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What’s the Plural of Loaf? (Loafs or Loaves?)

The simple, sweet answer (much like the subject matter itself) is that the plural of loaf is loaves.

What’s the plural of “loaf”?

"Loaves" plural shown in sentences.

For today’s lesson on irregular plurals, we’re taking on the loaf. The simple, sweet answer (much like the subject matter itself) is that the plural of loaf is loaves.

For the linguistically curious and attentive folk, it’s clear right off the bat how inconsistent loaves is with the other English plural nouns (even within its ostensibly irregular category.) So, without further delay—the loaf—in all its baked-goodness and delicious glory.

What’s the singular of loaf?

"Loaf" singular in sentence examples.

Loaf is the singular noun form. The only plural of loaf is loaves.

What’s a loaf? Are loaves the same as bread?

The dictionary defines a loaf as “bread that is shaped and baked in a single piece and can be sliced for eating: Get a loaf of white bread from the corner store.” Loaves (plural n.) refer to the shape and entire mass of the bread, pre-slicing.

Other irregular plural nouns (f-/-fe suffixes)

Loaf is irregular, (any plural noun in English that doesn’t end in -s or -es is considered irregular,) it belongs to a category of nouns that are similarly irregular. See the following chart of irregular plural nouns ending in -f/-fe, and convert to -ves as a plural:

Nouns ending in -f/-fe and –ves. Chart by Grammarflex.

Aside from being irregular plural noun forms, these words all share a common history, and have PIE (Proto-Indo-European) origin. In other words, these words have Germanic roots and origins, they derive from a region where there were (and are) more than one possible ending given to plurals to indicate that they are, in fact, a plural.

The I-mutation is a case in point of another German plural form, which involves the fronting of a root vowel in anticipation of a ‘y’ or ‘I’ sound. See the following irregular plural noun forms which showcase the effects of the I-mutation (of Germanic tradition and origin).

By Gflex on Canva.

Loaf (singular ) in sentences

The sentences show the correct use of the singular noun, loaf:

1. Ask the baker to slice the loaf for you.

2. Time was when you could buy a loaf of bread for sixpence.

3. They shared a loaf and some cheese.

4. I baked a loaf of brown bread.

5. I bake a loaf of bread each day.

Loaves (plural) in sentences

The following sentences show the correct use of the plural noun, loaves:

1. The boys went through two whole loaves of bread.

2. Loaves of bread were rising along one counter beneath thin cloths.

3. I bought five loaves of bread.

4. There are two loaves of white bread.

5. I bake two or three loaves of bread every week.

Synonyms for loaf

  • roll
  • bun
  • dough
  • bread

Origin of the word loaf

From etymology online on loaf (n.):

From Proto-Germanic khlaibuz, the common Germanic word for “bread” (source also of Old Norse hleifr, Swedish lev, Old Frisian hlef, Old High German hleib, German Laib, Gothic hlaifs “bread, loaf”).


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  1. Definition of loaf
  2. Origin of loaf.
  3. Loaf vs. Bread
  4. Omniscient definition.

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