apostrophe

An apostrophe is a punctuation mark used in contractions to replace missing letters. The contraction "we'll" stands for "we will," with the apostrophe replacing "wi." It can also show possession, as in "Mary's car." The apostrophe indicates the car belongs to Mary.

To correctly pronounce apostrophe, accent the second syllable: "uh-POSS-truh-fee." In addition to being a punctuation mark, apostrophe can also be a literary device in which the speaker of a poem talks to someone who is not there. A famous example of this is Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!" in which he addresses the deceased Abraham Lincoln: "O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells."

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: apostrophe

1
n
the mark (') used to indicate the omission of one or more letters from a printed word
2
n
address to an absent or imaginary person
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: apostrophe
1

n the mark (') used to indicate the omission of one or more letters from a printed word

Type of:
punctuation, punctuation mark
the marks used to clarify meaning by indicating separation of words into sentences and clauses and phrases
2

n address to an absent or imaginary person

Type of:
rhetorical device
a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
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USAGE EXAMPLES