Definition of plural in US English:

plural

adjective

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

    postpositive ‘the first person plural’
    • ‘The first person plural possessive pronoun ‘our’ is occasionally used in lieu of an article in order to denote a certain universality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Kant's use of the first person plural is a device of a very special character.’
    • ‘Lice is the plural form of louse.’
    • ‘The first and second words could be either plural nouns or singular-inflected verbs.’
    • ‘I've corrected this post to reflect that ‘Sims’ is plural.’
    1. 1.1 More than one in number.
      ‘the meanings of the text are plural’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We will fight to the end to protect our multicultural, plural space.’
      • ‘This harmony of cultures was vital for the society's plural character.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A religiously plural country like India throws up complex problems in a democratic set up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Prosecutors have said that they investigated Green's marriages only after seeing him on several national television programmes talking about plural marriages.’
      • ‘Hence, Lebanon is still in need of history and religion curricula capable of addressing Lebanon's plural needs.’
      • ‘Maybe some form of plural executive is needed, such as they have in Switzerland.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The evolution of our society to one that is genuinely plural is moving at a snail's pace.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Australia is demonstrably a religiously plural state.’
  • 2Containing several diverse elements.

    ‘a plural society’

noun

Grammar
  • 1A plural word or form.

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

Usage

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. 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. The plurals of proper names typically end in s or es, never with an apostrophe: the Smiths, the Joneses, the Rosses. See also apostrophe

Origin

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

Pronunciation

plural

/ˈplo͝orəl//ˈplʊrəl/