The Plural of Mouse: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Here is a brief explanation of how to use a computer mouse and the plural form of the word in English. Let us go over what a computer mouse is, the plural form, the history and origin of the word, synonyms, and examples of the word used in a sentence. Next time you go to use the word computer mouse you will be an expert.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Computer Mouse?

The word computer mouse means:

  • A computer mouse is a handheld hardware input device that controls a cursor in a GUI (graphical user interface) and can move and select text, icons, files, and folders on your computer.
  • For desktop computers, the small device is placed on a flat surface (e.g., mouse pad or desk) in front of your computer display screen. The picture is an example of a Microsoft desktop computer mouse with two mouse buttons and a trackball.

What Is the Correct Plural of Mouse?

Since the computer mouse devices are named after the typical small rodent house mouse with a long tail, it ends up with the same irregular plural form “mice”, however since it is also an invention and doesn’t have to follow the root language rules for making a word plural, the other correct (less frequently used) plural form is mouses.

The History and Origin of the Word

The computer mouse might have an interesting name when you think about it, but it definitely is a much catchier name than it’s previous name “X-Y Position Indicator”. A man by the name Douglas Engelbart came up with the x-y position pointing device to be used for the Alto. He worked for the company Xerox Parc at the time. After the alto failed to gain traction, luckily for Douglas, the x-y position indicator got used for the Apple computer “Lisa”. This was the first time that the mouse was used but today it’s on almost every desktop computer. The word mouse in general comes from the Old English mus or the Italian maus. 

Functions of a Computer Mouse

  1. Move the cursor – the primary function of a mouse is to move the cursor on the x and y-axis on the computer screen. Much like the original name for the computer mouse suggests. However, these days, most laptops have a touch pad as a mouse rather than a separate small device.
  2. Open a program or application – after you move the mouse over to an icon for the application or folder that you want to open you can use the mouse to double click on the icon to open it.
  3. Select – with the mouse you can click to select files, folders, images, or text. You can also drag the mouse cursor while clicking to select many files simultaneously.
  4. Drag and drop – once you have something selected with your cursor you can move that object (file, image, folder, application, icon, etc.) by holding your finger down and moving the cursor. 
  5. Scroll – there is a wheel in the middle of a computer mouse, this wheel is used to scroll up or down on a page like a document or a website.

Why Computer Mouse Is Called Mouse?

Most of you that have memories of learning about computers at a young age might have a memory of thinking it was funny for a computer part to be called a mouse. Many people over the years were really curious about the reason behind it being called a mouse. Some even argued that it was an acronym, these people even created an acronym for mouse “manually-operated user-select equipment”. Yes, this is creative but it is not the reason for it being called mouse. 

Above in this article, we talked about the inventor of the x-y position indicator (mouse) Douglas Engelbart. Douglas didn’t have any creative reason behind the name mouse, he obviously didn’t have great success in naming it when he first invented it, that’s a name that only a mother would love. He actually named the computer mouse after the rodent. He thought that his invention had some resemblance to the small creature and just went ahead with that as the name.

Examples of the Word in Context


Now you are an expert on all things related to computer mouse — in the English language and otherwise. Next time you need to write about computer mouses you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to do it efficiently.