What’s the Plural of Addendum: Understanding Linguistic Variations

  • Addendum” refers to supplementary material added to a document, and both “addenda” and “addendums” are correct plural forms.
  • Addenda” is the traditional Latin plural and is commonly used in formal contexts, while “addendums” is also accepted.
  • Understanding the pluralization of “addendum” is crucial for correct usage in written English, especially in legal, academic, and publishing fields.

The pluralization of words in English often follows a set of standard rules, but there are exceptions that can cause confusion. The word “addendum” is a case in point, with its origins in Latin leading to two commonly accepted plural forms. While “addendum” refers to an item of additional material, typically omissions, added at the end of a book or other publication, the plurality of this term is used when referring to multiple such additions.

What’s the Plural of Addendum?

The recognized plural form of addendum is:

  • Addenda

This applies when referring to multiple items added to a document, book, or another body of work. However, usage in the English language has evolved, and a more Anglicized version has also become accepted:

  • Addendums

The following tables outline the usage and examples of both plural forms:

Latin PluralEnglish Plural

Here are examples illustrating the proper use of each term:

When to Use “Addenda”When to Use “Addendums”
The contract includes several addenda as appendices.The teacher accepted addendums to the class syllabus.
She reviewed the addenda to the treaty before signing.Modern writers often prefer addendums.

While addenda sticks closer to the original Latin and is used in formal or traditional contexts, addendums can be seen in more modern or informal writing. As such, both plural forms are correct, but their use may vary depending on the context and audience.

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Irregular Plural Nouns that End in -um/-a

In English, certain nouns have unique rules for forming their plurals, particularly those classical terms that end in -um or -a. These words take on a Latin form of pluralization that differs from the standard addition of -s or -es.

One of the commonly encountered nouns of this type is addendum. In its plural form, it conforms to the classical pattern and changes the ending to -a, becoming addenda. This transformation often causes confusion due to its deviation from regular English pluralization norms.


In addition to the aforementioned transformations, there are other nouns ending in -um that become plural by adding an -a, which are illustrated in the table below.


Addendum in Context (in Sentences)

Consider the following example sentences that illustrate the use of addendum:

  • The contract includes an addendum detailing the client’s responsibilities.
  • In the meeting, they referenced an addendum to the original agreement.

When the context involves more than one supplement, you can use either “addenda” or “addendums.” Both are acceptable, although “addenda” is historically more common. Here’s how they’re used in sentences:

  • The professor included several addenda at the end of the textbook.
  • During the review, the committee examined various addendums to the policy.

Usage of Addendum and Its Plurals

SingularExample Sentence
AddendumThe report’s addendum contains additional data.
PluralExample Sentence
AddendaThe revised policy included multiple addenda for clarity.
AddendumsAll addendums to the document must be submitted by Friday.
  • Addendum is often used to provide clarity or to propose changes.
  • Addenda or addendums are utilized when there are several such instances.
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Addenda/Addendums in Context (in Sentences)

Traditional UsageEmerging Usage

In legal documents:

  • Addenda are often essential and detail amendments to the terms.

In books or academic papers:

  • An addendum might include additional data that came to light after publication.
  • The addenda to the report could contain supplementary charts or corrections.

Using plural forms in sentences:

  • The first addendum details the updated pricing.
  • The second addendum clarifies the scope of the project.
  • Further addenda may be issued as necessary.
  • In contrast, when items are counted individually:

    • The third and final addendum addresses client concerns.

Synonyms for Addendum

The first table highlights synonyms often found in academic or formal texts:

Formal SynonymsContexts Where Typically Used
AppendixAcademic papers, books
CodicilLegal documents, wills
EpilogueThe concluding section of a literary work
SupplementAdditional materials for texts
PostscriptAfterthoughts in letters or communications

In contrast, the second table suggests synonyms that might be used in more general contexts:

General SynonymsUsages
Add-onEveryday language, less formal writing
ExtraCommonly used in various contexts
ExtensionTechnical documents, product descriptions
AdditionsBroadly used, in various informal contexts

It is important to consider the context in which these synonyms are used. For instance:

  • An appendix is typically reserved for the end section of scholarly documents containing supplementary information.
  • A codicil is distinctly legal and refers to a document that amends, rather than replaces, a part of a will.
  • The epilogue lends itself to narratology and literary criticism, denoting the final chapter that brings closure to the story.

Origin of the Word Addendum

Latin TermMeaning
addereto add, join
addendusthat which is to be added

An addendum is often considered as an appendix or attachment to a document or publication. The concept is about appending or incorporating additional information or materials after the main body of a work, typically to provide supplementary information or clarify existing content.

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Purpose of AddendumDescription
ClarificationTo clarify or explain content within the work.
Additional InfoTo include supplementary details or updates.

In the realm of publishing and contracts, addendums often serve as crucial components that adapt a document to new information without altering the original content. The usage of the term addendum in its current context dates to around the late 18th century.

  • Origins: The Latin root addendum came into English use.
  • Usage: Employed in the context of books, legal documents, and other texts.
  • Plurality: Although some may use “addendums,” the classical and more recognized plural is addenda.

The etymology of addendum sheds light on the evolutionary nature of language, illustrating how words adapt new meanings and uses over time, solidifying their place in modern discourse. This particular term remains vital in various domains, encapsulating the essence of addition and updating information.

  1. Synonyms of addendum.
  2. Origin of addendum
  3. Definition of addendum

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