1. a hard blow.
  2. a very successful show, performance, actor, etc.: The show was a sock.
  1. extremely successful: a sock performance.
Verb Phrases
  1. sock away, to put into savings or reserve.
  2. sock in, to close or ground because of adverse weather conditions: The airport was socked in.

Origin of sock

First recorded in 1690–1700; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sock in


  1. a cloth covering for the foot, reaching to between the ankle and knee and worn inside a shoe
  2. an insole put in a shoe, as to make it fit better
  3. a light shoe worn by actors in ancient Greek and Roman comedy, sometimes taken to allude to comic drama in general (as in the phrase sock and buskin)See buskin
  4. another name for windsock
  5. pull one's socks up British informal to make a determined effort, esp in order to regain control of a situation
  6. put a sock in it British slang be quiet!
  1. (tr) to provide with socks
  2. socked in US and Canadian slang (of an airport) closed by adverse weather conditions

Word Origin for sock

Old English socc a light shoe, from Latin soccus, from Greek sukkhos


  1. (usually tr) to hit with force
  2. sock it to to make a forceful impression on
  1. a forceful blow

Word Origin for sock

C17: of obscure origin
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 sock in



"knitted or woven covering for the foot, short stocking," early 14c., from Old English socc "slipper, light shoe," from Latin soccus "slipper, light low-heeled shoe," probably a variant of Greek sykchos, word for a kind of shoe, perhaps from Phrygian or another Asiatic language. The Latin word was borrowed generally in West Germanic, e.g. Middle Dutch socke, Dutch sok, Old High German soc, German Socke. To knock the socks off (someone) "beat thoroughly" is recorded from 1845, American English colloquial. Teen slang sock hop is c.1950, from notion of dancing without shoes.



1700, "to beat, hit hard, pitch into," of uncertain origin. To sock it to (someone) first recorded 1877.



"to stash (money) away as savings," 1942, American English, from the notion of hiding one's money in a sock (see sock (n.1)).



"a blow, a hit with the fist," 1700, from or related to sock (v.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sock in

sock in

Close down an airport or other facility due to thick fog or other weather conditions impeding visibility, as in The airport was socked in all morning and air traffic was at a standstill, or We finally got to the peak and were totally socked in—there was no view at all. The sock referred to here is probably a windsock, as decisions to close an airport are made in part on the basis of observations of wind-socks, which indicate wind direction. The expression was first recorded in 1944.

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