a section cut or torn from the surface of grassland, containing the matted roots of grass.
the surface of the ground, especially when covered with grass; turf; sward.

verb (used with object), sod·ded, sod·ding.

to cover with sods or sod.

Origin of sod

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German sode turf
Related formssod·less, adjective



verb Archaic.

simple past tense of seethe.


[sod]Chiefly British Slang.


sodomite; homosexual.
chap; fellow; guy.
child; kid; brat.

verb (used with object), sod·ded, sod·ding.

to damn: Sod the bloody bastard!

Verb Phrases

sod off, to leave (usually as an imperative): Why don't you just sod off!
Compare bugger1.

Origin of sod

1875–80; by shortening of sodomite



verb (used without object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.

to surge or foam as if boiling.
to be in a state of agitation or excitement.
Archaic. to boil.

verb (used with object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.

to soak or steep.
to cook by boiling or simmering; boil.


the act of seething.
the state of being agitated or excited.

Origin of seethe

before 900; Middle English; Old English sēothan; cognate with German sieden, Swedish sjuda
Related formsseeth·ing·ly, adverbun·seethed, adjectiveun·seeth·ing, adjective

Synonym study

2. See boil1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sod

Contemporary Examples of sod

  • “For some reason I thought, Oh, sod it, I will sign up,” he says.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Fancy Twitter Followers

    Tom Sykes

    November 2, 2011

  • They painted his house, maintained his yard, replaced the sod, installed artificial turf, and planted and moved shrubbery.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hoover’s Secret Files

    Ronald Kessler

    August 2, 2011

Historical Examples of sod

  • Then with sod and earth he covered it all over so as to hide it from view.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • I've heard the boys say that he would be undher the sod that day six months.

  • A semi-circular section of the sod where Helen had stood was missing.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • It may be an archery target, a sack full of straw, or a sod bank.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

  • By another method two acres a day on the sod have been planted.

British Dictionary definitions for sod




a piece of grass-covered surface soil held together by the roots of the grass; turf
poetic the ground

verb sods, sodding or sodded

(tr) to cover with sods

Word Origin for sod

C15: from Low German; compare Middle Low German, Middle Dutch sode; related to Old Frisian sātha




a person considered to be obnoxious
a jocular word for a personthe poor sod hasn't been out for weeks
sod all slang nothing


sod it a strong exclamation of annoyance
See also sod off
Derived Formssodding, adjective

Word Origin for sod

C19: shortened from sodomite



(intr) to boil or to foam as if boiling
(intr) to be in a state of extreme agitation, esp through anger
(tr) to soak in liquid
(tr) archaic to cook or extract the essence of (a food) by boiling


the act or state of seething

Word Origin for seethe

Old English sēothan; related to Old Norse sjōtha, Old High German siodan to seethe
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 sod

"turf, slice of earth with grass on it," mid-15c., apparently from Middle Dutch sode "turf," or Middle Low German sode, both related to Old Frisian satha "sod," all of uncertain origin. Perhaps the notion is water saturation and the group is related to sog. The (old) sod "Ireland" is from 1812.


term of abuse, 1818, short for sodomite (also see sodomy). British colloquial sod-all "nothing" is attested from 1958.


c.1400, "to cover with sod," from sod (n.). Related: Sodded; sodding.


in sod off (1960), British slang term of dismissal; see sod (n.2).



Old English seoþan "to boil," also figuratively, "be troubled in mind, brood" (class II strong verb; past tense seaþ, past participle soden), from Proto-Germanic *seuthan (cf. Old Norse sjoða, Old Frisian siatha, Dutch zieden, Old High German siodan, German sieden "to seethe"), from PIE root *seut- "to seethe, boil."

Driven out of its literal meaning by boil (v.); it survives largely in metaphoric extensions. Figurative use, of persons or populations, "to be in a state of inward agitation" is recorded from 1580s (implied in seething). It had wider figurative uses in Old English, e.g. "to try by fire, to afflict with cares." Now conjugated as a weak verb, and past participle sodden (q.v.) is no longer felt as connected.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper