the letters represented by the radio telegraphic signal (· · · – – – · · ·) used, especially by ships in distress, as an internationally recognized call for help.
any call for help: We sent out an SOS for more typists.
verb (used without object)
to send an SOS.
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Question 1 of 10
Origin of SOS
1905–10, from the Morse code alphabet, in which three dots (or short clicks) represents the letter S and three dashes (or long clicks) represents the letter O
Definition for SOS (2 of 3)
shit on a shingle (a euphemistic initialism used to avoid explicit vulgarity).
Definition for SOS (3 of 3)
(in prescriptions) if necessary.
Origin of s.o.s.
From Latin sī opus sit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for SOS
an internationally recognized distress signal in which the letters SOS are repeatedly spelt out, as by radio-telegraphy: used esp by ships and aircraft
a message broadcast in an emergency for people otherwise unobtainable
informal a call for help
Word Origin for SOS
C20: letters chosen as the simplest to transmit and receive in Morse code; by folk etymology taken to be an abbreviation for save our souls
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
Medical definitions for SOS
si opus sit (if needed)
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.