Unary means "consisting of one element"; is there a word meaning "consisting of more than one element"?

Poly-ary sounds wrong, as does mult-ary...

What is the opposite (in this sense) of unary?

  • 2
    Simply "non-unary"? ai.stanford.edu/~koller/Papers/Grove+al:96a.pdf
    – Yee-Lum
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:04
  • 1
    @Yee-Lum: But non-unary allows for nullary (niladic) also. The OP apparently wants n-ary where n > 1.
    – Drew
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:09
  • That's true. The title and body seem to be asking slightly different questions, in that case.
    – Yee-Lum
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:13
  • @Yee-lum I don't think opposite has such a concrete definition, so I clarified exactly which opposite I meant in the body. Aug 13, 2016 at 1:28
  • "Plurality" technically fits, but has acquired conflicting meanings over the ages.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 12, 2017 at 22:38

2 Answers 2


The word plurarity does not appear in the dictionary, but if you google it there are quite a few cases of it being used this way.

While plur- is a valid Latin prefix, English words using it usually start with plural-, pluralism for instance.

So I suppose it could be seen as a portmanteau of plural and arity.

In that same sense, a word for n-arity > 1, could be plurary.

  • This is a noun, not an adjective, though for that matter, I'm pretty sure simple plural fits the bill. Nov 13, 2017 at 1:51
  • @MichaelChirico The word I'm recommending is plurary. See the last sentence. Nov 13, 2017 at 1:53
  • 1
    Let's just hope the rural juror never has to use that word Nov 13, 2017 at 1:58
  • @SamWashburn I missed that detail. It's a horrible word, but plurality is in the dictionary.
    – Simon B
    Nov 13, 2017 at 9:50

You can use multiple-arity if different numbers of arguments are accepted (e.g. a polymorphic function/method), or n-ary if you want to be indefinite about the arity. But I don't know of a term for arity > 1.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arity

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