- A punctuation mark (’) used to indicate either possession (e.g. Harry’s book; boys’ coats) or the omission of letters or numbers (e.g. can’t; he’s; 1 Jan. ’99).More example sentences
- The playwrights' experimental use of English (including the absence of capital letters, apostrophes, punctuation, etc.) is one way in which they resist oppression.
- Still others prefer a middle option that keeps the apostrophe for omission and elision but drops it for plurality and possession.
- When the possessor is single we indicate possession by using an apostrophe followed by the letter ‘s’ - ‘The man's coat’.
mid 16th century (denoting the omission of one or more letters): via late Latin, from Greek apostrophos 'accent of elision', from apostrephein 'turn away', from apo 'from' + strephein 'to turn'.
Many people are uncertain when to use an apostrophe, and this confusion is probably increased by the fact that it is often omitted in company names (e.g. Barclays Bank). The apostrophe should be used when indicating possession (Sue’s cat) or the omission of letters or numbers (he’s gone, 1 Jan. ’09). It should not be used in forming the plural of ordinary words, as in apple’s and pear’s or I saw two dog’s, or in possessive pronouns such as hers, yours, or theirs. See also its (usage).
- An exclamatory passage in a speech or poem addressed to a person (typically one who is dead or absent) or thing (typically one that is personified).More example sentences
- To stress apostrophe, personification, prosopopoeia, and hyperbole is to join the theorists who through the ages have emphasized what distinguishes the lyric from other speech acts, what makes it the most literary of forms.
- Let us note, first of all, that hyperbole and apostrophe are the forms of language not only most agreeable to it but also most necessary.
- What better trope for the undertaking than the apostrophe?
mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek apostrophē 'turning away', from apostrephein 'turn away' (see apostrophe1).