Plural of Domino

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The plural of domino is dominoes or dominos.

The Plural of Domino

The plural of domino is dominoes or dominos.
  • European-style dominoes are traditionally made of ivory.
  • Dominos is played at a professional level, similar to poker.
The noun domino adheres to the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English (shown in the table below).

Type Example of Type Forming the Plural Plural
Most Nouns lamp
scythe
add s lamps
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z bus
dress
add es buses
dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o domino
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
dominoes or dominos
zeros
tomatoes
Nouns ending [vowel] o patio
ratio
add s patios
ratios
Nouns ending [consonant] y story
penny
change the y to an i and add es stories
pennies
Nouns ending [vowel] y storey ()
donkey
add s storeys
donkeys
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
knife
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
knives
Exceptions man
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change men
lice
More exceptions salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all salmon
sheep

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Domino?

There is confusion because the rule for forming plurals with nouns ending in o isn't straightforward. Most nouns will just add an s. For example:
  • Kangaroo becomes kangaroos.
  • Piano becomes pianos.
Some add es. For example:
  • Tomato becomes tomatoes.
  • Potato becomes potatoes.
With some words, both versions are accepted. For example:
  • Flamingo becomes flamingoes or flamingos.
  • Echo becomes echoes or echos.
The plural of domino can be either dominoes or dominos.. Unfortunately, there is no clever way of knowing which nouns ending o follow which rules. You have to know. (For example, you have to know that piano becomes pinaos, but tomatos becomes tomatoes.)

Though dominos and dominoes are both accepted plurals, dominoes is the more common of the two. (See the difference in Google's Ngram Viewer.)

Don't Use an Apostrophe to Form a Plural

Adding 's is never an option when forming the plural of a noun. Despite this simple rule, inexperienced writers often feel compelled to add an apostrophe, especially when the noun ends with a vowel (e.g., piano, tomato, emu). For example:
  • The piano's were expensive.
  • The pianos were expensive.
Read more about apostrophes and plurals.
Read more about using apostrophes.


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