[ soh ]
See synonyms for so on
  1. in the way or manner indicated, described, or implied: Do it so.

  2. in that or this manner or fashion; thus: So it turned out.

  1. in the aforesaid state or condition: It is broken and has long been so.

  2. to the extent or degree indicated or suggested: Do not walk so fast.

  3. Informal. very or extremely: I'm so sad.

  4. Informal. (used with the word "not" or in a generally negative statement to emphasize an adjective, noun phrase, or clause) really; surely: That is so not funny!My mom is so going to kill me!

  5. very greatly: My head aches so!

  6. (used before an adverb or an adverbial clause and followed by as) to such a degree or extent: so far as I know.

  7. having the purpose of: a speech so commemorating the victory.

  8. for this or that reason; hence; therefore: She is ill, and so cannot come to the party.

  9. (used as an affirmative to emphasize or confirm a previous statement) most certainly: I said I would come, and so I will.

  10. (used as an emphatic affirmative to contradict a previous statement) indeed; truly; too: I was so at the party!

  11. likewise or correspondingly; also; too: If he is going, then so am I.

  12. in such manner as to follow or result from: As he learned, so did he teach.

  13. in the way that follows; in this way: The audience was seated, and so the famous speech began.

  14. in the way that precedes; in that way: So ended the speech, and the listeners arose and cheered.

  15. in such way as to end in: So live your life that old age will bring you no regrets.

  16. then; subsequently: and so to bed.

  1. in order that (often followed by that): Check carefully, so any mistakes will be caught.

  2. with the result that (often followed by that): He checked carefully, so that the mistakes were caught.

  1. on the condition that; if.

  1. such as has been stated: to be good and stay so.

  2. something that is about or near the persons or things in question, as in number or amount: Of the original twelve, five or so remain.

  1. (used as an exclamation of surprise, shock, discovery, inquiry, indifference, etc., according to the manner of utterance.)

  1. true as stated or reported; conforming with reality or the fact: Say it isn't so.

Idioms about so

  1. not so much, Informal. not (def. 3).

  2. only / just so many, being a limited or small number or amount: I can eat only so many pieces of fruit.

  1. only / just so much, being a limited amount or quantity; up to a certain point or maximum: I can eat only so much fruit; just so much that one can do in such a case.

  2. so as,

    • with the result or purpose: to turn up the volume of the radio so as to drown out the noise from the next apartment.

    • Older Use. provided that: I like any flower, just so as it's real.

  3. so much,

    • something, as an amount or cost, that is not specified or determined: The carpeting is priced at so much per yard.

    • all that is or needs to be said or done: So much for the preliminaries, let's get down to the real issues.

  4. so much as, even: He doesn't so much as say hello to me.

  5. so to speak. speak (def. 23).

  6. so what? what (def. 27).

Origin of so

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

synonym study For so

10. See therefore.

usage note For so

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.

Other definitions for so (2 of 6)

[ soh ]


Other definitions for SO (3 of 6)



Other definitions for s.o. (4 of 6)


  1. seller's option.

  2. shipping order.

Other definitions for So. (5 of 6)


  1. South.

  2. Southern.

Other definitions for S.O. (6 of 6)


  1. Signal Officer.

  1. Special Order.

  2. Standing Order. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use so in a sentence

  • Many so-called "humming tones" are given for practice, but in accepting them observe whether the foregoing principle is obeyed.

    Expressive Voice Culture | Jessie Eldridge Southwick
  • In future years the poor-rate (so-called) will include, in addition to these, all other rates levyable by the Corporation.

    Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham | Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
  • Perhaps his almost perfectly spontaneous love of tiny flowers is already a considerable advance on his so-called prototype.

    Children's Ways | James Sully
  • The so-called war credit banks are designed to serve this purpose.

    Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
  • Her active intellect and love of freedom sympathized with the speculations of the so-called philosopher.

British Dictionary definitions for so (1 of 5)


/ (səʊ) /

  1. (foll by an adjective or adverb and a correlative clause often introduced by that) to such an extent: the river is so dirty that it smells

  2. (used with a negative; it replaces the first as in an equative comparison) to the same extent as: she is not so old as you

  1. (intensifier): it's so lovely; I love you so

  2. in the state or manner expressed or implied: they're happy and will remain so

  3. (not used with a negative; foll by an auxiliary verb or do, have, or be used as main verbs) also; likewise: I can speak Spanish and so can you

  4. informal indeed: used to contradict a negative statement: You didn't tell the truth. I did so!

  5. archaic provided that

  6. and so on or and so forth and continuing similarly

  7. just so See just (def. 19)

  8. or so approximately: fifty or so people came to see me

  9. quite so I agree; exactly

  10. so be it used to express agreement or resignation

  11. so much

    • a certain degree or amount (of)

    • a lot (of): it's just so much nonsense

  12. so much for

    • no more can or need be said about

    • used to express contempt for something that has failed: so much for your bright idea

conjunction(subordinating; often foll by that)
  1. in order (that): to die so that you might live

  2. with the consequence (that): he was late home, so that there was trouble

  1. so as (takes an infinitive) in order (to): to slim so as to lose weight

sentence connector
  1. in consequence; hence: she wasn't needed, so she left

  2. used to introduce a sentence expressing resignation, amazement, or sarcasm: so you're publishing a book!

  1. thereupon; and then: and so we ended up in France

  2. used to introduce a sentence or clause to add emphasis: he's crazy, so he is

  3. so what! informal what importance does that have?

  1. used to substitute for a clause or sentence, which may be understood: you'll stop because I said so

  1. (used with is, was, etc) factual; true: it can't be so

  1. an exclamation of agreement, surprise, etc

Origin of so

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

usage For so

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

British Dictionary definitions for so (2 of 5)


/ (səʊ) /

  1. music a variant spelling of soh

British Dictionary definitions for so (3 of 5)


the internet domain name for
  1. Somalia

British Dictionary definitions for SO (4 of 5)


abbreviation for
  1. Somalia (international car registration)

British Dictionary definitions for S.O. (5 of 5)


/ baseball /

abbreviation for
  1. 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.