On Wiktionary we read that 'hereafter' has as plural 'hereafters', but OALD says that this plural form doesn't exist. Which is wrong: Wiktionary or OALD?

  • @Jasper Loy - Hmm... 'simply' seems excessively simplicistic in this case, but I hope in eventual answers to clarify my question. Apr 22, 2012 at 23:21
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    With no context whatsoever but the question 'Which is wrong, Wiktionary or X?', the almost always correct answer would be 'not Wiktionary'. In this case however, sure, 'the hereafter', like 'the future' is not a mass noun (one only normally thinks of there only being one of them), so one might in some scifi novel refer to 'one of many hereafters'. Dictionaries aren't always consistently comprehensive spelling out every possible legally suffixed version.
    – Mitch
    Apr 23, 2012 at 0:52
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    @JasperLoy: I agree with you. That said, I think I know where his doubt comes from. If you go to OALD and type in hats it will return the entry for hat. Same thing happens for driveways, highways, angels, demons, emus, roosters, and hens. But, when you search for hereafters, instead of sending you to the entry for hereafter, it goes to a page with reads: Sorry, no search result for hereafters. Curious indeed.
    – J.R.
    Apr 23, 2012 at 1:04
  • @J.R. - yes, you have perfectly understood where my doubt comes from. Apr 23, 2012 at 7:21
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    @AngloSaxon: I think you might have more success asking questions here if you construct them more carefully. There's a chance – perhaps – had you presented your original question more like my comment, instead of leaving it to the rest of the community to figure out this vital information, others would not have been so quick to close it. I'll point to this as a good example where the O.P. did a great job of framing a question so that the rest of the community could think and answer, instead of performing all the preliminary research.
    – J.R.
    Apr 23, 2012 at 8:49

1 Answer 1


From the Oxford English Dictionary, under the noun entry for hereafter:

1689 W. Sherlock Pract. Disc. Death (1731) iii. §6. 143 The Reason‥will serve for all hereafters, but will never serve for any Time present.

Evidently, it's a word. Not a widely used word, mind you, but a word nonetheless.

Also, from a Google Book search (under The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Volume 4):

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