(Grammaire) Forme que prend un mot qui désigne plusieurs objets ou est en rapport avec eux. Chevaux est le pluriel de cheval, vaches de vache.
ETYM Latin pluralis, from plus, pluris, more; cf. French pluriel, Old Fren. plurel. Related to Plus.
Grammatical number category referring to two or more items or units.
The form of a word that is used to denote more than one; SYN. plural form.
Indication of number. Most English words form their plurals by the addition of s, as in boy, boys; cat, cats; book, books. The ending es is the next most common, as in watch, watches; church, churches; gas, gases; princess, princesses; bush, bushes; tax, taxes. This is simply to aid pronunciation.
There are spelling rules that aid the forming of plurals. The f/ves pattern seems clear enough in these words, for instance: wolf, wolves; half, halves, shelf, shelves; life, lives; wife, wives; knife, knives. But, as in the case of most English spelling rules, there are a disappointing number of exceptions: chief, chiefs; roof, roofs, for example. The “change the y into i and add es” rule works better: spy, spies; baby, babies; lady, ladies.
Here the only exceptions are those where a vowel precedes the final y, as in donkey, donkeys; vacation, vacations.
The plurals that cause most trouble for young spellers are those that follow no pattern—children, geese, women —and those that are the same in their singular and plural forms: deer, for example.
ETYM Latin pluralitas: cf. French pluralité.
(In an election with more than 2 options) The number of votes for the candidate or party receiving the greatest number (but less that half of the votes); SYN. relative majority.