s

1 of 7

noun

plural s's or ss ˈe-səz How to pronounce s (audio)
often capitalized, often attributive
1
a
: the 19th letter of the English alphabet
b
: a graphic representation of this letter
c
: a speech counterpart of orthographic s
2
: a graphic device for reproducing the letter s
3
: one designated s especially as the 19th in order or class
4
[abbreviation for satisfactory]
a
: a grade rating a student's work as satisfactory
b
: one graded or rated with an S
5
: something shaped like the letter S

s

2 of 7

abbreviation (1)

1
sabbath
2
saint
3
schilling
4
scruple
5
second; secondary
6
section
7
senate
8
series
9
shilling
10
[Latin signa] label
11
siemens
12
signor
13
sine
14
singular
15
small
16
smooth
17
snow
18
society
19
son
20
sou
21
south; southern
22
23
subject
24
symmetrical

S

3 of 7

abbreviation (2)

1
satisfactory
2
short
3
standard deviation of a sample
4
svedberg

S

4 of 7

symbol

sulfur

-s

5 of 7

plural noun suffix

after a voiceless consonant s,
after a voiced consonant or a vowel z
used to form the plural of most nouns that do not end in s, z, sh, ch, or postconsonantal y
heads
books
boys
beliefs
, to form the plural of proper nouns that end in postconsonantal y
Marys
, and with or without a preceding apostrophe to form the plural of abbreviations, numbers, letters, and symbols used as nouns
MCs
PhD's
4s
the 1940's
$s
B's
compare -es entry 1

-s

6 of 7

adverb suffix

used to form adverbs denoting usual or repeated action or state
always at home Sundays
mornings he stops by the newsstand

-s

7 of 7

verb suffix

used to form the third person singular present of most verbs that do not end in s, z, sh, ch, or postconsonantal y
falls
takes
plays
compare -es entry 2

Examples of s in a Sentence

Noun a word that starts with an s a word that starts with s

Word History

Etymology

Plural noun suffix

Middle English -es, -s, from Old English -as, nominative & accusative plural ending of some masculine nouns; akin to Old Saxon -os

Adverb suffix

Middle English -es, -s, plural ending of nouns, from -es, genitive singular ending of nouns (functioning adverbially), from Old English -es

Verb suffix

Middle English (Northern & North Midland dialect) -es, from Old English (Northumbrian dialect) -es, -as, probably from Old English -es, -as, 2nd singular present indicative ending — more at -est

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of s was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near s

Cite this Entry

“S.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/s. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

s

1 of 4 noun
ˈes
often capitalized
1
: the 19th letter of the English alphabet
2
: a grade rating a student's work as satisfactory

-s

2 of 4 noun plural suffix
s,
 after a voiceless consonant sound,  z,
 after a voiced consonant sound or a vowel sound 
used to form the plural of most nouns that do not end in s, z, sh, or ch or in y following a consonant
heads
books
boys
beliefs
, to form the plural of proper nouns that end in y following a consonant
Marys
, and with or without a preceding apostrophe to form the plural of abbreviations, numbers, letters, and symbols used as nouns
MCs
4s
#s
B's

-s

3 of 4 adverb suffix
used to form adverbs indicating usual or repeated action or state
at home Sundays
shops mornings

-s

4 of 4 verb suffix
used to form the third person singular present of most verbs that do not end in s, z, sh, or ch or in y following a consonant
falls
takes
plays
Etymology

Noun plural suffix

derived from Old English -as, an ending on plural nouns

Medical Definition

S

1 of 2 abbreviation
1
sacral
used especially with a number from 1 to 5 to indicate a vertebra or segment of the spinal cord in the sacral region
the relative length of cord segments S1 to S5
2
signa
used to introduce the signature in writing a prescription
3
smooth
used of bacterial colonies
4
subject
5
svedberg

S

2 of 2 symbol
sulfur

More from Merriam-Webster on s

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!