Meaning of “apostrophe” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"apostrophe" in British English

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apostrophenoun [ C ]

uk /əˈpɒs.trə.fi/ us /əˈpɑː.strə.fi/

B2 the symbol ’ used in writing to show when a letter or a number has been left out, as in I'm (= I am) or '85 (= 1985), or that is used before or after s to show possession, as in Helen's house or babies' hands:

"It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has".

sometimes used before s to show the plural of a number or a letter:

There are two p's in "supper".

More examples

  • We spent Christmas Day with Ben's parents.
  • This book is the fruit of 15 years' research.
  • Simon has a clear-sighted vision of the company's future.
  • Our neighbour's baby cries morning, noon and night.
  • I'm sure my views on marriage are coloured by my parents' divorce.

(Definition of “apostrophe” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"apostrophe" in American English

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apostrophenoun [ C ]

us /əˈpɑs·trə·fi/

grammar a mark (’) used in writing to show that a letter or a number has been omitted, or before or after s to show possession

(Definition of “apostrophe” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)