so

adverb
\ ˈsō , especially before an adjective or adverb followed by "that" \

Definition of so 

(Entry 1 of 7)

1a : in a manner or way indicated or suggested do you really think so often used as a substitute for a preceding clause are you ready? I think soI didn't like it and I told her so

b : in the same manner or way : also worked hard and so did she

c : thus sense 1 for so the Lord said —Isaiah 18:4 (King James Version)

d : then, subsequently and so home and to bed

2a(1) : to an indicated or suggested extent or degree had never been so happy used chiefly in negative constructions with a following correlative element introduced by as thought that his share wasn't so big as his brother's

(2) : to the same extent or degree : to such a degree : as sense 1

b : to a great extent or degree : very, extremely loves her so

c : to a definite but unspecified extent or degree can only do so much in a day

d : most certainly : indeed you did so do it

e informal : most decidedly : surely I so don't believe you

3 : therefore, consequently the witness is biased and so unreliable

Definition of so (Entry 2 of 7)

1a : with the result that the acoustics are good, so every note is clear

b : in order that be quiet so he can sleep

2 archaic : provided that

3a : for that reason : therefore don't want to go, so I won't

b(1) used as an introductory particle so here we are often to belittle a point under discussion so what?

(2) used interjectionally to indicate awareness of a discovery so, that's who did it or surprised dissent

so as to

: in order to

Definition of so (Entry 3 of 7)

1 : conforming with actual facts : true said things that were not so

2 : marked by a desired order his books are always just so

3 used to replace a preceding adjective was witty by adult standards and of course doubly so by mine —Sally Kempton

so

pronoun

Definition of so (Entry 4 of 7)

1 : such as has been specified or suggested : the same if you have to file a claim, do so as soon as possible

2 used in the phrase or so to indicate an estimate, approximation, or conjecture stayed a week or socost $15 or so

so

noun
\ ˈsō \

less common variant of

: the fifth note of the major scale in solfège

so

abbreviation (1)

Definition of so (Entry 6 of 7)

south; southern

SO

abbreviation (2)

Definition of SO (Entry 7 of 7)

1 seller's option

2 strikeout

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Can so be used as an intensive?: Usage Guide

Adverb

The intensive use of so (sense 2b) is widely condemned in college handbooks but is nonetheless standard. why is American television so shallow? —Anthony Lewis the cephalopod eye is an example of a remarkable evolutionary parallel because it is so like the eye of a vertebrate —Sarah F. Robbins the kind of sterile over-ingenuity which afflicts so many academic efforts The Times Literary Supplement (London) There is no stigma attached to its use in negative contexts and when qualified by a dependent clause. not so long ago was so good in mathematics that he began to consider engineering Current Biography The denotation in these uses is, of course, slightly different (see sense 2a). Another emphatic use of so (sense 2e) has developed more recently and occurs mostly in informal contexts.

Using so as a Conjunction: Usage Guide

Conjunction

Although occasionally condemned, use of so to introduce clauses of result (sense 1a) and purpose (sense 1b) is standard. In sense 1b so that is more common in formal contexts than so alone.

Examples of so in a Sentence

Adverb

I don't think they can score twice in so short a time. There has always been an interest in genetic cloning, but never more so than in recent years. He looked so handsome in his suit. We are all so excited about the trip. I'm so happy that you decided to join us for dinner. I feel so much better after taking that nap. Thank you so much for your help. He dislikes her so much that he won't even talk to her. The test was not so very hard after all. “He is about so tall,” she said, raising her hand about six feet in the air.

Conjunction

We were bored with the movie, so we left. I don't want to go, so I won't. There are no more chairs available, so you'll have to stand.

Adjective

You are saying things that are just not so. I heard you met the president—is that so?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Taylor gave birth in March, so Taurasi is very much in the exploratory parenting stage, getting a kick out of the fact that little Leo can, among other things, poop all over his own neck. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Diana Taurasi Still Putting On Shows In Connecticut," 14 July 2018 Supply chains are so globally intertwined that tariffs and other trade barriers will produce collateral damage – and some of that damage will hurt your own workers and consumers – or those in nations that aren’t directly targeted. Molly Jackson, The Christian Science Monitor, "In a US-China trade war, big losers include ... BMW? Taiwan?," 12 July 2018 Summer is heating up and so are the deals at Huckberry. The Editors, Outside Online, "Seven Steals at Huckberry’s Summer Sale," 12 July 2018 The process to adopt a child from foster care requires training, interviews, and home visits to determine if adoption is right for you, and if so, to help connect you with a child or sibling group that your family will be a good match for. BostonGlobe.com, "Jonathan and Violette both love playing outside," 14 July 2018 The brownish-orange, thumbnail-sized butterfly, with a wingspan of only an inch or so, once was fairly common on the North American plains. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's most endangered species nears extinction in Oakland County," 13 July 2018 And so, in the name of science, some asthmatic student volunteers were transported to a theme park and rode a roller coaster while their respiratory function was checked. Richard Stephens, Smithsonian, "The History and Psychology of Roller Coasters," 12 July 2018 The very expansiveness of its concerns, which incorporate the mystical-religious, set it so far apart from the customary scandi-noir that the genre feels begun anew. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sacred Games Reinvents the Police Procedural," 12 July 2018 Price was reluctant to send them so far away, even though their friends were going. Page Leggett, charlotteobserver, "At these YMCA camps, kids learn to sail, take in nature and 'make friends for life'," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Oakland Police Department's own stingray was seemingly insufficient, so officers then called in the FBI, both times without a warrant. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "FBI didn’t need warrant for stingray in attempted murder case, DOJ says," 12 July 2017 But both also got weighed down by their stars, pulling in so-so receptions from audiences (and getting savaged by critics). Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "Wonder Woman Proves Wonderful Superhero Movies Don’t Need Superstars," 2 June 2017 But inhaling powerful opioids can be deadly, so officers have a new tool to protect their four-legged partners: naloxone, a drug that has already been used for years to reverse overdoses in humans. CBS News, "New drug kits save police dogs from opioid overdoses," 1 June 2017 But inhaling powerful opioids can be deadly, so officers have a new tool to protect their four-legged partners: naloxone, a drug that has already been used for years to reverse overdoses in humans. Washington Post, "New drug kits save police dogs from opioid overdoses," 1 June 2017 But inhaling powerful opioids can be deadly, so officers have a new tool to protect their four-legged partners: naloxone, a drug that has already been used for years to reverse overdoses in humans. Denise Lavoie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Officers carrying overdose drug for humans to protect K-9s," 1 June 2017 But inhaling powerful opioids can be deadly, so officers have a new tool to protect their four-legged partners: naloxone, a drug that has already been used for years to reverse overdoses in humans. Denise Lavoie, The Seattle Times, "A tool to protect police dogs in drug raids from overdosing," 31 May 2017 No carnival the week of Independence Day meant Hutchins Park was free, so organizers sought approval from the city to move the Amish Outlaws from Washington Street to the park. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Havre de Grace plans concert with alcohol sales as part of Independence Day activities," 5 May 2017 It more than made up for a rare so-so night in the faceoff circle. Eric Stephens, Orange County Register, "What you need to know: Improved defense, depth players let Ducks clip Red Wings," 5 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'so.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of so

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Conjunction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Pronoun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for so

Adverb

Middle English, from Old English swā; akin to Old High German so, Latin sic so, thus, si if, Greek hōs so, thus, Latin suus one's own — more at suicide

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Statistics for so

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for so

The first known use of so was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for so

so

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of so

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: to a degree that is suggested or stated

: to a great degree : very or extremely

: without any doubt

English Language Learners Definition of so (Entry 2 of 4)

: for that reason : and therefore

—used to say the reason for something

—used in speech to introduce a statement or question

English Language Learners Definition of so (Entry 3 of 4)

: agreeing with actual facts

so

pronoun

English Language Learners Definition of so (Entry 4 of 4)

—used to refer to something that has just been stated or suggested

so

adverb
\ ˈsō \

Kids Definition of so

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : in the way indicated I said I'd go and did so.

2 : in the same way : also They wrote well and so did you.

3 : then entry 1 sense 2 Wash your face and so to bed.

4 : to an indicated extent or way He had never felt so well. Don't be so rude!

5 : to a great degree : very, extremely She loved them so.

6 : to a definite but not specified amount A person can do only so much in a day.

7 : most certainly : indeed You did so say it!

8 : therefore I'm honest and so told the truth.

Kids Definition of so (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : in order that Be quiet so I can sleep!

2 : and therefore We were hungry, so we ate.

so

pronoun
\ ˈsō \

Kids Definition of so (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : the same : that They told me so.

2 : approximately that I'd been there a month or so.

Kids Definition of so.

south

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Comments on so

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