• synonyms


[sawr, sohr]
See more synonyms for sore on Thesaurus.com
adjective, sor·er, sor·est.
  1. physically painful or sensitive, as a wound, hurt, or diseased part: a sore arm.
  2. suffering bodily pain from wounds, bruises, etc., as a person: He is sore because of all that exercise.
  3. suffering mental pain; grieved, distressed, or sorrowful: to be sore at heart.
  4. causing great mental pain, distress, or sorrow: a sore bereavement.
  5. causing very great suffering, misery, hardship, etc.: sore need.
  6. Informal. annoyed; irritated; offended; angered: He was sore because he had to wait.
  7. causing annoyance or irritation: a sore subject.
Show More
  1. a sore spot or place on the body.
  2. a source or cause of grief, distress, irritation, etc.
Show More
  1. Archaic. sorely.
Show More

Origin of sore

before 900; Middle English (adj., noun, and adv.); Old English sār; cognate with Dutch zeer, German sehr, Old Norse sārr
Related formssore·ness, nounun·sore, adjectiveun·sore·ly, adverbun·sore·ness, noun

Synonyms for sore

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sore

aching, inflamed, uncomfortable, tender, sharp, painful, hurting, bruised, resentful, acute, burning, sensitive, raw, annoying, smarting, extreme, pressing, upset, afflicted, burned

Examples from the Web for sore

Contemporary Examples of sore

Historical Examples of sore

  • The horses are all very tired, and many of them have sore backs.

  • To consider these evils, to find their remedy, is the most sore necessity of our times.

  • Brother Mark of the Spicarium is sore smitten with a fever and could not come.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Evidently the Street and all that pertained was a sore subject.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • His mind refused to work out the problem; his side was so sore.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for sore


  1. (esp of a wound, injury, etc) painfully sensitive; tender
  2. causing annoyancea sore point
  3. resentful; irkedhe was sore that nobody believed him
  4. urgent; pressingin sore need
  5. (postpositive) grieved; distressed
  6. causing grief or sorrow
Show More
  1. a painful or sensitive wound, injury, etc
  2. any cause of distress or vexation
Show More
  1. archaic direly; sorely (now only in such phrases as sore pressed, sore afraid)
Show More
Derived Formssoreness, noun

Word Origin for sore

Old English sār; related to Old Norse sārr, Old High German sēr, Gothic sair sore, Latin saevus angry
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 sore


Old English sar "painful, grievous, aching, sad, wounding," influenced in meaning by Old Norse sarr "sore, wounded," from Proto-Germanic *saira- "suffering, sick, ill" (cf. Old Frisian sar "painful," Middle Dutch seer, Dutch zeer "sore, ache," Old High German ser "painful," Gothic sair "pain, sorrow, travail"), from PIE root *sai- (1) "suffering" (cf. Old Irish saeth "pain, sickness").

Adverbial use (e.g. sore afraid) is from Old English sare but has mostly died out (replaced by sorely), but remains the main meaning of German cognate sehr "very." Slang meaning "angry, irritated" is first recorded 1738.

Show More

Old English sar "bodily pain or injury, wound; sickness, disease; state of pain or suffering," from root of sore (adj.). Now restricted to ulcers, boils, blisters. Cf. Old Saxon ser "pain, wound," Middle Dutch seer, Dutch zeer, Old High German ser, Old Norse sar, Gothic sair.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sore in Medicine


  1. An open skin lesion, wound, or ulcer.
Show More
  1. Painful to the touch; tender.
Show More
Related formssoreness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with sore


In addition to the idiom beginning with sore

  • sore point, a

also see:

  • sight for sore eyes
  • stick out (like a sore thumb)
Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.