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Resources -> Learn English Grammar -> Nouns -> Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns

Collective noun is the name we give to a group of nouns to refer to them as one entity. The most common method of doing this is by using words like group or bunch that can be applicable to most of the nouns in the language today. But there are some specific names given for certain groups of nouns to make things more interesting and funny.

Now, these collective nouns are not based in scientific thought or fact. Most of them come from the poetry and imagination of early to late Medieval English times e.g. - an eloquence of lawyers – Eloquence itself is defined as fine persuasion in speaking or writing, so this particular collective noun is a comment on the profession of lawyers while being their collective noun as well.

The same goes for the collective nouns we find for animals; the names arose from 15th century French and English hunting traditions, where hunting was common and names and terms were given to all aspects of the sport. These names were called Terms of Venery and it had become a tradition of the court to keep extending the list and by the 1500s the list was up-to 165 items long.

Here we have listed some of the more commonly used collective nouns for humans, animals and objects.


These collective nouns are commonly used under the category of people.

  1. A class of students.

  2. An army of soldiers.

  3. A choir of singers.

  4. A crew of sailors.

  5. A band of musicians.

  6. A bunch of crooks.

  7. A crowd of people/spectators.

  8. A gang of thieves.

  9. A group of dancers.

  10. A team of players.

  11. A troupe of artists/dancers.

  12. A pack of thieves.

  13. A staff of employees.

  14. A regiment of soldiers.

  15. A tribe of natives.

  16. An audience of listeners.

  17. A panel of experts.

  18. A gang of labourers.

  19. A flock of tourists.

  20. A board of directors.

Collective Nouns Exercise 1

Collective Nouns Exercise 2

The following collective nouns are used for animals.

  1. A catch of fish.

  2. An army of ants.

  3. A flight of birds.

  4. A flock of birds.

  5. A haul of fish.

  6. A flock of sheep.

  7. A herd of deer/cattle/elephants/goats/buffaloes.

  8. A hive of bees.

  9. A litter of cubs.

  10. A host of sparrows.

  11. A team of horses.

  12. A troop of lions.

  13. A zoo of wild animals.

  14. A pack of wolves.

  15. A litter of puppies/kittens.

  16. A swarm of bees/ants/rats/flies.

  17. A team of horses/ducks/oxen.

  18. A murder of crows.

  19. A kennel of dogs.

  20. A pack of hounds.

The following collective nouns are used for things.

  1. A group of islands.

  2. A galaxy of stars.

  3. A wad of notes.

  4. A forest of trees.

  5. A stack of wood.

  6. A fleet of ships.

  7. A string of pearls.

  8. An album of stamps/autographs/photographs.

  9. A hedge of bushes.

  10. A library of books.

  11. A basket of fruit.

  12. A bowl of rice.

  13. A pack of cards.

  14. A pair of shoes.

  15. A bouquet of flowers.

  16. A bunch of keys.

  17. A chest of drawers.

  18. A pack of lies.

  19. A range of mountains.

  20. A cloud of dust.

Collective nouns are endless and these are just a list of those used more often. As you continue to work on improving your English, you will stumble across many more. Be sure to add them to your list and use them as frequently as you can.