: commonly named
the so-called pocket veto
: falsely or improperly so named
deceived by a so-called friend

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Working mostly in rodents, these pioneers in so-called in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, have since turned mice stem cells into sperm and eggs, including a recent success creating eggs from the stem cells of a male mouse. Megan Molteni, STAT, 8 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'so-called.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of so-called was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near so-called

Cite this Entry

“So-called.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/so-called. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: commonly or popularly but often inaccurately so named
your so-called friend
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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