Definition of plural in English:



  • 1Grammar
    (of a word or form) denoting more than one, or (in languages with dual number) more than two.

    [postpositive] ‘the first person plural’
    • ‘I've corrected this post to reflect that ‘Sims’ is plural.’
    • ‘Conversely, Russian has a complex plural system in which the morphological markers for sets of two, three, and four differ from those for five through ten.’
    • ‘The first person plural possessive pronoun ‘our’ is occasionally used in lieu of an article in order to denote a certain universality.’
    • ‘Lice is the plural form of louse.’
    • ‘Kant's use of the first person plural is a device of a very special character.’
    • ‘The first and second words could be either plural nouns or singular-inflected verbs.’
    1. 1.1More than one in number.
      ‘the meanings of the text are plural’
      • ‘More than a decade of plural politics, we should surely have something to be proud of, and the work that has so far gone in ensuring democratic elections on September 28, is such an achievement.’
      • ‘Maybe some form of plural executive is needed, such as they have in Switzerland.’
      • ‘Prosecutors have said that they investigated Green's marriages only after seeing him on several national television programmes talking about plural marriages.’
      • ‘This harmony of cultures was vital for the society's plural character.’
      • ‘The Utah-based Church in the late 19th century banned the practice of taking plural wives and ex-communicates members who practice polygamy.’
      • ‘Here he stressed Nehru's commitment to the emancipation of women and untouchables, to communal harmony and the maintenance of a united and plural India, and to the fostering of a socialist economics.’
      • ‘A religiously plural country like India throws up complex problems in a democratic set up.’
      • ‘We will fight to the end to protect our multicultural, plural space.’
      • ‘But given that the section was in practice likely to be focused on people who are indeed purporting to be living in plural marriages, it seems that the report was indeed suggesting that the ban on polygamy was illegal.’
      • ‘Australia is demonstrably a religiously plural state.’
      • ‘Defying expectations that Western influences and urbanisation would gradually do away with plural marriages, polygamy is going strong among Muslims in parts of black West Africa.’
      • ‘Hence, Lebanon is still in need of history and religion curricula capable of addressing Lebanon's plural needs.’
      • ‘It is always difficult for passionate moral minorities to operate in plural cultures because they have to learn to live alongside practices which they abominate.’
      • ‘The evolution of our society to one that is genuinely plural is moving at a snail's pace.’
      • ‘Their memories of the past will necessarily be plural as well as conflicting, bringing with them both joy and sorrow, both rejoicing and mourning, both happiness as well as despondency.’
  • 2Containing several diverse elements.

    ‘a plural society’


  • 1A plural word or form.

    • ‘Participants were told that the solution words did not include foreign words, plurals, or proper names, and that they could use paper and pencils as aids.’
    • ‘The plural of loaf is loaves, the plural of thief is thieves.’
    • ‘Energy cannot be counted, and the plural of the word is not in common use.’
    • ‘Dwarf should definitely go in the category of final-f words with variable plurals.’
    • ‘A word whose plural is particularly problematic is octopus.’
    • ‘Alumni is a masculine plural form; alumnae is the feminine plural.’
    • ‘"Contract " is singular, not plural.’
    1. 1.1[in singular]The plural number.
      ‘the verb is in the plural’
      • ‘Likewise, the King regularly calls the disputants, his subjects, thou in the singular and you in the plural.’
      • ‘In the plural, they can refer to members of the person's family.’


1 An apostrophe may be used to form the plural of letters (r's) and numbers (7's), as well as single words referred to themselves (four the's in one sentence). It should not be used to form plurals of ordinary nouns: four apples, not four apple's. 2 The regular plurals of abbreviations and acronyms may be spelled by simply adding an s: CDs, MiGs. They may also, especially if periods are involved, employ an apostrophe: D.D.S.'s. 3 The plurals of proper names typically end in s or es, never with an apostrophe: the Smiths, the Joneses, the Rosses. See also apostrophe


Late Middle English: from Old French plurel or Latin pluralis, from plus, plur- more.