- (grammar) A noun which, though singular, refers to a group of things or animals. Examples: a school of fish, a pride of lions.
1775, John Ash, The New and Complete Dictionary of the English Language, volume 1, London: Edward and Charles Dilly in the Poultry; and R. Baldwin in Pater-Noster Row, OCLC 4294888, page 23:
- A hundred, a thousand, few, many, are to be considered as collective nouns, and distinguished as such, by the singular article.
2008, Ron Cowan, The Teacher's Grammar of English with Answers:
- British English tends more than American English to have plural agreement with collective nouns.
noun referring to a group of similar things