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[soh-kawld] /ˈsoʊˈkɔld/
called or designated thus:
the so-called Southern bloc.
incorrectly called or styled thus:
so-called intellectuals.
Origin of so-called
First recorded in 1650-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for so-called
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the most curious monument at Autun is the so-called Pierre de Couhard.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • "That's the worst lot of so-called askaris I ever saw," he remarked.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Son-in-law and father-in-law; B., a so-called dvanda compound.

    Beowulf Unknown
  • It forms the preface to an American edition of my so-called Fairy Tales.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • I was smart enough to fool all the so-called brains of the Solar System.

    Irresistible Weapon Horace Brown Fyfe
British Dictionary definitions for so-called


  1. (prenominal) designated or styled by the name or word mentioned, esp (in the speaker's opinion) incorrectly: a so-called genius
  2. (also used parenthetically after a noun): these experts, so-called, are no help
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
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Word Origin and History for so-called

1650s, from so + past participle of call (v.). As a "sneer word" (1980, Safire, who lumps it with self-proclaimed, would-be, and purported), from 1837.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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