[sawr-hed, sohr-]

noun Informal.

a disgruntled or vindictive person, especially an unsportsmanlike loser: Don't be such a sorehead, they won fair and square.

Origin of sorehead

1840–50; compare Scots sorehead a headache
Related formssore·head·ed·ly, adverbsore·head·ed·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sorehead

Historical Examples of sorehead

  • "Don't be a sorehead, Bill, just because you lost," put in Fatty Hendry.

    The Rover Boys on a Hunt

    Arthur M. Winfield (Edward Stratemeyer)

  • "I know one 'sorehead,'" remarked Ray with a grimace as he felt of his wound.

  • Hes been sneering and hollering like the sorehead he is, and its sure getting too much for me.

  • Sorehead: A politician who has reached for something that was not his, and missed.

  • Obviously he was a sorehead—had some kind of grudge against Stet.

    Helpfully Yours

    Evelyn E. Smith

British Dictionary definitions for sorehead



informal, mainly US and Canadian a peevish or disgruntled person
Derived Formssoreheadedly, adverbsoreheadedness, noun
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 sorehead

"mean, discontented person," 1848, American English, from sore (adj.) + head (n.). Especially in 19c. U.S. political slang, a person who is dissatisfied through lack of recognition or reward for party service (1862).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper