- the letter S
- something shaped like
Origin of -essMiddle English -esse, -isse from Old French -esse from Late Latin -issa from Classical Greek
Origin of -essMiddle English -esse from Old French from Late Latin -issa from Greek
Usage Note: When used in occupational terms like sculptress, waitress, and stewardess, the feminine suffix -ess is often considered sexist and demeaning. This is because the suffix gratuitously calls attention to gender when there are often neutral words ending in -or or -er. The implication of the feminine ending varies. Sometimes it implies that the task at hand somehow differs when performed by a woman than by a man or that the task is rightfully the realm of men. A word like poetess, for example, is unredeemingly derisive. Sometimes the -ess suffix implies that the occupation is one rightfully kept in the realm of women ( seamstress, stewardess ). The creation of gender-neutral terms like server (instead of the gender-marked waiter or waitress ) and flight attendant (instead of steward and stewardess ) has largely rendered -ess unnecessary except for a few uses in sociology (such as chiefess ), in history and literature (such as goddess and giantess, ) and in zoology (such as lioness ). A few cases, like webmistress, represent arch reclaimings of the -ess suffix, but these should be recognized as ironic exceptions. • Words ending in -or or -er are used of women with great frequency now and should be considered standard (with a few enduring exceptions like waiter ). In our 1997 survey, 95 percent of the Usage Panel approved of sculptor referring to a woman in the sentence The gallery is exhibiting work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth. Some 78 percent accepted actor in Meryl Streep is considered one of the finest actors in the film industry. See Usage Note at man.
The ESS was the first electronic common control (ECC) circuit switch. Developed by AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories with the assistance of Western Electric, and based on the transistor, invented at Bell Labs in 1948, the ESS involved a development effort that began in earnest in the early 1950s.The first ESS central office (CO) began service in Succasunna, New Jersey, on May 30, 1965, connecting 200 subscribers. By 1974, there were 475 such offices in service, serving 5.6 million subscribers.The development effort was estimated to involve 4,000 man-years and a total cost of $500 million. See also circuit switching, CO, and ECC.
(1) (Electronic Switching System) A large-scale computer used to route telephone calls in a telephone company office. The 5ESS is a Class 5 central office switch, and the 4ESS is a Class 4 tandem office switch. The ESS designation originated with AT&T when it manufactured the machines and was the only telephone company in the U.S. See SS7, Class 4 switch, Class 5 switch and digital cross-connect.
(2) (Enterprise Storage Server) A family of SAN devices for mainframes and Unix servers from IBM. ESS units are built with a high degree of fault tolerance and connect via Fibre Channel, SCSI, ESCON and FICON interfaces. See SAN.
(3) (Executive Support System) See EIS.
(4) (Electronic SpreadSheet) See spreadsheet.