can be a naming word, an action, and also a great word to describe something. 

Noun: “This was only his second dance for the ballet – but it was also his first solo.”

Verb: “He didn’t work well as part of the band, in every performance it was like he was soloing.”

Adjective: “Many of his fans preferred his solo album.”


Despite its meaning, you’ll never be short of ways to use this versatile word.

Noun: “He’d made lots of feature films, but this was his first short.”

Verb: “The electrical circuit was never going to work, there was a short they didn’t know about.”

Adjective: “We plan to go to Barcelona for a short break next weekend.”


Turns out there’s no wrong way to use this word – it’s equally at home as a noun, a verb, or an adjective.

Noun: “The breakup was inevitable, she knew she’d done him a great wrong.”

Verb: “The knight was furious. No one wronged the King and lived to tell the tale.”

Adjective: “I’m sorry caller! That is the wrong answer!”


It’s not just a noun and a way to shop, “wholesale” works equally well as a verb and an adjective too. 

Noun: “If you want to make the biggest possible profit, you should probably avoid wholesale.”

Verb: “She’s importing the furniture, which she now wholesales to stores nationwide.”

Adjective: “The bombing campaign resulted in wholesale destruction of the town.”


There’s no place like home – but that doesn’t mean “home” can only be an noun.

Noun: “He was so tired – so he couldn’t have been more relieved to see his home.”

Verb: “They hit the button. Seconds later the missiles would home in on the enemy planes.”

Adjective: “It was the Yankees first home game, and fans were feeling confident.”


True isn’t just a way to describe a story – it’s also got meanings that make it both a verb and a noun.

Noun: “The arrow flew true – striking the target dead-centre.”

Verb: “The wheel was not true – it rubbed against the bike’s frame and caused a serious squeak.”

Adjective: “It was hard to believe – but it really was a true story.”


We probably first think of the shape when we hear “square” – but there are plenty of other ways to use this word.

Noun: “They agreed they’d meet in the town square before deciding on a restaurant.”

Verb: “If it was going to fit in the office, the carpenter would need to square the edges of desk.”

Adjective: “The mall was enormous – 3 million square feet of retail space.”


We probably first think of the shape when we hear “square” – but there are plenty of other ways to use this word.

Noun: “As long as the oil well never ran dry, the country would continue to prosper.”

Verb: “He really missed her. In fact, tears were beginning to well up in his eyes.”Adjective: “He decided to see the doctor – he wasn’t feeling very well.”