What is the plural form of the word "tweezers"? If there is one.

The answer can be used for example in the following case:

I have two tweezers

1 Answer 1


There are some words (pants, scissors, pliers) that only make sense in the plural.  The singular form of the word exists, but the singular is never used as a simple noun.  Instead, we reserve the singular form as an attribute (a pant leg, a scissor blade, a plier handle).

Tweezers happens to be one of those words.  It's already plural, and you shouldn't try to make it more plural.  What you need instead is some other word with a normal singular form.  That word is "pair".

  • one pair of pants
  • two pairs of tweezers
  • three pairs of scissors
  • 6
    I agree, except for "singular is never used as a simple noun." I find it extremely grating and annoying, but I definitely do hear native speakers of American English saying things like "Can you hand me a scissor?" or "Is there a tweezer in the medical kit?" I suppose a tweezer isn't too bad - that which tweezes. But a scissor... painful. For the new learner, I would not recommend this usage, but neither should you be surprised if you hear it employed.
    – Adam
    May 18, 2015 at 20:57
  • 1
    @Adam et al., "A scissor" is used more and more these days. Both by surgeons and teachers. Just Google book search it.
    – user6951
    May 19, 2015 at 2:43
  • 1
    @Adam My father, a professor of English and most punctilious in his speech, always said "a scissors", which is the form he grew up with. Note that each half of a pair of scissors is in fact a scissor, something you can cut with (albeit less effectively than with the pair); but half of a pair of tweezers is useless. The verb tweeze is a back-formation from tweezer, and a tweezer (later tweezers) was originally one of the instruments carried in a tweeze. May 19, 2015 at 3:39
  • 1
    In Indian English some of these words are also used in the singular (a trouser instead of a pair of trousers).
    – oerkelens
    May 19, 2015 at 6:49

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