Dictionary.com Word FAQs
Where can I find the words for a group of animals, such as crows, ravens, bears, moles, etc.?
Collective noun (also collective name, group noun) is the term for a group of living creatures - usually animals. They are also called terms of venery, from their use in hunting. A collective noun takes a singular verb when it refers to the collection considered as a whole. An example is: The team was united in spirit. In the rare times when one refers to the members of the group considered as individuals, then the collective term is used with a plural verb. For example: The group of teenage friends were always fighting among themselves. In the UK, collective nouns are treated as plurals. An excellent book on the subject is An Exaltation of Larks (Lipton, James, New York: Viking, 1991) and there are many websites with lists of collective nouns. You might want to check what you find on those sites in a standard dictionary. Inanimate nouns like "furniture" "luggage," differ in that they cannot be counted individually and they are called mass nouns or noncount nouns. They always take a singular verb. By the way, it's a murder of crows, an unkindness of ravens, a sloth of bears, and a labor (or labour, the British spelling) of moles.