Apostrophe



the sign (‘), as used: to indicate the omission of one or more letters in a word, whether unpronounced, as in o’er for over, or pronounced, as in gov’t for government; to indicate the possessive case, as in man’s; or to indicate plurals of abbreviations and symbols, as in several M.D.’s, 3’s.
a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as “O Death, where is thy sting?”.
Contemporary Examples

Jennifer Runyon, one of the name committee’s three staffers, says: “We don’t debate the apostrophe.”
It’s Our Apostrophe, Government, And We’ll Do What We Choose With It Justin Green May 15, 2013

Ruderman, citing family reasons, eventually returned, and Osberg, Larry Platt and his apostrophe were unceremoniously removed.
How the Newspaper Business Became a ‘F**king Disgrace’ Lloyd Grove December 16, 2013

Historical Examples

Then, not heeding Mrs. Hilary, I launched into an apostrophe.
Dolly Dialogues Anthony Hope

Bobinette did not seem to understand one word of this apostrophe.
A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre

The following list is made up of plural nouns that do not end in “s.” To form the possessive, add an apostrophe and “s.”
Lippincott’s Horn-Ashbaugh Speller Ernest Horn

The apostrophe is used to indicate that some letter or letters of a word are left out.
“Stops” Paul Allardyce

Page 96: An apostrophe was removed from the word “an'” in the phrase “I’ve found a ladder, an auld yin” (an old one).
Huntingtower John Buchan

The letter “s” is added, and the apostrophe is placed before it.
“Stops” Paul Allardyce

The place of the absent consonant is often supplied, indeed, in writing, by an apostrophe.
Elements of Gaelic Grammar Alexander Stewart

The apostrophe is used before the “s” of the plural when single letters are used as words.
“Stops” Paul Allardyce

noun
the punctuation mark ‘ used to indicate the omission of a letter or number, such as he’s for he has or he is, also used in English to form the possessive, as in John’s father and twenty pounds’ worth
noun
(rhetoric) a digression from a discourse, esp an address to an imaginary or absent person or a personification
n.

mark indicating omitted letter, 1580s, from Middle French apostrophe, from Late Latin apostrophus, from Greek apostrophos (prosoidia) “(the accent of) turning away,” thus, a mark showing where a letter has been omitted, from apostrephein “avert, turn away,” from apo- “from” (see apo-) + strephein “to turn” (see strophe).

In English, the mark often represents loss of -e- in -es, possessive ending. It was being extended to all possessives, whether they ever had an -e- or not, by 18c. Greek also used this word for a “turning aside” of an orator in speech to address some individual, a sense first recorded in English 1530s.
apostrophe [(uh-pos-truh-fee)]

A mark (‘) used with a noun or pronoun to indicate possession (“the student’s comment,” “the people’s choice”) or in a contraction to show where letters have been left out (isn’t, don’t, we’ll).

single quote

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  • Apostrophic

    the sign (‘), as used: to indicate the omission of one or more letters in a word, whether unpronounced, as in o’er for over, or pronounced, as in gov’t for government; to indicate the possessive case, as in man’s; or to indicate plurals of abbreviations and symbols, as in several M.D.’s, 3’s. a digression in […]

  • Apostrophise

    to address by . to utter an . Historical Examples From Kew he turned to the great guardsman, and taking him by the coat began to apostrophise him. The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray But it’s not worth your while to apostrophise me, or the air, about it; what you want to do, you do. A […]



  • Apostrophize

    to address by . to utter an . Historical Examples But Janet kept her ground, and continued to weep and wail and apostrophize the dead mother, or appeal to the orphan child. Cruel As The Grave Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth With thoughts like these, however un-novel, I apostrophize ‘My Boy:’ The Knickerbocker, Vol. […]

  • Apothecary

    a druggist; a pharmacist. a pharmacy or drugstore. (especially in England and Ireland) a druggist licensed to prescribe medicine. Historical Examples Herr Seelenfromm, assistant to the apothecary Pflaum, had taught her. The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann What I like about Mr. Fleurant, my apothecary, is that his bills are always civil. The Imaginary Invalid Molire […]



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