Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

SOS

  1. the letters represented by the radio telegraphic signal (· · · – – – · · ·) used, especially by ships in distress, as an internationally recognized call for help.
Show More
noun
  1. any call for help: We sent out an SOS for more typists.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to send an SOS.
Show More

Origin of SOS

1905–10, from the Morse code alphabet, in which three dots (or short clicks) represents the letter S and three dashes (or long clicks) represents the letter O

SOS

so2

[soh]
noun Music.
  1. sol1.
Show More

s.o.s.

  1. (in prescriptions) if necessary.
Show More

Origin of s.o.s.

From the Latin word sī opus sit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

indicatoralarmcuesignbeacongestureinformationwordthreathintnotificationsignaladmonitionpredictionalertguidanceindicationsuggestionrecommendationcaution

Examples from the Web for sos

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Fix it sos he wouldnt have to work all the time like he does.

    Full-Back Foster

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • No, sir, I lured this here bear in sos I could kill him handy to where I wanted him.

    Sudden Jim

    Clarence Budington Kelland

  • Since hed been in the army hed got sos he could eat anything.

  • An when I get a place, Ill come an bring the number, sos you can tell him.

    In Wild Rose Time

    Amanda M. Douglas

  • An Ill make the boys stan roun, sos to keep the housewelldecent!

    In Wild Rose Time

    Amanda M. Douglas


British Dictionary definitions for sos

SOS

noun
  1. an internationally recognized distress signal in which the letters SOS are repeatedly spelt out, as by radio-telegraphy: used esp by ships and aircraft
  2. a message broadcast in an emergency for people otherwise unobtainable
  3. informal a call for help
Show More

Word Origin

C20: letters chosen as the simplest to transmit and receive in Morse code; by folk etymology taken to be an abbreviation for save our souls

SO

abbreviation for
  1. Somalia (international car registration)
Show More

so1

adverb
  1. (foll by an adjective or adverb and a correlative clause often introduced by that) to such an extentthe river is so dirty that it smells
  2. (used with a negative; it replaces the first as in an equative comparison) to the same extent asshe is not so old as you
  3. (intensifier)it's so lovely; I love you so
  4. in the state or manner expressed or impliedthey're happy and will remain so
  5. (not used with a negative; foll by an auxiliary verb or do, have, or be used as main verbs) also; likewiseI can speak Spanish and so can you
  6. informal indeed: used to contradict a negative statementYou didn't tell the truth. I did so!
  7. archaic provided that
  8. and so on or and so forth and continuing similarly
  9. just so See just (def. 19)
  10. or so approximatelyfifty or so people came to see me
  11. quite so I agree; exactly
  12. so be it used to express agreement or resignation
  13. so much
    1. a certain degree or amount (of)
    2. a lot (of)it's just so much nonsense
  14. so much for
    1. no more can or need be said about
    2. used to express contempt for something that has failedso much for your bright idea
Show More
conjunction (subordinating; often foll by that)
  1. in order (that)to die so that you might live
  2. with the consequence (that)he was late home, so that there was trouble
  3. so as (takes an infinitive) in order (to)to slim so as to lose weight
Show More
sentence connector
  1. in consequence; henceshe wasn't needed, so she left
  2. used to introduce a sentence expressing resignation, amazement, or sarcasmso you're publishing a book!
  3. thereupon; and thenand so we ended up in France
  4. used to introduce a sentence or clause to add emphasishe's crazy, so he is
  5. so what! informal what importance does that have?
Show More
pronoun
  1. used to substitute for a clause or sentence, which may be understoodyou'll stop because I said so
Show More
adjective
  1. (used with is, was, etc) factual; trueit can't be so
Show More
interjection
  1. an exclamation of agreement, surprise, etc
Show More

Word Origin

Old English swā; related to Old Norse svā, Old High German sō, Dutch zoo

usage

In formal English, so is not used as a conjunction, to indicate either purpose (he left by a back door so he could avoid photographers) or result (the project was abandoned so his services were no longer needed). In the former case to or in order to should be used instead, and in the latter case and so or and therefore would be more acceptable. The expression so therefore should not be used

so2

noun
  1. music a variant spelling of soh
Show More

so3

the internet domain name for
  1. Somalia
Show More
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 sos

SOS

1910, from International Morse code letters, chosen arbitrarily as being easy to transmit and difficult to mistake. Not an initialism for "save our ship" or anything else. Won out over alternative suggestion C.Q.D., which is said to mean "come quickly, distress," or "CQ," general call for alerting other ships that a message follows, and "D" for danger. SOS is the telegraphic distress signal only; the oral equivalent is mayday.

Show More

so

adv.

Old English swa, swæ (adv., conj., pron.) "in this way," also "to that extent; so as, consequently, therefore," and purely intensive; from Proto-Germanic *swa (cf. Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Old High German so, Old Norse sva, Danish saa, Swedish , Old Frisian sa, Dutch zo, German so "so," Gothic swa "as"), from PIE reflexive pronomial stem *swo- "so" (cf. Greek hos "as," Old Latin suad "so," Latin se "himself"), derivative of *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom).

Old English swa frequently was strengthened by eall, and so also is contained in compounds as, also, such. The -w- was eliminated by contraction from 12c.; cf. two, which underwent the same process but retained its spelling. As an "introductory particle" [OED] from 1590s. Used to add emphasis or contradict a negative from 1913. So in mid-20c. British slang could mean "homosexual" (adj.). So? as a term of dismissal is attested from 1886 (short for is that so?, etc.). So what as an exclamation of indifference dates from 1934. So-and-so is from 1596 meaning "something unspecified;" first recorded 1897 as a euphemistic term of abuse. Abbreviating phrase and so on is attested from 1724. So far so good is from 1721.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sos in Medicine

s.o.s.

abbr.
  1. si opus sit (if needed)
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with sos

so

In addition to the idioms beginning with so

  • so as to
  • so be it
  • so far
  • so far as
  • so far, so good
  • so help me
  • soil one's hands
  • sold on, be
  • sold out
  • so long
  • so long as
  • so many
  • so much
  • so much as
  • so much for
  • so much the
  • song and dance
  • son of a bitch
  • so that
  • so to speak
  • so what

also see:

  • and so forth (and so on)
  • as (so) far as
  • as (so) far as possible
  • as (so) far as that goes
  • as (so) long as
  • as (so) much as
  • even so
  • every now and then (so often)
  • go so far as to
  • how come (so)
  • in so many words
  • is that a fact (so)
  • I told you so
  • just so
  • never had it so good
  • not (so) bad
  • on one's say-so
  • or so
  • take it (just so much)
  • without so much as
Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.