|Definition - A phrase that can act as the subject or object of a verb. It is usually headed by a noun or pronoun with associated determiners and modifiers.|
Example - In the following examples the noun phrases are bolded.
(1) I love big red apples.
(noun phrase as object)
(2) The spooky atmosphere cast a spell on Dave.
(noun phrase as subject)
(3) Vancouver is a rainy paradise.
(noun phrase as complement)
Oxford English Dictionary - The term's first citation is from 1951:
"A *noun-phrase used predicatively."
(Mind LX. 425)
Quotation - "Frighten the boy is a Verb Phrase … consisting of the Verb … frighten and the Noun Phrase … the boy."
(Source: Noam Chomsky, Aspects of Theory of Syntax, ii. 63 (1965))