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This puzzle is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Multietude™ word. Here is a list of Multietude™ and not-Multietude™ words: enter image description here

And CSV version:

Multietude;Not-Multietude
Spy;Infiltrator
Baby;Boy
Mouse;Cat
Louse;Beetle
Penny;Clay
Domino;Card
Puppy;Hay

QUESTION: What is the rule to tell whether a word is a Multietude™ word or not?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here we go again... $\endgroup$ – melfnt Oct 23 at 18:22
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A Multietude Word is:

a noun whose plural involves modifying the word in some additional way than just merely adding an 's' on the end.

For the examples given:

SPY --> SPIES,
BABY --> BABIES,
MOUSE --> MICE,
LOUSE --> LICE,
PENNY --> PENNIES,
DOMINO --> DOMINOES (although 'DOMINOS' is also accepted by most dictionaries),
PUPPY --> PUPPIES

In contrast, the words which are Not Multietude Words:

are pluralised just by adding an 's': INFILTRATORS, BOYS, CATS, BEETLES, CLAYS, CARDS, HAYS.

As for the title:

'Multitude' (without the 'e' in the middle) is a word describing a large number of a particular thing. However, here our 'large number' (i.e. plural) has been modified (with the addition of the 'e') just like our valid cases...

| improve this answer | |
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  • $\begingroup$ This is correct! One other property of a Multietude word is that the plural form of the word always contains the letter "i" followed by the letter "e". $\endgroup$ – Kyle Williamson Oct 23 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ @KyleWilliamson Ah, I see - just not necessarily consecutively... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 23 at 20:33

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