N-PLURAL represents plural noun according to the explanation in the Collins COBUILD dictionary. Can I interpret it as a noun that is countable but unable to be used in singular form and only able to be used in plural form? enter image description here

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    This could easily have been added to the first question. Also, I don't think a clear, correct, definitive answer has been given to the first one yet. Aug 9, 2016 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


Dictionaries should usually include a usage guide that explains what things like N-PLURAL mean, but yes, your guess is basically correct. Trousers is one of the nouns in English that can really only be used in a plural form:

He wore trousers


He wore a trouser

There are a few words like this: trousers, pants, scissors, clothes, glasses (but only when it means "reading glasses" - drinking glasses can be singular). These words are technically called plurale tantum.


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