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See more synonyms for socket on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to place in or fit with a socket.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for socket

bag, hole, compartment, sack, niche, space, vacancy, position, groove, channel, crater, box, apartment, room, cell, bedroom, cubicle, hall, cavern, chamber

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.

  • When I sat down to jam the rod-butt in the socket I had awakened to possibilities.

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
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  1. (tr) to furnish with or place into a socket
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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.

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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.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.