[ noo-muh-non ]
See synonyms for noumenon on
noun,plural nou·me·na [noo-muh-nuh]. /ˈnu mə nə/.
  1. the object, itself inaccessible to experience, to which a phenomenon is referred for the basis or cause of its sense content.

  2. a thing in itself, as distinguished from a phenomenon or thing as it appears.

  1. Kantianism. something that can be the object only of a purely intellectual, nonsensuous intuition.

Origin of noumenon

1790–1800; <Greek nooúmenon a thing being perceived, noun use of neuter of present participle passive of noeîn to perceive; akin to nous

Words Nearby noumenon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use noumenon in a sentence

  • Humanity is ever seeking the Reality—the noumenon, which we intuitively postulate as behind the phenomena of Nature.

  • At the end of the chain of phenomena the theist makes a mighty jump and gains the noumenon.

    Theism or Atheism | Chapman Cohen
  • The outward fact is called the Phenomenon, and the corresponding inward principle is called the noumenon.

    The Law and the Word | Thomas Troward
  • It is a noumenon and belongs properly to the unknowable—that is to say, according to the sense in which it is understood.

    Tragic Sense Of Life | Miguel de Unamuno
  • The garden held a small temple consecrated to the noumenon beyond phenomena.

    Autobiography of a YOGI | Paramhansa Yogananda

British Dictionary definitions for noumenon


/ (ˈnuːmɪnən, ˈnaʊ-) /

nounplural -na (-nə)
  1. (in the philosophy of Kant) a thing as it is in itself, not perceived or interpreted, incapable of being known, but only inferred from the nature of experience: Compare phenomenon (def. 3) See also thing-in-itself

  2. the object of a purely intellectual intuition

Origin of noumenon

C18: via German from Greek: thing being thought of, from noein to think, perceive; related to nous mind

Derived forms of noumenon

  • noumenal, adjective
  • noumenalism, noun
  • noumenalist, noun, adjective
  • noumenality, noun
  • noumenally, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012