I came across an example sentence on Merriam Webster:

a climate marked by heavy fogs

Isn't fog a noncount noun when used to refer to weather, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. The ODO and the Macmillan Dictionary also mention that it can be used in singular in constructions such as "a fog of dust". So is the plural usage in the Merriam Webster sentence grammatical?

  • 3
    It is both countable and uncountable.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 18:53
  • 1
    If "We had three fogs last winter" is acceptable, then it can be a count noun.
    – BillJ
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 19:11
  • 2
    Related question about "a fog".
    – J.R.
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


fog the weather phenomenon is uncountable.

The cove was shrouded in fog.

fog the recurrent weather phenomenon is countable.

This low-lying district is subject to fogs, some so thick you cannot see more than ten feet in front of you.

Or perhaps this:

Your frequent mental fogs are beginning to trouble me, dear.

  • 2
    Same goes for rains, snows, winds, and various other weather phenomena.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 21:57

Of your three dictionaries, the Cambridge Dictionary says that 'fog' is uncountable in British usage, and countable or uncountable in US usage. The Oxford Dictionaries site says it is a mass (uncountable) noun; MacMillan says it is countable or uncountable.

Collins Dictionary calls it a 'variable noun' and gives a countable usage example very similar to yours = "These ocean fogs can last for days." https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/fog

Longman Dictionary says it is countable or uncountable.

My own experience is that the usage 'fogs' is mainly found in older British texts (pre-1800) and in modern US usage in a maritime context.

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