• synonyms


[suhm; unstressed suh m]
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  1. being an undetermined or unspecified one: Some person may object.
  2. (used with plural nouns) certain: Some days I stay home.
  3. of a certain unspecified number, amount, degree, etc.: to some extent.
  4. unspecified but considerable in number, amount, degree, etc.: We talked for some time. He was here some weeks.
  5. Informal. of impressive or remarkable quality, consequence, extent, etc.: That was some storm.
  1. certain persons, individuals, instances, etc., not specified: Some think he is dead.
  2. an unspecified number, amount, etc., as distinguished from the rest or in addition: He paid a thousand dollars and then some.
  1. (used with numerals and with words expressing degree, extent, etc.) approximately; about: Some 300 were present.
  2. Informal. to some degree or extent; somewhat: I like baseball some. She is feeling some better today.
  3. Informal. to a great degree or extent; considerably: That's going some.

Origin of some

before 900; Middle English (adj. and pronoun); Old English sum orig., someone; cognate with Middle Low German, Middle High German sum, Old Norse sumr, Gothic sums
Can be confusedsome sum (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

As pronouns, both some and any may be used in affirmative or negative questions: Will you ( won't you ) have some? Do you ( don't you ) have any? But some is used in affirmative statements and answers: You may have some. Yes, I'd like some. And in negative statements and answers, any is the usual choice: I don't care for any. No, I can't take any.


  1. a native English suffix formerly used in the formation of adjectives: quarrelsome; burdensome.

Origin of -some1

Middle English; Old English -sum; akin to Gothic -sama, German -sam; see same


  1. a collective suffix used with numerals: twosome; threesome.

Origin of -some2

Middle English -sum, Old English sum; special use of some (pronoun)


  1. a combining form meaning “body,” used in the formation of compound words: chromosome.
Also -soma.

Origin of -some3

< Greek sôma body; see soma1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for some


    1. (a) certain unknown or unspecifiedsome lunatic drove into my car; some people never learn
    2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)some can teach and others can't
    1. an unknown or unspecified quantity or amount ofthere's some rice on the table; he owns some horses
    2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)we'll buy some
    1. a considerable number or amount ofhe lived some years afterwards
    2. a littleshow him some respect
  1. (usually stressed) informal an impressive or remarkablethat was some game!
  2. a certain amount (more) (in the phrases some more and (informal) and then some)
  3. about; approximatelyhe owes me some thirty pounds
  1. US not standard to a certain degree or extentI guess I like him some

Word Origin

Old English sum; related to Old Norse sumr, Gothic sums, Old High German sum some, Sanskrit samá any, Greek hamē somehow


suffix forming adjectives
  1. characterized by; tending toawesome; tiresome

Word Origin

Old English -sum; related to Gothic -sama, German -sam


suffix forming nouns
  1. indicating a group of a specified number of membersthreesome

Word Origin

Old English sum, special use of some (determiner)


n combining form
  1. a bodychromosome

Word Origin

from Greek sōma body
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 some


Old English sum "some, a, a certain one, something, a certain quantity; a certain number;" with numerals "out of" (e.g. sum feowra "one of four"); from Proto-Germanic *suma- (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German sum, Old Norse sumr, Gothic sums), from PIE *smm-o-, suffixed form of root *sem- (1) "one," also "as one" (adv.), "together with" (see same). For substitution of -o- for -u-, see come.

The word has had greater currency in English than in the other Teutonic languages, in some of which it is now restricted to dialect use, or represented only by derivatives or compounds .... [OED]

As a pronoun from c.1100; as an adverb from late 13c. Meaning "remarkable" is attested from 1808, American English colloquial. A possessive form is attested from 1560s, but always was rare. Many combination forms (somewhat, sometime, somewhere) were in Middle English but often written as two words till 17-19c. Somewhen is rare and since 19c. used almost exclusively in combination with the more common compounds; somewho "someone" is attested from late 14c. but did not endure. Scott (1816) has somegate "somewhere, in some way, somehow," and somekins "some kind of a" is recorded from c.1200. Get some "have sexual intercourse" is attested 1899 in a quote attributed to Abe Lincoln from c.1840.



word-forming element used in making adjectives from nouns or adjectives (and sometimes verbs) and meaning "tending to; causing; to a considerable degree," from Old English -sum, identical with som (see some). Cf. Old Frisian -sum, German -sam, Old Norse -samr; also related to same.



suffix added to numerals meaning "a group of (that number)," e.g. twosome, from pronoun use of Old English sum "some" (see some). Originally a separate word used with the genitive plural (e.g. sixa sum "six-some"); the inflection disappeared in Middle English and the pronoun was absorbed. Use of some with a number meaning "approximately" also was in Old English.



word-forming element meaning "the body," Modern Latin, from Greek soma "the body" (see somato-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

some in Medicine


  1. Body:centrosome.
  2. Chromosome:autosome.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with some


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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