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What is the plural form of the word "boxing"? In meaning box/package noun. Is "boxings" the correct form in that case? Perhaps it's not, because it's a gerund and not an exception.

Or should we simply regard it as a noun that may be plural, similar to drawings, writings, listings and imaginings, for example?

“The boxings of gifts from our patisserie are varied and impressive.” is a concise and understandable usage of “boxings”.

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    where did you see "boxing" used as a noun to mean "packaging"? As a native AmE speaker, I have never seen or heard that construction before.
    – Esther
    Mar 29 at 19:00
  • M-W certainly gives what looks like a count usage ('an act of putting in a box'), but the plural form is very rare (exceedingly so in this sense) on the internet. I'd say that this particular ing-form hasn't fully converted to a deverbal noun. As yet. Mar 29 at 19:04
  • Welcome! To make this question answerable, please edit to explain a bit more about what you mean. "Boxing" can refer to the act of putting something in a box, but it would be odd to pluralize that meaning. "Packaging" can refer to a box or other material, but strangely, "boxing" isn't used that way, and it's usually a noncount noun anyway. Mar 29 at 19:04
  • im non-native speaker and the word was introduced by my colleagues in our documentation. It is propably not appropriate word for describing package, but google(translate and some dictionaries) says it's possible for singular form. @Esther
    – ekvalizer
    Mar 29 at 19:05
  • A not entirely implausible scenario: "Have you seen those unboxing videos? Somebody has to be doing a lot of boxing first to set up those videos." 'Boxings' is unnatural. I think ;'boxing' is best as a mass noun.
    – Mitch
    Mar 30 at 1:29

2 Answers 2

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I was curious what I could find in Google books:

Boxings appears to be used for packagings/packaging versions in the modeling hobby, for example:

The Sword fabric-winged Hurricane I kit was re-released by AZ Models with an injection-moulded canopy in four different boxings containing a wide variety of different decal options for pre-war and wartime fabric-winged Hurricanes operated by Britain, Poland, Finland, Yugoslavia and even a captured Italian example plus Polish and Czech-flown RAF aircraft. M. Derry and N. Robinson; Hawker Hurricane and Sea Hurricane (2014)

Also typical of Hasegawa was their habit of releasing many different boxings featuring different markings, the latest of which was released in 2011. R. Jackson and L. Ritger; P-51 Mustang

It has already been reissued in at least three different boxings since then but the kit is unchanged. R. Jackson; Mitsubishi A5M Zero

This kit has been released under several boxings with a good selection of markings. B. Green; Modelling the Messerschmitt Bf 109F and early G series

It should be mentioned that many of these kits utilise common parts and are sometimes re-boxings with different markings and additional parts. Dennis Oliver; Stug III & Stug IV

Across various re-boxings, re-toolings and licensings, Tamiya's 911s have demonstrated excellent moulding, detail and design accuracy. Currently, vintage Tamiya 1970s' Porsche kits in good condition fetch three-figure sums on the market. Lance Cole; Porsche 911 (2020)

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Consulting my copy of the OED as well as the online version of American Heritage, I find three relevant meanings for the noun boxing:

  1. Material used for boxes.
  2. A boxlike covering or enclosure.
  3. The act of enclosing in a box.
  • Source - American Heritage

The first is of material, something uncountable. Hence, there is no plural form.

The second is of coverings or enclosures. So, it can safely be inferred that the plural form here would be boxings.

The third is of an act. Accordingly, the plural here again would be boxings.

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