- physically painful or sensitive, as a wound, hurt, or diseased part: a sore arm.
- suffering bodily pain from wounds, bruises, etc., as a person: He is sore because of all that exercise.
- suffering mental pain; grieved, distressed, or sorrowful: to be sore at heart.
- causing great mental pain, distress, or sorrow: a sore bereavement.
- causing very great suffering, misery, hardship, etc.: sore need.
- Informal. annoyed; irritated; offended; angered: He was sore because he had to wait.
- causing annoyance or irritation: a sore subject.
- a sore spot or place on the body.
- a source or cause of grief, distress, irritation, etc.
- Archaic. sorely.
Origin of sore
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sore on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for soreness
My heart is sore as I write, with the soreness that filled it that day.Things as They Are
There was the bandage on his arm, the soreness under that bandage.Storm Over Warlock
No, sir; Jack Beckley rubbed all the soreness out of me last night.Watch Yourself Go By
Al. G. Field
I had a soreness at my heart, an oppression on my spirits, which weighed me down.Japhet in Search of a Father
She admits with soreness and humiliation unspeakable that she has done him wrong.Robert Elsmere
Mrs. Humphry Ward
- (esp of a wound, injury, etc) painfully sensitive; tender
- causing annoyancea sore point
- resentful; irkedhe was sore that nobody believed him
- urgent; pressingin sore need
- (postpositive) grieved; distressed
- causing grief or sorrow
- a painful or sensitive wound, injury, etc
- any cause of distress or vexation
- archaic direly; sorely (now only in such phrases as sore pressed, sore afraid)
Word Origin and History for soreness
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.
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.
- An open skin lesion, wound, or ulcer.
- Painful to the touch; tender.
Idioms and Phrases with soreness
In addition to the idiom beginning with sore
- sore point, a
- sight for sore eyes
- stick out (like a sore thumb)