Below is a list of the collective nouns for animals. If you would like to add to or amend this list, please leave a comment below.
These collective nouns can have a long history, and have been developed since medieval times.
For example, the “Book of St. Albans”, dating back to 1486, was a guide to hawking and hunting, and listed many of the collective nouns for animals we still use today.
For some animals, there is more than one collective noun, reflecting how close people have been to them througout history. Have a look at Cats, Dogs and Horses in the list below. Some collective nouns are used for more than one animal. For example, both Bats and Ants can be found in a ‘Colony’.
Collective nouns for mammals & marsupials
|Asses||Pace, Herd, Drove|
|Bears||Sloth, Sleuth, Litter (young)|
|Camels||Caravan, Flock, Train|
|Cats||Clowder, Pounce; (Kittens: Kindle, Litter, Intrigue), Destruction (wild cats)|
|Deer||Herd, Bevy (only for roe deer)|
|Dogs||Litter (puppies), Pack (if wild), Cowardice (curs), Leash(Greyhounds). For hounds: Cry, Mute, Pack, Kennel|
|Donkeys||Drove, Herd, Pace|
|Ferrets||Business, Cast, Fesnying|
|Fox||Leash, Skulk, Earth, Lead, Troop|
|Horses||Team, Harras, Rag (colts), Stud (a group of horses owned by one person), String (for ponies)|
|Lions||Pride, Sault, Troop|
|Mules||Pack, Span, Barren, rake|
|Otters||Bevy, Family, Raft, Romp|
|Pigs||Drift, Drove, Litter (piglets), Sounder (swine only), Team, Passel (hogs only), Singular (for boars)|
|Porpoises||Crowd, Herd, Pod, School, Shoal|
|Rabbits||Colony, Warren, Nest, Herd (domesticated only), Litter (young rabbits), Down (hares), husk (hares)|
|Rats||Colony, Pack, Plague, Swarm|
|Seals||Bob, Harem, Herd, Pod, Rookery|
|Sheep||Drove, Flock, Herd|
|Weasles||Gang, Colony, Pack|
|Whales||Pod, Gam, Herd, School|
|Wolves||Pack, Rout, Route (when moving)|
|Zebras||Zeal, Crossing, Dazzle, Cohorts, Herd|
Collective nouns for birds
|Birds in general||Brace (for a couple of birds that have been killed when hunted), Flight (when flying), Flock (when on the ground), Volary|
|Chickens||Brood, Peep, Young chickens: Chattering, Clutch|
|Chicks (Various birds)||Brood; Clutch|
|Doves||Dule, Pitying (Turtle doves only)|
|Ducks||Balding, Brace (a couple of hunted and killed ducks), Flock (flying), Paddling (on water), Raft (on water), Team|
|Geese||Flock, Gaggle (grounded), Skein (flying)|
|Grouse||Pack (later in the hunting season)|
|Hawks||Boil (when spiraling in flight), Cast, Kettle (large amount of flying hawks)|
|Mallards||Sord (flying), Brace (two that havce been hunted and killed)|
|Magpies||Charm, Gulp, Murder, Tiding|
|Pheasant||Bouquet, Brace (couple hunted and killed), Nest, Nide, Nye,|
||Flight, Flock, Kit|
|Plovers||Congregation, Wing (flying)|
|Rooks||Building, Clamor, Parliament|
|Swans||Bevy, Wedge (flying)|
|Turtle Doves||Pitying, Dule|
|Vultures||Kettle (flying), Venue|
Collective nouns for fish
|Fish (general)||Draft, Nest, School, Shoal (some academics argue that ‘School’ is incorrect, and that Shoal should be used instead). When caught: Catch, Drought, Haul|
|Eels||Bed, Fry, Swarm|
Collective nouns for reptiles and amphibians
|Toads||Knab, Knot, Nest|
|Turtles||Bale, Dole, Nest, Turn|
|Snakes, vipers||Den, Generation, Knot, Nest, Pit|
Collective nouns for invertebrates (including insects, molluscs etc.)
|Ants||Army, Colony, Nest, Swarm (flying)|
|Bees||Grist, Hive, Swarm|
|Flies||Business, Cloud, Swarm|
|Gnats||Cloud, Horde, Swarm|
|Insects (general)||Horde, Nest, Plague, Rabble, Swarm|
|Termites||Brood, Colony, Nest, Swarm|
|Worms||Bed, Bunch, Clat, Clew|
Collective nouns for single-celled organisms
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Could the collective noun for crabs also be “a dose”?
I wouldn’t like to have to explain that one to my school kids!
A dose of colours
A very comprehensive and informative list. Best I’ve seen
Very useful site for collective noun.
Very informative.interesting to learn so many collective nouns.very useful for me being a teacher.
Best ever for students
is orchestra a collective noun?
Its a Collective noun 😀 😀 😀 :l
Great website for collective nouns AMAZING !!!!!!!!!
How wonderful language is….and after using the technology, hopefully we’ll be creative and humanly communicative with the results.
Really helpful ! And for arranging them in groups…
Real useful information
Can we change the name for goanna to a Greg inglis
After watching some wonderful Superb Blue Fairy Wrens today, can I suggest their collective be “a twittering?”
very nice collective noun will help me as a teacher nice job
Just found this after an hour Internet search for a good comprehensive list.
best web…pls help cllective name of weaver bird and sunbird thax
Best list i have seen great job on whoever created this! u must be smart
Collective of emus used in north of SA when I was a kid was a “bolt” of emus, presumably related to their tendancy to bolt away when approached by a horseman, or by people in a truck.
This is the best site to learn about collective nouns
Great site – I have also seen “array” and “seething” as collective nouns for eels, probably great choices to add?
Isn’t “kine” just a simple plural (a synonym of “cows”), not a collective noun at all?
What is the collective noun for animals that lap?
Cannot find it anywhere!
They left out a constellation of starfish.
On the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines Alaska, the eagles gather at the Council Grounds to feed on spawning salmon. Not merely a convocation, a Council of Eagles.
Vultures will form into wakes during feeding. Kettles and cauldrons while rising on thermals.
And if you should come across them, it’s called a blessing of unicorns. But I think they tend to appear alone?
You left out my favorite, a “loveliness of ladybugs”.
*Thank You very much for collection of collective nouns. It s very useful to learn collective nouns use while speaking good english and teaching others. Its not easy to learn all collective nouns together, these lists be a great help.
A conspiracy of lawyers
A lie of politicians.
A soup of amoebas.
A lawyer of leeches.
So, you have to be greatly mindful about your stand-in the game and focused on role performance.
Collective noun of butterflies
Rainbow of Butterflies
Journey of Giraffe . As a safari guide for 30 years we have have lot of fun whilst looking for game and pose these questions to our guests and we often refer to your list , thank you .