da·ta (dā′tə, dăt′ə, dä′tə)
pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
1. Facts that can be analyzed or used in an effort to gain knowledge or make decisions; information.
2. Statistics or other information represented in a form suitable for processing by computer.
[Latin, pl. of datum; see datum.]
Usage Note: The word data is the plural of Latin datum, "something given." In English, most notably in scientific usage, this plural usage is still common, as in this example: "Eventually, his data suggest, a tumor's ... alterations give rise to mutant cells" (Janet Raloff). But data is also standard in denoting a singular mass entity (like information), especially in writing for a more general audience: "Before data is transmitted in bulk around the internet, it is routinely compressed to reduce redundancy" (Richard Dawkins)."Goodall ... wanted to get as much data as possible from her animals before she had to leave them" (Elizabeth Royte). · In our 2005 survey, 66 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the use of data with a singular verb and pronoun in the sentence Once the data is in, we can begin to analyze it. Fully 92 percent accepted the sentence We have very little data on the efficacy of such programs, the same percentage that accepted the use of data as a plural noun. (Note that the quantifier very little, like much in the last quotation given above, is not used with plural nouns such as facts or results.) The percentages in the 2005 survey represent significant increases over those of our 1988 survey, making it safe to say that singular data has become a standard usage.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
data (ˈdeɪtə; ˈdɑːtə)
1. (Communications & Information) a series of observations, measurements, or facts; information
2. (Computer Science) computing Also called: information the information operated on by a computer program
[C17: from Latin, literally: (things) given, from dare to give]
Usage: Although now often used as a singular noun, data is properly a plural
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
da•ta (ˈdeɪ tə, ˈdæt ə, ˈdɑ tə)
2. (used with a pl. v.) individual facts, statistics, or items of information.
3. (used with a sing. v.) a body or collection of facts or particulars; information.
is a plural of datum
, orig. a Latin noun meaning “a thing given.” Today, data
is used in English both as a plural noun meaning “facts or pieces of information” (These data are described fully on page 8
) and as a singular mass noun meaning “information”: The data has been entered in the computer.
It is almost always treated as a plural in scientific and academic writing, as a singular or plural elsewhere depending on the context. The singular datum
meaning “a piece of information” occurs most frequently in academic or scientific writing.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
da·ta (dā′tə, dăt′ə)
(Used with a singular or plural verb)
1. Information, especially when it is to be analyzed or used as the basis for a decision.
2. Information, usually in numerical form, suitable for processing by a computer.
Usage In scientific writing, data is usually treated as a singular in much the same way as the word information is. We say When the data comes in, we'll understand what happened. But because the word is historically the plural of the Latin noun datum, it is sometimes used as a plural, as in These data do not support your conclusions. The plural use is less frequent than the singular.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Representation of facts, concepts, or instructions in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by humans or by automatic means. Any representations such as characters or analog quantities to which meaning is or might be assigned.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
Data is information, usually in the form of facts or statistics that can be analysed.
Such tasks require the worker to process a large amount of data.
This will make the data easier to collect.
Data is usually regarded as an uncountable noun and is used with a singular form of a verb.
2010 is the latest year for which data is available.
The latest data shows that lending fell by 10% in May.
People usually say this data, rather than 'these data'.
Processing this data only takes a moment.
In some formal and scientific writing, data is used with a plural form of a verb, and these data is used instead of 'this data'.
The economic data are inconclusive.
To cope with these data, hospitals bought large mainframe computers.
In other kinds of writing and in conversation, people usually use data as an uncountable noun.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
Information for a computer to work on. Also, information and results from a computer.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited