soak

1 of 2

verb

soaked; soaking; soaks

intransitive verb

1
: to lie immersed in liquid (such as water) : become saturated by or as if by immersion
2
a
: to enter or pass through something by or as if by pores or interstices : permeate
b
: to penetrate or affect the mind or feelings
usually used with in or into
3
: to drink alcoholic beverages intemperately

transitive verb

1
: to permeate so as to wet, soften, or fill thoroughly
2
: to place in a surrounding element (such as liquid) to wet or permeate thoroughly
3
: to extract by or as if by steeping
soak the dirt out
4
a
: to draw or take in by or as if by suction or absorption
soaked up the sunshine
b
: to intoxicate (oneself) by drinking alcoholic beverages
5
: to cause to pay an exorbitant amount
soaker noun

soak

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: the act or process of soaking : the state of being soaked
b
: the liquid in which something is soaked
2
3
Choose the Right Synonym for soak

soak, saturate, drench, steep, impregnate mean to permeate or be permeated with a liquid.

soak implies usually prolonged immersion as for softening or cleansing.

soak the garment in soapy water

saturate implies a resulting effect of complete absorption until no more liquid can be held.

a saturated sponge

drench implies a thorough wetting by something that pours down or is poured.

clothes drenched by a cloudburst

steep suggests either the extraction of an essence (as of tea leaves) by the liquid or the imparting of a quality (such as a color) to the thing immersed.

steep the tea for five minutes

impregnate implies a thorough interpenetration of one thing by another.

a cake strongly impregnated with brandy

Example Sentences

Verb You should soak those dirty clothes before you wash them. The beans soaked in water overnight. He relaxed and soaked in the tub. After planting the seeds, soak the soil. She soaked the dog with the hose. His shirt was soaked with sweat. I was soaked by the rain. The oil soaked into the wood. Sweat soaked through his shirt. Rain soaked through her jacket. Noun I had a long, hot soak in the tub. felt sorry for the town soak, who couldn't hold a job See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
As a huge soccer fan, devouring the Premier League and Champions League, Mike Steenstra dreamt of opening his own soccer bar — a place for like-minded fans to soak in a unique atmosphere. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 20 Nov. 2022 The state recently completed the reconstruction of several barrier islands here, meant to help soak up some of the energy of incoming storms. Boyce Upholt, WIRED, 19 Nov. 2022 Replicate is also developing self-replicating mRNA to treat inflammatory and autoimmune disorders like arthritis and colitis, by encoding proteins that essentially soak up inflammatory cytokines. Jonathan Wosen, STAT, 18 Nov. 2022 But French airline La Compagnie is hoping to bring you to the old world without having to soak your savings—or sacrifice style. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 18 Nov. 2022 Alas, the nearly 9,000 words in the magazine were enough to soak up just about all of Mr. Max’s top-shelf material. Jeremy Mccarter, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 Add a few tablespoons of boiling water to the cup and set aside to soak for five minutes or so. Felicia Campbell, The Arizona Republic, 17 Nov. 2022 The Prius Prime offers a set of solar panels on the roof that soak up light when the car is parked and power accessory functions and air conditioning. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 17 Nov. 2022 This sponge mop has a large head to clean hard surfaces or soak up liquid spills. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 16 Nov. 2022
Noun
After a day of shopping to fill the closet's racks, why not take a soak in the primary bathroom's tub? Brianna Griff, Chron, 20 Nov. 2022 If your giftee doesn’t have a green thumb, no sweat—these little guys require no soil, just an occasional soak in lukewarm water and indirect light. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Nov. 2022 Perhaps one of life's simplest luxuries, a good soak helps to ease an overactive mind, sore muscles and everything in between. Pia Velasco And Marielle Marlys, Good Housekeeping, 24 Oct. 2022 At the pool-side spa, rituals include a beauty soak with honeyed camel milk and rose, while a nearby cave sets the scene for private treatments fused with AlUla citrus and Arabic coffee. Yulia Denisyuk, Robb Report, 25 Oct. 2022 Let the baseball cap soak for 15 minutes, then check to see if any spots are still visible. Taryn Mohrman, Good Housekeeping, 12 Oct. 2022 Step 1In a small bowl soak red onion in ice cold water for 15 minutes (to help soften the flavor and enhance the crisp texture). People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 30 July 2022 Cleaning oven racks begins with an overnight soak and a good scrubbing. Alicia Chilton, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Aug. 2022 It’s made with essential oils and also works as a gentle soak and wash during a bath. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 16 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English soken, from Old English socian; akin to Old English sūcan to suck

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of soak was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near soak

Cite this Entry

“Soak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soak. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

soak 1 of 2

verb

1
a
: to lie covered with a liquid
b
: to place in a liquid to wet or as if to wet thoroughly
2
a
: to enter or pass through something by or as if by pores : permeate
b
: to penetrate or affect the mind or feelings
3
: to draw out by or as if by steeping
soak the dirt out
4
: to draw in by or as if by suction or absorption
soaked up the sunshine
5
: to cause to pay too much
soaker noun

soak

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act or process of soaking : the state of being soaked
2

Medical Definition

soak

noun

: an often hot medicated solution with which a body part is soaked usually long or repeatedly especially to promote healing, relieve pain, or stimulate local circulation

More from Merriam-Webster on soak

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