- physically painful or sensitive, as a wound, hurt, or diseased part: a sore arm.
- suffering bodily pain from wounds, bruises, etc., as a person: He is sore because of all that exercise.
- suffering mental pain; grieved, distressed, or sorrowful: to be sore at heart.
- causing great mental pain, distress, or sorrow: a sore bereavement.
- causing very great suffering, misery, hardship, etc.: sore need.
- Informal. annoyed; irritated; offended; angered: He was sore because he had to wait.
- causing annoyance or irritation: a sore subject.
- a sore spot or place on the body.
- a source or cause of grief, distress, irritation, etc.
- Archaic. sorely.
Origin of sore
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sorest
Triumph of love is greatest, when peril of love has been sorest.Poems
William D. Howells
When the heart is sick and sorest, There is balsam in the forest–– There is balsam in the forestFor its pain.Irish Fairy Tales
In her efforts to placate him she had touched upon his sorest spot.The Harbor of Doubt
But in vain; his father-in-law deserted him at his sorest hour of need.Henry VIII.
A. F. Pollard
It has always been my sorest trouble, that we have never got on well together.A Girl of the Commune
George Alfred Henty
- (esp of a wound, injury, etc) painfully sensitive; tender
- causing annoyancea sore point
- resentful; irkedhe was sore that nobody believed him
- urgent; pressingin sore need
- (postpositive) grieved; distressed
- causing grief or sorrow
- a painful or sensitive wound, injury, etc
- any cause of distress or vexation
- archaic direly; sorely (now only in such phrases as sore pressed, sore afraid)
Word Origin and History for sorest
Old English sar "painful, grievous, aching, sad, wounding," influenced in meaning by Old Norse sarr "sore, wounded," from Proto-Germanic *saira- "suffering, sick, ill" (cf. Old Frisian sar "painful," Middle Dutch seer, Dutch zeer "sore, ache," Old High German ser "painful," Gothic sair "pain, sorrow, travail"), from PIE root *sai- (1) "suffering" (cf. Old Irish saeth "pain, sickness").
Adverbial use (e.g. sore afraid) is from Old English sare but has mostly died out (replaced by sorely), but remains the main meaning of German cognate sehr "very." Slang meaning "angry, irritated" is first recorded 1738.
Old English sar "bodily pain or injury, wound; sickness, disease; state of pain or suffering," from root of sore (adj.). Now restricted to ulcers, boils, blisters. Cf. Old Saxon ser "pain, wound," Middle Dutch seer, Dutch zeer, Old High German ser, Old Norse sar, Gothic sair.
- An open skin lesion, wound, or ulcer.
- Painful to the touch; tender.