Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns – Explore Definition and Examples

Collective Nouns : Band, pride, fleet? Ever heard of collective nouns? Collective nouns are words that are used to denote a group of people, animals or things. This article will help you with an in-depth understanding of collective nouns, the definition and examples.

What is a Collective Noun?

A collective noun is a naming word used to refer to a group or number of animals, people or things. One thing you should remember when you use collective nouns in sentences is to use the right form of the verb.

Collective Noun Definition

The Collins Dictionary defines collective nouns as “a noun such as ‘family’ or ‘team’ that refers to a group of people or things”. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a collective noun is defined as “a noun such as ‘team’ or ‘flock’ that refers to a group of people or things”.

Examples of Collective Nouns

Here are some examples of collective nouns.

Collective Nouns for Animals

  • Collective noun for bees – Swarm
  • Collective noun for fish – Shoal or School
  • Collective noun for sheep – Herd
  • Collective noun for ships – Fleet
  • Collective noun for birds – Flock
  • Collective noun for lions – Pride
  • Collective noun for wolves – Pack
  • Collective noun for ants – Colony

Collective Nouns for People

  • Collective noun for actors – Troupe, Company or Cast
  • Collective noun for soldiers – Army
  • Collective noun for musicians – Band
  • Collective noun for warriors – Troop
  • Collective noun for directors – Board
  • Collective noun for sailors – Crew
  • Collective noun for singers – Choir
  • Collective noun for dancers – Group
  • Collective noun for thieves – Pack
  • Collective noun for players – Team
  • Collective noun for delegates – Delegation
  • Collective noun for judges – Panel or Bench

Collective Nouns for Objects/Things

  • Collective noun for cards – Deck/Pack
  • Collective noun for cigarettes – Packet
  • Collective noun for mountains – Range
  • Collective noun for apples – Bushel
  • Collective noun for bananas – Comb
  • Collective noun for grapes – Bunch
  • Collective noun for flowers – Bunch or Bouquet
  • Collective noun for trees – Grove or Forest

Collective Noun Examples Used in Sentences

Have a look at the following sentences.

  • Tommy was excited to see a herd of elephants on the way to his native place.
  • The bench of judges gave the verdict on the case.
  • The kid enjoyed seeing the flock of pigeons take off all at once.
  • The football team was congratulated by the principal.
  • The mob was getting crazier with time.
  • The event started with the band playing the school anthem.
  • The children learnt how to perform a magic trick with a pack of cards pretty soon.
  • The British army was defeated in World War II.

Groups of people working together

Staff: the people who work in a company or place of work.
Cast: the actors in a certain movie or play.
Company: a group of actors that usually perform together in different plays.
Crew: all the working members on a ship or plane.
Team: a group of individuals playing on the same side generally with the same objectives.
Platoon: a group of soldiers being commanded by a lieutenant.

Groups of people in general

Gang: a group of organized criminals
Crowd: a group of people, gathered together
Throng: a busy group of people or animals
Mob: A large disorderly crowd
Movement: a group of (generally young) people with similar tendencies for political/musical/social factors affecting them. For example The Punk Movement
Party: a group of political people that have been organized with an intention.

Groups of animals and insects

Herd: a herd of cows, a herd of goats, a herd of deer
Flock: A flock of sheep, a flock of birds
Shoal / School: a shoal of fish, a school of fish
Swarm: a swarm of bees (swarm is used for a group of flying insects)
Pack: a pack of wolves, a pack of dogs
Litter: a litter of kittens (usually of baby animals)
Gaggle: a gaggle of geese
Pride: a pride of lions

Name of group of different objects

Stack: a stack of chairs, a stack of books, a stack of work, a stack of plates
Set: a set of tools, a set of underwear, a set of compasses, a set of cutlery
Pile / Heap: a pile of clothes, a heap of bodies.
Bunch: a bunch of flowers, a bunch of grapes, a bunch of bananas.
Bundle: a bundle of newspapers, a bundle of sticks, a bundle of nothing.
Batch: a batch of homebrew, a batch of letters, a batch of recruits.
Stash: a stash of cash, a stash of beer, a stash of weapons. (usually the things are hidden)
Fleet: a fleet of ships

 Test Your Knowledge on Collective Nouns

Fill in the blanks with the appropriate collective nouns:

  1. A ____________ of cows
  2. A ____________ of robbers
  3. A ____________ of musicians
  4. A ____________ of kittens
  5. A ____________ of puppies
  6. A ____________ of cattle
  7. A ____________ of rumours
  8. A ____________ of clams
  9. A ____________ of sharks
  10. A ____________ of hamsters

Why don’t you check if you got it all right?

  1. A herd of cows
  2. A gang of robbers
  3. A band of musicians
  4. A kindle of kittens
  5. A litter of puppies
  6. A herd of cattle
  7. A nest of rumours
  8. A bed of clams
  9. A shiver of sharks
  10. A horde of hamsters

Frequently Asked Questions on Collective Nouns

What is a collective noun?

A collective noun is a naming word used to refer to a group or number of animals, people or things. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a collective noun is defined as “a noun such as ‘team’ or ‘flock’ that refers to a group of people or things”.

Give some examples of collective nouns.

A swarm of bees, a fleet of ships, a flock of birds, a company of actors, a bunch of grapes and a litter of puppies are some examples of collective nouns.

 Read it also: Common And Proper Nouns


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