millisecond; milliseconds.


Mississippi (approved especially for use with zip code).
multiple sclerosis.

M, m


noun, plural M's or Ms, m's or ms.

the thirteenth letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
any spoken sound represented by the letter M or m, as in my, summer, or him.
something having the shape of an M.
a written or printed representation of the letter M or m.
a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter M or m.
Printing. em.


plural mss.



plural Mses. [miz-uh z] /ˈmɪz əz/.

a title of respect prefixed to a woman's name or position: unlike Miss or Mrs., it does not depend upon or indicate her marital status.
a title prefixed to a mock surname that is used to represent possession of a particular attribute, identity, etc., especially in an idealized or excessive way: Ms. Cooperation.
Can be confusedMrs. Ms.

Usage note

Ms. came into use in the 1950s as a title before a woman's surname when her marital status was unknown or irrelevant. In the early 1970s, the use of Ms. was adopted and encouraged by the women's movement, the reasoning being that since a man's marital status is not revealed by the title Mr., there is no reason that a woman's status should be revealed by her title. Since then Ms. has gained increasing currency, especially in business and professional use. Some women prefer the traditional Miss (still fully standard for a woman whose marital status is unknown and for an unmarried woman) or, when appropriate, Mrs.
Newspaper editors sometimes reject Ms. except in quoted matter. Others use whichever of the three titles a woman prefers if her preference is known. Increasingly, newspapers avoid the use of all three titles by referring to women by their full names in first references ( Sarah Brady; Margaret Bourke-White ) and by surname only, as with men, in subsequent references: Brady, Bourke-White. Since all three titles— Ms., Miss, and Mrs. —remain in use, the preference of the woman being named or addressed or the practice of the organization or publication in which the name is to appear is often followed.

Pronunciation note

Ms. is pronounced (miz), a pronunciation that is identical with one standard South Midland and Southern U.S. pronunciation of Mrs.


plural MSS.


modification of the stem of.
Commerce. months after sight.


meter per second; meters per second.


mail steamer.
Master of Science.
Master in Surgery.


Commerce. months after sight. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ms

Contemporary Examples of ms

Historical Examples of ms

British Dictionary definitions for ms


the internet domain name for




a title substituted for Mrs or Miss before a woman's name to avoid making a distinction between married and unmarried womenCompare Miss, Mrs


abbreviation for

Master of Surgery
(on gravestones) memoriae sacrum
motor ship
multiple sclerosis
Mauritius (international car registration)

Word Origin for MS

(sense 2) Latin: sacred to the memory of



abbreviation for plural MSS. mss.

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ms


(plural Mses.), 1949, considered a blend of Miss and Mrs.


abbreviation of Latin manu scriptum (see manuscript); the plural is MSS, after the custom in Modern Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ms in Medicine






multiple sclerosis
mitral stenosis
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ms in Science


Abbreviation of mass, meter
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ms in Culture


A title used before a woman's name, pronounced “Miz” and corresponding to Mr. before a man's.


Feminists have urged the use of Ms. because, unlike Miss or Mrs., it does not identify a woman by her marital status. (See feminism.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.