Pronunciation: (es), [key]
—pl. S's or Ss, s'sor ss.
1. the 19th letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
2. any spoken sound represented by the letter S or s, as in saw, sense, or goose.
3. something having the shape of an S.
4. a written or printed representation of the letter S or s.
5. a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter S or s.
13. state (highway).
1. the 19th in order or in a series, or, when I is omitted, the 18th.
2. (sometimes l.c.) the medieval Roman numeral for 7 or 70. Cf. Roman numerals.
an ending used in writing to represent the possessive morpheme after most singular nouns, some plural nouns, esp. those not ending in a letter or combination of letters representing an s or z sound, noun phrases, and noun substitutes, as in man's, women's, baby's, James's, witness's, (or witness'), king of England's, or anyone's.
1. contraction of is: She's here.
2. contraction of does: What's he do for a living now?
3. contraction of has: He's just gone.
a contraction of God's, as in 'swounds; 'sdeath; 'sblood.
a contraction of us, as in Let's go.
a contraction of as, as in so's to get there on time.
a native English suffix used in the formation of adverbs: always; betimes; needs; unawares. Cf. -ways.
an ending marking the third person sing. indicative active of verbs: walks.
an ending marking nouns as plural (boys; wolves), occurring also on nouns that have no singular (dregs; entrails; pants; scissors), or on nouns that have a singular with a different meaning (clothes; glasses; manners; thanks). The pluralizing value of -s 3 is weakened or lost in a number of nouns that now often take singular agreement, as the names of games (billiards; checkers; tiddlywinks) and of diseases (measles; mumps; pox; rickets); the latter use has been extended to create informal names for a variety of involuntary conditions, physical or mental (collywobbles; d.t.'s; giggles; hots; willies). A parallel set of formations, where -s 3 has no plural value, are adjectives denoting socially unacceptable or inconvenient states (bananas; bonkers; crackers; nuts; preggers; starkers); cf. -ers. Also,-es.
a suffix of hypocoristic nouns, generally proper names or forms used only in address: Babs; Fats; Suzykins; Sweetums; Toodles.
5. (in Austria) schilling; schillings.
10. shilling; shillings.
11. (in prescriptions)
a. mark; write; label.
b. let it be written.
17. sol3 (def. 1).
20. (in Ecuador) sucre; sucres.
7. shilling; shillings.
20. stem of.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.