Nearby words

  1. snuggle,
  2. snugly,
  3. snyder,
  4. snyder, gary,
  5. snye,
  6. so as to,
  7. so be it,
  8. so far,
  9. so far as,
  10. so far, so good

Idioms

Origin of so

1
before 900; Middle English; Old English swā; cognate with Dutch zoo, German so, Gothic swa

Synonym study

10. See therefore.

Usage note

5. The intensive so meaning “very or extremely” ( Everything's so expensive these days ) occurs chiefly in informal speech. In writing and formal speech, intensive so is most often followed by a completing that clause: Everything is so expensive that some families must struggle just to survive.
19, 20. The conjunction so (often followed by that ) introduces clauses both of purpose ( We ordered our tickets early so that we could get good seats ) and of result ( The river had frozen during the night so people walked across it all the next day ). In formal speech and writing, so that is somewhat more common than so in clauses of purpose. Otherwise, either so or so that is standard.
Like and, but1 , and or, so can occur as a transitional word at the beginning of a sentence: So all our hard work finally brought results. See also as1, and, but1.

so

2
[ soh ]
/ soʊ /

noun Music.

So.

s.o.

seller's option.
shipping order.

S.O.

Signal Officer.
Special Order.
Standing Order.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for so

Word Origin for so

Old English swā; related to Old Norse svā, Old High German sō, Dutch zoo

usage

In formal English, so is not used as a conjunction, to indicate either purpose (he left by a back door so he could avoid photographers) or result (the project was abandoned so his services were no longer needed). In the former case to or in order to should be used instead, and in the latter case and so or and therefore would be more acceptable. The expression so therefore should not be used

noun

music a variant spelling of soh

the internet domain name for

Somalia

SO

abbreviation for

Somalia (international car registration)

S.O.

/ baseball /

abbreviation for

strike out
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 so

so

adv.

Old English swa, swæ (adv., conj., pron.) "in this way," also "to that extent; so as, consequently, therefore," and purely intensive; from Proto-Germanic *swa (cf. Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Old High German so, Old Norse sva, Danish saa, Swedish , Old Frisian sa, Dutch zo, German so "so," Gothic swa "as"), from PIE reflexive pronomial stem *swo- "so" (cf. Greek hos "as," Old Latin suad "so," Latin se "himself"), derivative of *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom).

Old English swa frequently was strengthened by eall, and so also is contained in compounds as, also, such. The -w- was eliminated by contraction from 12c.; cf. two, which underwent the same process but retained its spelling. As an "introductory particle" [OED] from 1590s. Used to add emphasis or contradict a negative from 1913. So in mid-20c. British slang could mean "homosexual" (adj.). So? as a term of dismissal is attested from 1886 (short for is that so?, etc.). So what as an exclamation of indifference dates from 1934. So-and-so is from 1596 meaning "something unspecified;" first recorded 1897 as a euphemistic term of abuse. Abbreviating phrase and so on is attested from 1724. So far so good is from 1721.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with so

so

In addition to the idioms beginning with so

  • so as to
  • so be it
  • so far
  • so far as
  • so far, so good
  • so help me
  • soil one's hands
  • sold on, be
  • sold out
  • so long
  • so long as
  • so many
  • so much
  • so much as
  • so much for
  • so much the
  • song and dance
  • son of a bitch
  • so that
  • so to speak
  • so what

also see:

  • and so forth (and so on)
  • as (so) far as
  • as (so) far as possible
  • as (so) far as that goes
  • as (so) long as
  • as (so) much as
  • even so
  • every now and then (so often)
  • go so far as to
  • how come (so)
  • in so many words
  • is that a fact (so)
  • I told you so
  • just so
  • never had it so good
  • not (so) bad
  • on one's say-so
  • or so
  • take it (just so much)
  • without so much as
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.