- the letters represented by the radio telegraphic signal (· · · – – – · · ·) used, especially by ships in distress, as an internationally recognized call for help.
- any call for help: We sent out an SOS for more typists.
- to send an SOS.
Origin of SOS
- (in prescriptions) if necessary.
Origin of s.o.s.
Examples from the Web for sos
As Democrats mutter privately that their Senate majority is sinking beneath the waves, their leadership has sent out an SOS.The Only Way for Democrats to Win
October 24, 2014
Mooney quickly inflated his life raft, sent out an SOS signal and drifted for fourteen days before he was rescued.Victor Mooney’s Epic Adventure for His Dead Brother
October 19, 2014
But FEC filings show that neither the left-leaning SoS for Democracy nor the right-leaning SoS for SoS have taken off yet.The Democrats' Katherine Harris Strategy
September 6, 2014
The acronym of the embodying League of the Common Fate is SOS.This 1979 Novel Predicted Putin’s Invasion Of Crimea
May 18, 2014
Gascón and the Boken family and the others of a pro “kill switch” group calling itself Secure Our Smartphones (SOS) kept pushing.Murdered for Her iPhone
May 8, 2014
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."That's me all over, Mable"
An when I get a place, Ill come an bring the number, sos you can tell him.
An Ill make the boys stan roun, sos to keep the housewelldecent!
- an internationally recognized distress signal in which the letters SOS are repeatedly spelt out, as by radio-telegraphy: used esp by ships and aircraft
- a message broadcast in an emergency for people otherwise unobtainable
- informal a call for help
- Somalia (international car registration)
- (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
- (used with a negative; it replaces the first as in an equative comparison) to the same extent asshe is not so old as you
- (intensifier)it's so lovely; I love you so
- in the state or manner expressed or impliedthey're happy and will remain so
- (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
- informal indeed: used to contradict a negative statementYou didn't tell the truth. I did so!
- archaic provided that
- and so on or and so forth and continuing similarly
- just so See just (def. 19)
- or so approximatelyfifty or so people came to see me
- quite so I agree; exactly
- so be it used to express agreement or resignation
- so much
- a certain degree or amount (of)
- a lot (of)it's just so much nonsense
- so much for
- no more can or need be said about
- used to express contempt for something that has failedso much for your bright idea
- in order (that)to die so that you might live
- with the consequence (that)he was late home, so that there was trouble
- so as (takes an infinitive) in order (to)to slim so as to lose weight
- in consequence; henceshe wasn't needed, so she left
- used to introduce a sentence expressing resignation, amazement, or sarcasmso you're publishing a book!
- thereupon; and thenand so we ended up in France
- used to introduce a sentence or clause to add emphasishe's crazy, so he is
- so what! informal what importance does that have?
- used to substitute for a clause or sentence, which may be understoodyou'll stop because I said so
- (used with is, was, etc) factual; trueit can't be so
- an exclamation of agreement, surprise, etc
- music a variant spelling of soh
Word Origin and History for 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.
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 så, 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.
- si opus sit (if needed)
Idioms and Phrases with sos
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
- 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