1 of 2


: moderately well : tolerably


2 of 2


: neither very good nor very bad : middling
a so-so performance

Examples of so-so in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The Texans and Colts simply are not equipped to punish the Ravens for starting so-so cornerbacks. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 And Transformers: Rise of the Beasts — the seventh live-action Transformers installment, which manages to tick every box of crass commerciality, arriving as a sequel, prequel, and reboot at the same time — did thoroughly so-so: $438.9 worldwide versus $200 million in production costs. Vulture, 6 Sep. 2023 The Slow Time ability can make a so-so archer feel like Legolas. Eric Ravenscraft, WIRED, 3 Sep. 2023 But Saturday night was a marked improvement over the typical so-so starts Gonsolin had delivered for most of the past 3½ months. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times, 13 Aug. 2023 This fun, if counterintuitive, strategy celebrates function and can add an unexpected layer of complexity to an otherwise so-so room. David Eardley, WSJ, 7 July 2023 There’s also that heavily hyped motorcycle jump, a surprisingly so-so affair compared to Cruise’s past, potentially terminal stunts; blame the presentation, which doesn’t quite do the heavy preparation and execution of the sequence justice. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 5 July 2023 Just a so-so first half for a player elected for the fifth time as a starter. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 29 June 2023 Outlook: Applegate and Cardellini landed nominations for the program’s stellar first season and then went missing (as did the entire series) after a so-so follow-up. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2023
Things go from meh to worse when her best friend is laid off and her so-so relationship takes an unexpected and life-altering twist. The Editors, Town & Country, 4 Mar. 2023 His results, both in the big leagues and the minors over the past two seasons, have been so-so at best. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2023 Small turned in a so-so performance, allowing four hits, two runs and four walks with four strikeouts in 2⅔ innings and ultimately didn't earn a decision in a Brewers victory. Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel, 22 Feb. 2023 Brown basically felt the same — that the league’s intentions were good but that the outcome was so-so. Staff Writer follow, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2023 Boise State doesn’t have a gimme left, and Nevada plays three of five on the road, where it’s been so-so this season. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'so-so.' 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


circa 1530, in the meaning defined above


1542, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of so-so was circa 1530

Dictionary Entries Near so-so

Cite this Entry

“So-so.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adverb
: fairly well : tolerably, passably
played the violin only so-so


2 of 2 adjective
: neither very good nor very bad
a so-so performance
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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