plu·​ral | \ ˈplu̇r-əl How to pronounce plural (audio) \

Definition of plural

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a class of grammatical forms usually used to denote more than one or in some languages more than two
2 : relating to, consisting of, or containing more than one or more than one kind or class a plural society

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Other Words from plural

plural noun
plurally \ ˈplu̇r-​ə-​lē How to pronounce plurally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of plural in a Sentence

The word “trees” is a plural noun. The plural form of the word “child” is “children.” a plural verb such as “are” or “were” rather than a singular verb such as “is” or “was”
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Recent Examples on the Web But plural marriages are still practiced by fundamentalist sects and groups that have splintered from the church. Christine Hauser, New York Times, "Utah Lowers Penalty for Polygamy, No Longer a Felony," 13 May 2020 Now a country in the process of expanding its first-person plural becomes more inclusive and, at the same time, more balkanized. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Shall We Have Civil War or Second Thoughts?," 17 Aug. 2018 But why and when did this plural/singular separation take place with respect to referring to organizations? Rory Smith, New York Times, "Clubs Sell Community. Now Is the Time to Pay It Back.," 27 Mar. 2020 Their leaderless epicenter of resistance raises up national symbols like the Indian flag, the national anthem and the Indian Constitution as reminders that India is secular and plural – a place where people can be both Muslim and Indian. Washington Post, "Indian women protest new citizenship laws, joining a global ‘fourth wave’ feminist movement," 24 Feb. 2020 From there, a pebble cloud will collapse, popping out planetesimals—plural, because the conservation of angular momentum spins out two or more dense, kilometer-scale bodies from the infalling material. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "New Horizons May Have Solved Planet Formation Cold Case," 20 Feb. 2020 Instead of unequal liberties, plural, give everyone the same liberty, singular. The Economist, "Open Future The power of liberalism can combat oppression in all its forms," 8 Jan. 2020 As rituals go, hunting is simultaneously singular and plural, individual and communal. Amy Thielen, Saveur, "A Midwestern Hunter’s Thanksgiving," 15 Nov. 2016 Despite phenomena being the plural of Greek phenomenon, the false plural phenomenas is sometimes used. Simon Horobin, Quartz, "Five words in the English language people usually use incorrectly," 10 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plural.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plural

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plural

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French plurel, from Latin pluralis, from plur-, plus more — more at plus

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Time Traveler for plural

Time Traveler

The first known use of plural was in the 14th century

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Statistics for plural

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plural.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for plural


How to pronounce plural (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plural

grammar : relating to a form of a word that refers to more than one person or thing
: relating to or made up of more than one kind or group
: relating to or made up of more than one person or thing


plu·​ral | \ ˈplu̇r-əl How to pronounce plural (audio) \

Kids Definition of plural

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to or being a word form used to show more than one “Candies” is a plural noun.



Kids Definition of plural (Entry 2 of 2)

: a form of a word used to show that more than one person or thing is meant

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More from Merriam-Webster on plural

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plural

Spanish Central: Translation of plural

Nglish: Translation of plural for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plural for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about plural

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