In my understanding 'knowledge' is one of a group of nouns in English that is characterized as uncountable (meaning 'knowledge' should never be made plural).

If that is the case, is there a word in English that describes the concept of individual bits of known material that can be made plural?

In other words, if knowledges is incorrect (although there is apparently some debate over that), what can be used in its place?

Edit 1: So there has been a decent amount of input so far and I felt like I should clarify one thing. The concept I need to capture is more than just information or data. Those are more related to trivia and facts. The word I am looking for is a countable noun that encompasses more than a physical skill that can be trained and observed. It is more than a list of facts. It needs to contain the concept of a body of information that can be used for extrapolation. For instance, naming the individual pieces of an engine is facts or data; understanding how they interplay and how that can assist in troubleshooting is knowledge; being able to repair a cracked head is a skill. The first example (fact, datum) and the last (skill) are countable, knowledge is not. So if I have knowledge of a group of separate topics I have knowledges. If this doesn't actually clarify anything, please let me know.

  • 1
    a piece of knowledge is idiomatic.
    – ermanen
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 21:32
  • 1
    I think you'd just say "a high degree of skill and knowledge," or "a variety of skills and wide range of knowledge." I don't think you'd ever try to break down knowledge into countable parts, at least not idiomatically.
    – user139454
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 21:36
  • 2
    I would call those facts (to answer the question in the OP main body: a word in English that describes the concept of individual bits of known material that can be made plural)
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 21:57
  • 4
    Stop scratching your head as someone who has painted himself into a corner, and stick an adjective in front of knowledge, perhaps "extensive".
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 23:39
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    I have voted to close this as, 6+ years ago, the OP asked for a single word but failed to give an example sentence. In my opinion, the accepted answer is potentially valid but absent context, and as the word "knol" is vanishingly rare, EL&U cannot be assured that it is correct.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 12:15

4 Answers 4


Essentially, the question is "What is the word for a bit or unit of knowledge?" Fact describes a unit of a certain type of knowledge, but does not apply to all bits of knowledge. Is a recipe a fact? Is a surgical procedure a fact? Is an engineering drawing a fact? It seems there are bits or units of knowledge that are more complex than facts.

In 2007 Google invented a word, knol to describe a unit of knowledge more complex than a fact. Knol was also the name of the service. Since Google had to create a word, we can probably assume they first searched for an existing word and could not find one.


I would suggest "Datum". As a singular part of data, it is presumably discrete. I've seen it defined as "a single piece of information" in Merriam Webster. This seems fairly close to "discrete piece of knowledge".

  • 1
    Datum refers to evidence, observation. Knowledge refers to understanding or conclusions drawn thereof. So no.
    – David
    Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 18:44

The only thing I can think of is truly horrible, and not something I would ever say, except in jest. But…


As in “Top 10 key learnings from my experience in a corporate accelerator”.

I know. It stinks.


Systematic jargon is commonly used in the Project Management Body of Knowledge and would break down this nomenclature of applied knowledge as either a faculty or further subclassed to a method; a faculty or faculties may be generalized as singular or plural however are typically attributed to qualitative data rather than quantitative and so wouldn’t necessarily be counted.

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