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collective noun (plural collective nouns)

  1. (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, 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[1]:
      British English tends more than American English to have plural agreement with collective nouns.

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