Adjective > Nameless

Something nameless is either


or, hard to remember the name for;

or, hard to describe in words;

or, not famous.

Part of speech:
adjective: “this nameless fear;” “the setting of the novel is nameless.”

Other forms:
namelessly, namelessness.

how to use it:
When you need to be clear and simple, “nameless” is a great alternative to clunkier words like “anonymous” and “inexpressible.”

It can sound poetic, too. Here’s Cormac McCarthy: “the gray and nameless day.” And here’s John Steinbeck: “He covered his eyes with his crossed arms and lay there a long time, and he was full of a nameless sorrow.”

You might talk about nameless fears and anxieties, nameless sins and nightmares, nameless workers and voters, nameless soldiers and heroes, nameless characters and narrators, etc.

The setting of the novel Trash is not India, and not Mexico, but a nameless country in deep poverty.

“When I drew nigh the nameless city I knew it was accursed.”
— H. P. Lovecraft, “The Nameless City,” 1921

“Losing his nights to cheap beer and the nameless heavy metal band setting up in the corner.”
— Bryan Bliss, We’ll Fly Away, 2018

“There was a time when it was legal to own people—and illegal for them to run away. Sometimes, society gets it wrong. And it’s not just nameless bureaucrats; it’s men like Thomas Jefferson.”
— Alvaro M. Bedoya, Slate, 7 November 2014