sock·​dol·​a·​ger | \ säk-ˈdä-li-jər How to pronounce sockdolager (audio) \
variants: or sockdologer

Definition of sockdolager

1 : something that settles a matter : a decisive blow or answer : finisher
2 : something outstanding or exceptional

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Did You Know?

The verb sock ("to punch") and the noun doxology ("a hymn of praise to God") may seem like an odd pairing, but it is a match that has been promoted by a few word mavens when discussing the origins of the Americanism sockdolager. Don't be too quick to believe the hype, however. When a word's origin is simply unknown, as is the case with sockdolager, there's a tendency for folks to fill in the gap with an interesting story, whether or not it can be verified. In the case of sockdolager, the "sock" part is plausible but unproven, and the "doxology" to dolager suggestion is highly questionable. The theory continues to have many fans, but it can't deliver the knockout punch.

Examples of sockdolager in a Sentence

the professor called it one sockdolager of a short story, but he seemed to be the only one in the room amused by this description

First Known Use of sockdolager

circa 1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sockdolager

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for sockdolager

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The first known use of sockdolager was circa 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Sockdolager.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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