- collec′tive noun′n.gram. use a noun, as herd, jury, or clergy, that appears singular in formal shape but denotes a group of individuals or objects•Etymology: 1510–20 usage: Whether a collective noun will be used with a singular or plural verb typically depends on whether the word refers to the group as a unit or to its members as individuals. In American English a noun naming an organization regarded as a unit is usu. treated as singular: The corporation is holding its annual meeting. The government has taken action. In British English, such nouns are commonly treated as plurals: The corporation are holding their annual meeting. The government are in agreement. In formal speech and writing collective nouns are usu. not treated as both singular and plural in the same sentence: The enemy is fortifying its position. The enemy are bringing up their heavy artillery. When the nouns couple and pair refer to people, they are usu. treated as plurals: The newly married couple have bought a house. The pair are busy furnishing their new home. The collective nounnumber, when preceded by a, is treated as a plural: A number of solutions were suggested. When preceded by the, it is usu. treated as a singular: The number of solutions offered was astounding. Other common collective nouns are audience, class, committee, crew, crowd, family, flock, group, panel, and staff.
From formal English to slang. 2014.
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collective noun — 1. A collective noun is one that is singular in form and denotes a number of individuals, for example audience, choir, committee, flock, multitude. Apart from the names of individual animals, birds, etc. (deer, grouse, sheep, trout) and names for … Modern English usage
collective noun — noun Grammar a count noun that denotes a group of individuals (e.g. assembly, family, crew). Usage A collective noun can be used with either a singular verb (my family was always hard working) or a plural verb (his family were disappointed in… … English new terms dictionary
collective noun — collective nouns N COUNT A collective noun is a noun such as family or team that refers to a group of people or things … English dictionary
collective noun — noun a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or things • Hypernyms: ↑noun * * * noun, pl ⋯ nouns [count] technical : a word (such as family or herd) that names a group of people or things * * * colˌlective ˈnoun… … Useful english dictionary
collective noun — ► NOUN ▪ a noun that denotes a group of individuals (e.g. assembly, family) … English terms dictionary
Collective noun — In linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where objects can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other things. For example, in the phrase a pride of lions , pride is a collective noun.… … Wikipedia
collective noun — Gram. a noun, as herd, jury, or clergy, that appears singular in formal shape but denotes a group of persons or objects. [1510 20] Usage. Whether a COLLECTIVE NOUN, which is singular in form, is used with a singular or plural verb depends on… … Universalium
collective noun — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms collective noun : singular collective noun plural collective nouns linguistics a noun that refers to a group of people and is followed by a singular or plural verb, for example team or family … English dictionary
collective noun — noun A noun which, though singular, refers to a group of things or animals. Examples: a school of fish, a pride of lions. Syn: noun of assemblage, noun of multitude … Wiktionary
collective noun — noun (C) technical a noun, such as committee or family , that is the name of people or things considered as a unit … Longman dictionary of contemporary English