-s

-s

1
a native English suffix used in the formation of adverbs: always; betimes; needs; unawares.
Compare -ways.


Origin:
Middle English -es, Old English; ultimately identical with 's1

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-s

2
an ending marking the third person singular indicative active of verbs: walks.

Origin:
Middle English (north) -(e)s, Old English (north); orig. ending of 2nd person singular, as in Latin and Greek; replacing Middle English, Old English -eth -eth1

-s

3
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 -s3, 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 -s3, has no plural value, are adjectives denoting socially unacceptable or inconvenient states (bananas; bonkers; crackers; nuts; preggers; starkers ); cf. -ers.
Also, -es.


Origin:
Middle English -(e)s, Old English -as, plural nominative and accusative ending of some masculine nouns

-s

4
a suffix of hypocoristic nouns, generally proper names or forms used only in address: Babs; Fats; Suzykins; Sweetums; Toodles.

Origin:
probably from the metonymic use of nouns formed with -s3, as boots or Goldilocks

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
-s or -es1
 
suffix
forming the plural of most nouns: boys; boxes
 
[from Old English -as, plural nominative and accusative ending of some masculine nouns]
 
-es or -es1
 
suffix
 
[from Old English -as, plural nominative and accusative ending of some masculine nouns]

-s or -es2
 
suffix
forming the third person singular present indicative tense of verbs: he runs; she washes
 
[from Old English (northern dialect) -es, -s, originally the ending of the second person singular]
 
-es or -es2
 
suffix
 
[from Old English (northern dialect) -es, -s, originally the ending of the second person singular]

-s3
 
suffix
forming nicknames and names expressing affection or familiarity: Fats; Fingers; ducks
 
[special use of -s1]

-'s
 
suffix
1.  forming the possessive singular of nouns and some pronouns: man's; one's
2.  forming the possessive plural of nouns whose plurals do not end in -s: children's
3.  forming the plural of numbers, letters, or symbols: 20's; p's and q's
4.  informal contraction of is or has: he's here; John's coming; it's gone
5.  informal contraction of us with let: let's
6.  informal contraction of does in some questions: where's he live?; what's he do?
 
[senses 1, 2: assimilated contraction from Middle English -es, from Old English, masculine and neuter genitive singular; sense 3, equivalent to -s1]

-s'
 
suffix
forming the possessive of plural nouns ending in the sound s or z and of some singular nouns: girls'; for goodness' sake

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

-s
suffix forming almost all Mod.Eng. plural nouns, was gradually extended in M.E. from O.E. -as, the nom. plural and acc. plural ending of certain "strong" masc. nouns (cf. dæg "day," nom./acc. pl. dagas "days"). The commonest Gmc. declension, traceable back to the original PIE inflection system,
it is also the source of the Du. -s plurals and (by rhotacism) Scand. -r plurals (e.g. Swed. dagar). Much more uniform today than originally; O.E. also had a numerous category of "weak" nouns that formed their plurals in -an, and other strong nouns that formed plurals with -u. Quirk and Wrenn, in their O.E. grammar, estimate that 45 percent of the nouns a student will encounter will be masc., nearly four-fifths of them with gen. sing. -es and nom./acc. pl. in -as. Less than half, but still the largest chunk. The triumphs of -'s possessives and -s plurals represent common patterns in language: using only a handful of suffixes to do many jobs (cf. -ing), and the most common variant squeezing out the competition. To further muddy the waters, it's been extended in slang since 1936 to singulars (e.g. ducks, sweets, babes) as an affectionate or dim. suffix. O.E. single-syllable collectives (sheep, folk) as well as weights, measures, and units of time did not use -s. The use of it in these cases began in M.E., but the older custom is preserved in many traditional dialects (ten pound of butter; more than seven year ago).

-s
third pers. sing. pres. indic. suffix of verbs, it represents O.E. -es, -as, which began to replace -eð in Northumbrian 10c., and gradually spread south until by Shakespeare it had emerged from colloquialism and -eth began to be limited to more dignified speeches.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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