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Plural of Moose—Mooses, Meeses, Moose? Which One?

Moose? Meese? Mooses? Meeses? Which is the right plural of moose? No need to go on a wild grammatical moose chase. Keep reading to find out the proper plural form for the large mammal, the moose.

What’s a moose?

Moose are large mammals that belong to the deer species (Cervidae, which derives from the Latin word for deer, Cervus). There are 43 species of deer which comprises the Cervidae species.

Moose, deer, and other members of the Cervidae species (including the elk, roe deer, the reindeer, the red deer, and the white-tailed deer), are distinguished by their two large hooves and a third and fourth toe.

Origin of the word moose

The word moose originated from several of the Algonquin languages in the early 1600s. Most likely, the Narragansett languages, and the Eastern Algonquian Abenaki languages. The Innu peoples of Quebec spoke in various Algonquian dialects, and used the word moosh meaning “stripper and eater of bark.”

The Algonquian came up with this name for moose, since these mammals are herbivores that eat plants and bark.

The scientific term for moose is Alces Alces.

Bonus Fact!

Here’s a fun bonus fact to whip out at a social event or party!

As it turns out, moose cheese is one of the most expensive cheeses in the world, and sells for roughly $500/kilogram! Moose cheese is extremely rare, and only sold in Sweden (and maybe Russia.) The Elk house in the Bjurholm region of Sweden produces and manufactures the incredibly rare moose cheese with the help of 3 lactating moose.

Plurals forms of other animals

This is true for most nouns, including animals. Take a look at the singular and plural of these animals:

  • The plural of goose is geese.
  • The plural of wolf is wolves.
  • The plural of bee is bees.
  • The plural of chicken is chickens.

Most often in English, when a word is plural or more than one, an extra ‘s’ is included at the end of the word. This is an easy way to determine if a noun is singular or plural. The word moose is an exception to this rule of grammar.

Correct plural of “moose” in a conversation.

Sentences that use the word moose as an example:

✔️Correct: Moose are members of the deer family.

Incorrect: Meese are members of the deer family.

✔️Correct: Male moose can be identified by their large antlers.

❌ Incorrect: Male meeses can be identified by their large antlers.

✔️Correct: On average, moose have an expected lifespan of 15-20 years in the wild.

❌ Incorrect: On average, mooses have an expected lifespan of 15-20 years in the wild.

What’s the plural of moose?

It’s a trick question because the plural of moose is moose!

The only form of the word moose is moose. The English language is peculiar because its plural forms are inconsistent across the board. And not all words and nouns conform to the standard modern plural ending of words.

This is why moose is irregular and an unusual word in English. As a result, people confuse the plural form of moose by adding an extra ‘s’ at the end, making it mooses. This is incorrect English and a misspelling of the correct plural form of moose, which is just moose. It’s understandable why this mistake is common though, since the standard modern pluralization typically includes the ‘s’ at the end of the word.

In the English language, certain words have their plural and singular forms modified to indicate their proper count (or to indicate more than one of something).

Incorrect plural of “moose” in a conversation.

Why we confuse the plural of moose

One reason could be that the plural of moose is mistaken with the plural for goose (this could be because both moose and goose rhyme). Here’s the thing: the noun goose is an irregular noun, meaning that how it changes in its plural form is atypical and irregular from other words in English.

Another point worth noting is that the plural of moose is not meese (whereas the plural of goose is geese) has to do with their differing origins and etymologies. Old English words have varied origins, and sometimes the original language is what results in the unusual plural.

Goose is derived from the Germanic, ghans. This checks out, since a male goose is called a gander; whereas moose derives from the both the eastern Algonquian and Narragansett languages (which was the native languages of where modern day Rhode Island is.)

The Algonquian languages oftentimes do not follow standard modern pluralizations, which is perhaps why the plural of moose is unusual. This makes moose a loanword (or loan word.) Loanwords are words which have been adopted into English from a foreign language with little or no modification.

Other examples of loanwords include:

  • Kindergarden: which comes directly from the German meaning children’s garden.
  • Café: comes from the French word for coffee.
  • Bazaar: comes from the Persian word for market.
  • Taco: comes from the original Spanish word and refers to the Mexican dish made from corn or wheat tortilla.
Incorrect use of plural “moose”

In Review

Review the grammar lesson to make sure you don’t forget which is right and wrong!

Singular of moose; one moose = moose.

Plural of moose, i.e., two moose = moose.

Sometimes in writing, people use the nonstandard plural form of moose; mooses. Remember that this is incorrect grammar and that the only correct plural for moose is moose!


  1. Definition of moose: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose
  2. Definition of loanword: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loanword
  3. Definition of irregular noun: www.differencebetween.com/what-is-the-difference-between-regular-and-irregular-nouns


  1. Moose: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose
  2. Loanword: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loanword
  3. Irregular nouns: differencebetween.com/what-is-the-difference-between-regular-and-irregular-nouns
  4. Alces Alces: https://www.fws.gov/species/moose-alces-alces
  5. Animal Terms: https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/animal-terms.htm

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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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