Paraphernalia is another one of those tricky words.

Oxford Advanced American Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary list it as noncount and always singular.


  • Drug paraphernalia is any object that is designed to use, make, or conceal illegal drugs. (About.com)
  • A hockey player’s paraphernalia includes various pieces of protective padding. (Vocabulary.com)
  • Companies like Toddy are known for making cold-water brewing paraphernalia. (Treehugger.com)

Random House Dictionary and Collins Dictionary, however, make a distinction:

  1. When referring to personal belongings, paraphernalia is plural.
  2. When referring to “equipment, apparatus, or furnishing used in or necessary for particular activity,” paraphernalia is singular.

Photo credit: Zeebox


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