's

1 of 3

verb

 same as  -'s
1
a
: is
she's here
b
: was
when's the last time you ate?
2
: has
he's seen them
3
: does
what's he want?

's

2 of 3

pronoun

s
: us
used with let
let's

-'s

3 of 3

noun suffix or pronoun suffix

s,
 after voiceless consonants other than  s,
sh,
ch;
z,
 after vowels and voiced consonants other than  z,
zh,
j;
əz,
 after  s,
sh,
ch,
z,
zh,
j
used to form the possessive of singular nouns
boy's
, of plural nouns not ending in s
children's
, of some pronouns
anyone's
, and of word groups functioning as nouns
the man in the corner's hat
or pronouns
someone else's

Word History

Etymology

Verb

contraction of is, has, does

Pronoun

by contraction

Noun suffix or pronoun suffix

Middle English -es, -s, genitive singular ending, from Old English -es; akin to Old High German -es, genitive singular ending, Greek -oio, -ou, Sanskrit -asya

First Known Use

Verb

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Pronoun

1588, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of 's was in 1584

Dictionary Entries Near 's

Cite this Entry

“'s.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/%27s. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

's

1 of 3 verb
 like -​'s 
1
a
: is
she's here
b
: was
when's the last time you ate?
2
: has
he's seen them
3
: does
what's he want?

's

2 of 3 pronoun
s
: us
used with let
let's

-'s

3 of 3 noun suffix or pronoun suffix
s,
 after voiceless consonant sounds other than  s,
sh,
ch;
z,
 after vowel sounds and voiced consonant sounds other than  z,
zh,
j;
əz,
 after  s,
sh,
ch,
z,
zh,
j
used to form the possessive of singular nouns
boy's
, of plural nouns not ending in s
children's
, of some pronouns
anyone's
, and of word groups functioning as nouns
the man in the corner's hat
or pronouns
someone else's
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