See more synonyms for son on
  1. a male child or person in relation to his parents.
  2. a male child or person adopted as a son; a person in the legal position of a son.
  3. any male descendant: a son of the Aztecs.
  4. a son-in-law.
  5. a person related as if by ties of sonship.
  6. a male person looked upon as the product or result of particular agencies, forces, influences, etc.: a true son of the soil.
  7. a familiar term of address to a man or boy from an older person, an ecclesiastic, etc.
  8. the Son, the second person of the Trinity; Jesus Christ.

Origin of son

before 900; Middle English sone, Old English sunu; cognate with Dutch zoon, German Sohn, Old Norse sunr, sonr, Gothic sunus, Lithuanian sūnùs, Sanskrit sūnus; akin to Greek huiós
Related formsson·less, adjectiveson·like, adjective


  1. variant of soni- before a vowel: sonance. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for son

Contemporary Examples of son

Historical Examples of son

  • We met the son and the old man at one of their mines yesterday.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He has obtained from his son a solemn promise never to speak to me of marriage.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Here he had prestige because he was the son of Daniel Bines, organiser and man of affairs.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The elder Milbrey, too, had met her at his son's suggestion.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The Milbreys, father and son, came up and greeted the group on the piazza.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for son


  1. a male offspring; a boy or man in relation to his parents
  2. a male descendant
  3. (often capital) a familiar term of address for a boy or man
  4. a male from a certain country, place, etc, or one closely connected with a certain environmenta son of the circus; a son of the manse
Related formsRelated adjective: filial
Derived Formssonless, adjectivesonlike, adjective

Word Origin for son

Old English sunu; related to Old Norse sunr, Gothic sunus, Old High German sunu, Lithuanian sūnus, Sanskrit sūnu


  1. Christianity the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ
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 son

Old English sunu "son, descendant," from Proto-Germanic *sunuz (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian sunu, Old Norse sonr, Danish søn, Swedish son, Middle Dutch sone, Dutch zoon, Old High German sunu, German Sohn, Gothic sunus "son").

The Germanic words are from PIE *su(e)-nu- "son" (cf. Sanskrit sunus, Greek huios, Avestan hunush, Armenian ustr, Lithuanian sunus, Old Church Slavonic synu, Russian and Polish syn "son"), a derived noun from root *seue- (1) "to give birth" (cf. Sanskrit sauti "gives birth," Old Irish suth "birth, offspring"). Son of _____ as the title of a sequel to a book or movie is recorded from 1929 ("Son of Tarzan").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with son


In addition to the idiom beginning with son

  • song and dance
  • son of a bitch

also see:

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