• synonyms


See more synonyms for sole on Thesaurus.com
  1. being the only one; only: the sole living relative.
  2. being the only one of the kind; unique; unsurpassed; matchless: the sole brilliance of the gem.
  3. belonging or pertaining to one individual or group to the exclusion of all others; exclusive: the sole right to the estate.
  4. functioning automatically or with independent power: the sole authority.
  5. Chiefly Law. unmarried; not married.
  6. without company or companions; lonely: the sole splendor of her life.
  7. Archaic. alone.
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Origin of sole1

1350–1400; < Latin sōlus alone; replacing Middle English soule alone < Old French sol < Latin sōlus
Related formssole·ness, noun


See more synonyms for sole on Thesaurus.com
1. solitary. 2. individual.


  1. the bottom or under surface of the foot.
  2. the corresponding under part of a shoe, boot, or the like, or this part exclusive of the heel.
  3. the bottom, under surface, or lower part of anything.
  4. Carpentry.
    1. the underside of a plane.
    2. soleplate.
  5. Golf. the part of the head of the club that touches the ground.
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verb (used with object), soled, sol·ing.
  1. to furnish with a sole, as a shoe.
  2. Golf. to place the sole of (a club) on the ground, as in preparation for a stroke.
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Origin of sole2

1275–1325; Middle English (noun) < Old French < Latin solea sandal, sole, derivative of solum base, bottom
Related formssole·less, adjective


noun, plural (especially collectively) sole, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) soles.
  1. a European flatfish, Solea solea, used for food.
  2. any other flatfish of the families Soleidae and Cynoglossidae, having a hooklike snout.
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Origin of sole3

1300–50; Middle English < Middle French < Old Provençal < Vulgar Latin *sola (for Latin solea; see sole2), so called from its flat shape; compare Spanish suela, Italian soglia, Portuguese solha
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sole

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It caused them to fight for the sole possession of this Paradise upon Earth.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Through the teaching of Moses he was to become the sole Master of the Jewish race.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • "Spoils the hoof to put the knife on the sole, Buck," said the smith.

  • Their sole experience of prayer was connected with the South End Mission.

  • His sole business was to take the girl away when the interview should be ended.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for sole


  1. (prenominal) being the only one; only
  2. (prenominal) of or relating to one individual or group and no othersole rights on a patent
  3. law having no wife or husbandSee also feme sole
  4. an archaic word for solitary
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Derived Formssoleness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French soule, from Latin sōlus alone


  1. the underside of the footRelated adjectives: plantar, volar
  2. the underside of a shoe
    1. the bottom of a furrow
    2. the bottom of a plough
  3. the underside of a golf-club head
  4. the bottom of an oven, furnace, etc
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verb (tr)
  1. to provide (a shoe) with a sole
  2. golf to rest (the club) on the ground, as when preparing to make a stroke
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Derived Formssoleless, adjective

Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin solea sandal; probably related to solum the ground


noun plural sole or soles
  1. any tongue-shaped flatfish of the family Soleidae, esp Solea solea (European sole): most common in warm seas and highly valued as food fishes
  2. any of certain other similar fishes
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Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Vulgar Latin sola (unattested), from Latin solea a sandal (from the fish's shape)
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 sole


"bottom of the foot" ("technically, the planta, corresponding to the palm of the hand," Century Dictionary), early 14c., from Old French sole, from Vulgar Latin *sola, from Latin solea "sandal, bottom of a shoe; a flatfish," from solum "bottom, ground, foundation, lowest point of a thing" (hence "sole of the foot"), of uncertain origin. In English, the meaning "bottom of a shoe or boot" is from late 14c.

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"single, alone, having no husband or wife; one and only, singular, unique," late 14c., from Old French soul "only, alone, just," from Latin solus "alone, only, single, sole; forsaken; extraordinary," of unknown origin, perhaps related to se "oneself," from PIE reflexive root *swo- (see so).

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common European flatfish, mid-13c., from Old French sole, from Latin solea "a kind of flatfish," originally "sandal" (see sole (n.1)); so called from resemblance of the fish to a flat shoe.

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"furnish (a shoe) with a sole," 1560s, from sole (n.1). Related: Soled; soling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sole in Medicine


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