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?”.
Mrs. Hemans is a poet also, but too stiltified and apostrophic,—and quite wrong.
Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV Thomas Moore
He remembered the apostrophic close of a novel in which the heroine dies after much emotional suffering.
April Hopes William Dean Howells
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
(rhetoric) a digression from a discourse, esp an address to an imaginary or absent person or a personification
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.
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).
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
noun sexual desire for an amputee or to have one’s own healthy limb amputated; also called amputation fetish Usage Note apotemnophile n