Now, we provide the definitions of A, B and C.

In the above sentence, should I put an s for word definition or not?

  • 3
    Are the definitions different for A,B and C? If so, the plural form is good. – MorganFR Aug 25 '16 at 12:14
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    You will still use the singular "definition" in a situation where A, B, and C have different definitions IF you include the word "each" (Ex. "Now we provide the definition of each word") because now you are explicitly saying A has one definition, B has one definition, and C has one definition. That's the only time I can think of that the pluralization rules get a bit weird in lists. – Emmabee Aug 25 '16 at 16:34

The answer isn't really about whether you're listing items or not, but about whether there is one definition or more than one definition. If all of the terms have one definition, then the singular, definition, is appropriate. If there is more than one definition, then it has to be the plural, definitions.

For example, you might say

The definition of cover, conceal, or hide is "to keep out of sight".

if they all mean the same thing in that context, but

The definitions of plaintiff and defendant are as follows...

because plaintiff and defendant have different definitions.

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