See more synonyms for socket on
  1. a hollow part or piece for receiving and holding some part or thing.
  2. Electricity.
    1. a device intended to hold an electric light bulb mechanically and connect it electrically to circuit wires.
    2. Also called wall socket.a socket placed in a wall to receive a plug that makes an electrical connection with supply wiring.
  3. Anatomy.
    1. a hollow in one part that receives another part: the socket of the eye.
    2. the concavity of a joint: the socket of the hip.
verb (used with object)
  1. to place in or fit with a socket.

Origin of socket

1300–50; Middle English soket < Anglo-French, equivalent to Old French soc plowshare (< Gaulish *soccos; compare Welsh swch, Old Irish socc) + -et -et
Related formssock·et·less, adjectiveun·sock·et·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for socket

Contemporary Examples of socket

Historical Examples of socket

  • Do you think the button at the top may have had a socket for a horse hair plume?

  • A candle had been burning in the parlour, but it was now spluttering in the fat at the socket.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • With a report that rang through the room like a pistol shot, it broke off in its socket.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • And behind her the lamp in its socket on the wall smoked a trifle from a too-high wick.

  • I fell into the chair, jammed the rod-butt into the socket, and began to pump and wind.

British Dictionary definitions for socket


  1. a device into which an electric plug can be inserted in order to make a connection in a circuit
  2. mainly British such a device mounted on a wall and connected to the electricity supplyInformal Brit names: point, plug US and Canadian name: outlet
  3. a part with an opening or hollow into which some other part, such as a pipe, probe, etc, can be fitted
  4. a spanner head having a recess suitable to be fitted over the head of a bolt and a keyway into which a wrench can be fitted
  5. anatomy
    1. a bony hollow into which a part or structure fitsa tooth socket; an eye socket
    2. the receptacle of a ball-and-socket joint
  1. (tr) to furnish with or place into a socket

Word Origin for socket

C13: from Anglo-Norman soket a little ploughshare, from soc, of Celtic origin; compare Cornish soch ploughshare
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 socket

c.1300, "spearhead" (originally one shaped like a plowshare), from Anglo-French soket "spearhead, plowshare" (mid-13c.), diminutive of Old French soc "plowshare," from Vulgar Latin *soccus, perhaps from a Gaulish source, from Celtic *sukko- (cf. Welsh swch "plowshare," Middle Irish soc "plowshare"), properly "hog's snout," from PIE *su- "pig" (cf. Latin sus "swine;" see sow (n.) "female pig").

Meaning "hollow part or piece for receiving and holding something" first recorded early 15c.; anatomical sense is from c.1600; domestic electrical sense first recorded 1885. Socket wrench is attested from 1837. The verb is 1530s, from the noun. Related: Socketed; socketing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

socket in Medicine


  1. The concave part of a joint that receives the articular end of a bone.
  2. A hollow or concavity into which a part, such as an eye fits.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.