[ sawr, sohr ]
See synonyms for: soresorestsoressoreness on

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.: He is sore because of all that exercise.

  1. suffering mental pain; grieved, distressed, or sorrowful: to be sore at heart.

  2. causing great mental pain, distress, or sorrow: a sore bereavement.

  3. causing very great suffering, misery, hardship, etc.: sore need.

  4. Informal. annoyed; irritated; offended; angered: He was sore because he had to wait.

  5. causing annoyance or irritation: a sore subject.

  1. a sore spot or place on the body.

  2. a source or cause of grief, distress, irritation, etc.

  1. Archaic. sorely.

Origin of sore

First recorded before 900; Middle English (adjective, noun, and adverb); Old English sār; cognate with Dutch zeer, German sehr, Old Norse sārr

Other words for sore

Other words from sore

  • soreness, noun
  • un·sore, adjective
  • un·sore·ly, adverb
  • un·sore·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sore in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sore


/ (sɔː) /

  1. (esp of a wound, injury, etc) painfully sensitive; tender

  2. causing annoyance: a sore point

  1. resentful; irked: he was sore that nobody believed him

  2. urgent; pressing: in sore need

  3. (postpositive) grieved; distressed

  4. causing grief or sorrow

  1. a painful or sensitive wound, injury, etc

  2. any cause of distress or vexation

  1. archaic direly; sorely (now only in such phrases as sore pressed, sore afraid)

Origin of sore

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

Derived forms of sore

  • soreness, 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

Other 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)

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