\ ˈsäb How to pronounce sob (audio) \
sobbed; sobbing

Definition of sob

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to catch the breath audibly in a spasmodic contraction of the throat
b : to cry or weep with convulsive catching of the breath
2 : to make a sound like that of a sob or sobbing

transitive verb

1 : to bring to a specified state by sobbing sobbed himself to sleep
2 : to utter with sobs sobbed out her grief


noun (1)

Definition of sob (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an act of sobbing
2 : a sound like that of a sob


noun (2)
\ ˌes-ˌō-ˈbē How to pronounce SOB (audio) \
plural SOBs or SOB's

Definition of SOB (Entry 3 of 3)

slang, sometimes offensive
: son of a bitch He's one arrogant/tough/greedy SOB. … a guy who brought two dozen roses to a first coffee date and told you he felt like the luckiest SOB on the planet in the first five minutes.Today

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Synonyms for sob

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of sob in a Sentence

Verb He began to sob uncontrollably. She could not stop sobbing. “I hate you,” she sobbed. Noun (2) I hate that miserable SOB.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The woman next to me, facing the same situation, began to sob. Leslie Nguyen-okwu, Quartz, 11 June 2021 In the theater, as Hugo’s tale of oppression, liberation and redemption unfolded, audiences were moved nightly to sob and scream. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2020 Place a glass of wine between your hands and sob uncontrollably. Jiji Lee, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2020 Clay begins to sob as Bryce also appears to him to call Clay a monster. Martha Sorren,, 8 June 2020 Sergine rested her forehead on the steering wheel and began to sob. Washington Post, 6 June 2020 As the time went on, many people in the room began to loudly sob, including members of Floyd’s family., 4 June 2020 Khamenei would read the Quran aloud and sob, lost in the words of the Prophet, or simply peer at the sky through the bars of his cell. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, 18 May 2020 Meghan sobbed on FaceTime with her brother’s wife, Jackie Beckley. Kristina Goetz, The Courier-Journal, 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Please spare me the sob stories about how college football exploits athletes. Mike Bianchi,, 9 June 2021 Trouble is, there’s no easy way to make men better at working with women (lol/sob). Megan Greenwell, Wired, 12 May 2021 Kneeling women in uniform sob into their hands and handkerchiefs. New York Times, 5 May 2021 His skinny shoulders slumped into a sob his foster mother couldn’t hear. Michael E. Miller, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021 Instead, many of the victims post their experiences online, joining a community that exchanges tips, alerts, cautionary tales, and sob stories in YouTube comments and Quora answers. Snigdha Poonam, The Atlantic, 16 Jan. 2021 Luckily, there are less sob-fest parts of the movie, too. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, 29 Sep. 2020 In keeping with my embarrassing history of crying in school, my most humiliating sob was as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Maureen Stanton, Longreads, 10 Aug. 2020 In keeping with my embarrassing history of crying in school, my most humiliating sob was as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Maureen Stanton, Longreads, 10 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sob.' 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 sob


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1918, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sob


Middle English sobben; akin to Middle Low German sabben to drool

Noun (2)

son of a bitch

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Learn More About sob

Time Traveler for sob

Time Traveler

The first known use of sob was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sob








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Statistics for sob

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sob.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for sob



English Language Learners Definition of sob

: to cry noisily while taking in short, sudden breaths
: to say (something) while sobbing


\ ˈsäb How to pronounce sob (audio) \
sobbed; sobbing

Kids Definition of sob

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cry noisily with short sudden breaths
2 : to say while crying noisily She sobbed out the story.



Kids Definition of sob (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or the sound of crying loudly with short sudden breaths Hearing this, Wilbur threw himself down … Great sobs racked his body.— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web



Medical Definition of SOB

short of breath

More from Merriam-Webster on sob

Nglish: Translation of sob for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sob for Arabic Speakers


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