Skip to content

Plural of Penis: A Comprehensive Guide to the Correct Grammatical Form in American English

plural of penis

The word “penis” is often approached with a bit of hesitancy due to its anatomical and cultural significance. It’s a term that’s not only vital in medical and biological discussions but also appears in various contexts in everyday language, ranging from serious health conversations to colloquial and sometimes humorous uses. Understanding the plural of “penis” is essential not just for language learners but for anyone looking to communicate effectively and accurately about human anatomy or related topics.

The Singular and Plural of Penis

The singular form of the word is “penis,” which refers to the male genital organ present in many animals, including humans. When it comes to pluralization, there are two accepted forms: penises and penes.


Understanding Penis

Definition of Penis

The penis is a male reproductive organ, playing a crucial role in sexual intercourse, the elimination of urine, and the process of reproduction in many species. In humans, it's a complex structure with several parts including the shaft, glans, and foreskin, each having specific biological functions.

Usage of Penis

While “penis” is predominantly a biological and medical term, its usage extends into various facets of life. It appears in health education, medical diagnostics, and discussions about sexual health. The word is also used in sociocultural contexts, often symbolizing masculinity or appearing in discussions about gender and identity.

Use of Penis in Sentences

  1. In Biology Class: “Today, we’ll be learning about the reproductive system, starting with the structure and function of the penis.”
  2. In Healthcare: “The patient is experiencing swelling in the penis, which could indicate an infection or injury.
  3. In Social Discussion: “There’s a need for more open conversations about the penis and male sexual health to break down existing stigmas.
  4. In Literature: “The author used the imagery of a withering flower to metaphorically represent the aging man’s penis.”
  5. In Everyday Language: “He consulted a doctor due to concerns about unusual spots on his penis.”

Common Mistakes and Confusions

  • Penises vs. Penes: While both are correct, “penises” is more commonly used in everyday language and non-specialized texts. “Penes” might appear in more scientific or formal writing.
  • Mispronunciation: “Penes” is sometimes mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is “pee-neez.”
  • Gendered Misconceptions: Associating the penis solely with men can be misleading, as not all men have penises and not all who have penises identify as men.

Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Is “penises” more correct than “penes”?
    • Both are correct, but “penises” is more widely used and recognized.
  2. Can “penis” have a figurative usage?
    • Yes, it’s sometimes used metaphorically in literature and colloquial speech to convey various concepts, often related to masculinity or power.
  3. How do I choose between “penises” and “penes”?
    • Consider your audience and the context. For general use, “penises” is more common. For academic or formal writing, especially in the field of biology or medicine, “penes” might be more appropriate.


The plural of “penis” – “penises” and “penes” – offers an interesting insight into the flexibility of the English language in accommodating scientific and everyday contexts. Understanding the correct usage and plural forms of such terms is crucial for clear and effective communication, especially in topics related to health, biology, and human anatomy. Whether you’re a language learner, medical professional, or simply someone keen on accurate language use, grasping these nuances is an essential part of linguistic proficiency.


What is the plural form of the word “penis” in American English?

The English-style plural “penises” is commonly used and acceptable. Some professionals in the medical field may opt for the Latin-style plural “penes.”

Why is the English-style plural “penises” preferred?

While both “penises” and “penes” are correct, the English-style plural is more prevalent and commonly used in everyday contexts.

How is the plural of “penis” formed in Latin?

In Latin, the plural form of “penis” is “penes.” However, in English, the preferred plural form is “penises.”

Are there any pseudo-Latin forms to avoid when pluralizing “penis”?

Yes, it’s important to avoid using pseudo-Latin forms like “peni” or “penii” as they are not valid plurals in Latin or English grammar.

Do all Latin nouns follow the same pluralization rules as “penis”?

No, not all Latin nouns follow the typical “-us” noun pluralization rules. For example, the Latin noun “virus” is a mass noun without a plural form in classical Latin; in English, it is pluralized as “viruses.”

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this post on social!