Plural of “Crisis:”  Avoiding the Tragic Catastrophe of Misuse


  • If you hesitate to use “crisis” or “crises” because you are unsure which is proper, you are not alone. Read on to understand how to use each form of the word correctly.A crisis is a severe situation that can have severe consequences.
  • “Crisis” is the singular form of the word, referring to a single severe situation. 
  • “Crises” is the plural form used when describing more than one crisis. 

There are a wide variety of words in the English language that do not follow the basic form when it comes to creating plurals. Plurals are noun forms that represent more than one. The vast majority of nouns will take the addition of an -s or -es to form a plural. 

To illustrate, the singular form “cat” will take an -s to become “cats,” meaning more than one feline. In other circumstances, words such as “box” or “church” require an -es to make them plural. This is common when words end with -x, -ch, -z, -s, -sh, or -ss

Related: Names Ending in S, Ch, or Z – Adding the Apostrophe

Yet, the word “crisis” poses difficulties. Adding -s results in “crisiss,” and that’s not right. Since the rule says to add -es when a word ends with -s, that would give us “crisises.” While some people may pronounce the plural this way, that’s not our winner either. 

The reason is that “crisis” falls under an extensive list of irregular plurals. Don’t worry, though – we will figure it out.


Before getting into plurality, it is essential to understand how to use the word.

crisis is a serious event with the potential to end in tragedy. That could mean dangerous weather phenomenons where people could die, events that may end in financial devastation, terroristic attacks, or perhaps even hair-related disasters:

  • Gladys called, suffering a crisis because her hairdresser canceled her appointment.  


Okay, while most people would not file this situation under a crisis heading, appearance is crucial to Gladys. As she probably has an important event to attend later, this rates as an emergency situation in her eyes.

  • The people were not satisfied with how the president handled the economic crisis.

People do not like when factors affect their money, so, understandably, they would be unsatisfied when a critical economic situation is not promptly and efficiently resolved. 

  • Jeanine was having a family crisis, so she missed cheerleading practice.

Jeanine did not specify, but it’s easy to imagine situations within a family that can end in tragedy. 

  • The EMTs hurried to the accident, well-trained in maintaining composure during a crisis.

This situation is undoubtedly a case of life or death; it qualifies as a grade-A crisis

The Plural of Crisis

With a firm understanding of the word meaning, it is time to discuss plurality, as the standard conversion methods do not work for us. 

Why not? 

The answer lies in its origin. “Crisis” is not originally native vocabulary, evolving from Greek to Latin and then to English. As a language that absorbs words from practically anywhere, this is a significant reason for irregularities with parts of speech. 

Therefore, the plural form of Crisis is (drumroll, please): Crises.

Many people have seen both versions of the word but aren’t sure when to use them. When there is more than one crisis, they become crises, pronounced “krai-seez.” 

  • The emergency crews are always standing by whenever there are crises.

These professionals will not settle for just one – they are ready for any and all catastrophes that come their way!

  • Tammy spent the rest of the day crying in her room; she had experienced all the crises she needed for a single morning.

That sounds like an awful start to a day. Surely hiding out in her room will protect her from more tragedies. 

  • When one lousy situation evolved into three additional crises, it took everything the retail staff had to survive another Black Friday.

Anyone reading headlines after this shopping holiday will understand why a word such as crisis needs a plural. With a battle for bargains everywhere, there are inevitable casualties every year. 

Final Thoughts

When faced with more than one crisis, you can now feel confident in using the plural form crises. However, do not be surprised if you receive a lot of funny looks because many people refuse to use plurals that end with irregular endings. 

These are the same people who will say “hippopotamuses” instead of “hippopotami” or “thesauruses” rather than “thesauri.”

 Just remember, each instance is a teachable moment. 

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By James Smith

Described as an "English Guru," James Smith holds a Master's degree in English from Arkansas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in ESL. James is a sought after writer and editor with university teaching experience.

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