SOS


  1. the letters represented by the radio telegraphic signal (· · · – – – · · ·) used, especially by ships in distress, as an internationally recognized call for help.

noun
  1. any call for help: We sent out an SOS for more typists.

verb (used without object)
  1. to send an SOS.

Origin of SOS

1
First recorded in 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

Words Nearby SOS

Other definitions for SOS (2 of 3)

SOS

abbreviationSlang.
  1. shit on a shingle (a euphemistic initialism used to avoid explicit vulgarity).

Other definitions for s.o.s. (3 of 3)

s.o.s.

abbreviation
  1. (in prescriptions) if necessary.

Origin of s.o.s.

3
From Latin sī opus sit

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use SOS in a sentence

  • Miss blusht—what a happy dog he was—Miss blusht crimson, and then he sighed deeply, and began eating his turbat and lobster SOS.

    Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush | William Makepeace Thackeray
  • A great blob of brown SOS spurted on to master's chick, and myandrewed down his shert-collar and virging-white weskit.

    Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush | William Makepeace Thackeray
  • I came up to tell you, SOS you could get a man to help you and go right down and get him out.

    Three Little Women | Gabrielle E. Jackson
  • Den write it all out crost de back ob Miss Jinnys letter SOS I have sumpin fer ter show dat its done paid.

    Three Little Women | Gabrielle E. Jackson
  • Yuh hadn't ought to uh done it—or else yuh oughta made a clean job of it SOS't we could hang yuh proper.

    The Happy Family | Bertha Muzzy Bower

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

  1. informal a call for help

Origin of SOS

1
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

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