What Are Collective Nouns?


In day-to-day conversation, we often hear various common words such as band, team, group, etc. These words are examples of collective nouns. A collective noun is the type of noun which is used to exhibit a group of people, animals, or various things. Here, one noun addresses numerous entities. Therefore, the collective noun is important to convey the exact meaning of multiple subjects in the sentence.

Definition of Collective Noun

Collective noun is the type of noun which looks like a singular noun but it refers to multiple nouns. In short, one noun suffices for multiple people, animals, or things. Different words such as team, squad, crew, bunch, herd, clans, etc., are well-known examples of collective nouns.

Examples of Collective Nouns in Sentences

  • The Indian army was bravely moving toward the border.

  • Mohan became a part of the cult based on his superstition.

  • The board took the decision to crown Mr. Sundar Pichai as CEO.

  • Diana could not put down the enchanting Lord of the Rings series.

  • My husband did not expect a bouquet of his favorite lilies.

  • We could not understand the map of the forest.

  • The pack of wolves was moving toward the river.

  • The cute litter of puppies bombarded our home.

  • Meera and her friends were surprised by such an overwhelming response from the audience.

  • Police had to take strict actions to control the mob.

Types of Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are divided into 3 types: for people, animals, and things.

For People

This type of collective noun is used for a group of people.

Below mentioned are a few of the well-known collective nouns for people.

  • Cortege - Line of people or cars moving to a funeral

  • Army - A group of soldiers

  • Band - A group of musicians

  • Cast - A group of actors

  • Crew - A group of sailors

  • Pack/Gang - A group of thieves

  • Team - A group of players

  • Panel - A group of judges or experts

  • Delegation - Noun for delegates

  • Troop - A group of warriors

  • Choir - A group of singers

  • Cohort - A group of people with the same characteristics (mostly age)

  • Clergy - A body of people fulfilling their religious duties

  • Board (In the context of a company) - A group of company directors

  • Troupe - A group of dancers or entertainers

  • Cult - People with identical religious beliefs

  • Mob - A group of angry people

  • Council - An advisory body of expert people.

For Animals

This type of collective noun is used for a large group of animals.

Here, a few of the collective nouns for animals are given below.

  • Pack - A group of wolves

  • School/Shoal - A group of fishes

  • Flock - A group of birds

  • Colony - A group of ants

  • Swarm - A group of bees

  • Litter - A group of baby cats, puppies, baby pigs, or other animals born at the same time

  • Pride - A group of lions

  • Herd - A group of sheep

  • Murder - A group of crows

  • Flamboyance - A group of flamingos

For Things

This collective noun is used for different lifeless objects.

Below mentioned are a few of the collective nouns for various things.

  • Comb - A group of bananas

  • Packet - A group of cigarettes

  • Deck - A group of cards

  • Bunch - A group of grapes

  • Bushel - A group of apples

  • Range - A group of mountains

  • Bouquet - A bunch of flowers

  • Forest/Grove - A group of trees, flowers, and vegetation

  • Wad - A bundle of papers

  • Fleet - A group of ships

  • Series - a group of movies or serials in chronology

Is the Collective Noun Singular or Plural?

Often, people get confused in deciding whether collective nouns should be singular or plural. Collective nouns can be singular as well as plural based on the context of the sentence. When the subjects in collective nouns act in an identical manner, a singular verb form or pronunciation is used with it.

However, if the subjects in collective nouns act individually, then plural verb form or pronoun is applied in the sentence.

Here, study these examples to clarify your understanding.

  • The group is looking forward to having you on the stage.

    The group were changing overalls.

  • The herd of cows is moving toward the village.

    The herd of cows are darting out in the forest.

Use “members of” if you do not want to use pluralize the collective noun.

  • The members of the cohort were not agreeing on the annual presentation.

    The members of the council could not come to one decision.


Qns 1. What is a collective noun?

Ans. A collective noun is the type of noun used to display a group of different people, animals, or things. The purpose of a collective noun is to address numerous beings or objects through only one noun.

Qns 2. What are some examples of collective nouns?

Ans. Some examples of collective nouns are a herd of cows, a gang of friends, a band of musicians, a flock of birds, council, jury, army, bouquet, a deck of cards, a pack of wolves, a crew of pirates, a troop of soldiers, fleet, a packet of cigarettes, a forest of gigantic trees, Money Heist series, a cult of likeminded people, a wad of papers, and a horde of rats.

Qns 3. Are collective nouns singular or plural?

Ans. Collective nouns can be singular as well as plural. The form of the collective noun is completely based on the context of the sentence. If a collective noun acts as a single unit, then a singular verb or pronoun is used with it. If subjects of a collective noun act as different individuals, then the plural verb of pronoun is used in forming the sentence.

Qns 4. Collective nouns are used for whom?

Ans. Collective nouns are mainly used for people, things, and animals.

Qns 5. What is the meaning of Cortege as a collective noun?

Ans. Cortege refers to the particular line of people or cars moving to a funeral.

Updated on: 06-Dec-2022


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