What is the Plural of 'Shrimp'?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on October 24, 2022

If you’ve been wondering what the plural form of the word ‘shrimp’ is, this article will cover that and more.

The plural form of ‘shrimp’ is ‘shrimp’ or ‘shrimps.’ Either form of the word is acceptable to use.

‘Shrimp’ Definition & Meaning

The definition of ‘shrimp’ is “any of numerous mostly small and marine decapod crustaceans (suborders Dendrobranchiata and Pleocyemata) having a slender, elongated body, a compressed abdomen, and a long spiny rostrum and including some (especially family Penaeidae) that are commercially important as food” and “a small crustacean (such as an amphipod or branchiopod) resembling the true shrimp.”

It could also mean “a very small or puny person or thing,” according to Merriam-Webster.

Synonyms of the word include:

  • Diminutive
  • Mite
  • Pygmy
  • Runt

Take a look at some antonyms:

  • Colossus
  • Giant
  • Behemoth
  • Jumbo

What is the Plural of ‘Shrimp’

We learned that the plural of ‘shrimp’ is ‘shrimp,’ but ‘shrimps’ is also an acceptable way to pluralize the word.

Is It Correct to Say ‘Shrimps’

While it might seem wrong to say, it is correct to say either ‘shrimps’ or ‘shrimp’ to pluralize the word ‘shrimp.’

It’s similar to the way the word ‘sheep’ doesn’t change when it becomes plural or the way the word ‘buffalo’ has two plural forms.

Standard English Pluralization Rules

The standard rule for pluralizing words in the English language is to add an ‘s’ or ‘es.’ Take a look at some examples:

  • Book > Books
  • Walk > Walks
  • Tear > Tears
  • Wall > Walls

But some nouns follow different rules or have multiple ways to pluralize the word. Here are some examples:

  • Referenda & Referendums
  • Buffalos & Buffaloes
  • Termini & Terminuses
  • Swine & Swines
  • Gymnasium & Gymnasia
  • Memoranda & Memorandums
  • Syllabuses & Syllabi
  • Appendixes & Appendices

Using Both Forms in a Sentence

To use the singular form of the word in a sentence, follow these examples:

  • I don’t want to touch that shrimp; it looks slimy.
  • My father tells my mother she's a shrimp compared to him; he towers over her by an entire foot.

Take a look at a few examples of how to use the plural form in a sentence:

  • We don’t eat shrimp or any other kind of seafood.
  • Look at all the shrimps packed in that tank.

Using the Singular and Plural Possessive Form

The singular possessive form of the word is ‘shrimp’s.’ The plural possessive form of the word is ‘shrimps.’

An example of how to use it in a sentence in singular possessive form would be:

  • That shrimp’s tail looks injured.

An example of how to use it in a sentence in plural possessive form would be:

  • The shrimp’s tank is looking a bit cramped; maybe we should take some out.

Concluding Thoughts on Using the Singular and Plural Form of ‘Shrimp’

In closing, we learned that the plural form of ‘shrimp’ is either ‘shrimp’ or ‘shrimps.’ Although the latter sounds incorrect, it’s actually an acceptable way to pluralize the word.

So you don’t forget how to pluralize it, remember that it follows the same rules as words like ‘swine’ and ‘buffalo’ in that they both follow the traditional English rules of pluralization, and they both have multiple plural forms.

If you find it difficult to differentiate between confusing words, check out our collection of articles about confusing words.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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