sock·​dol·​a·​ger säk-ˈdä-li-jər How to pronounce sockdolager (audio)
variants or sockdologer
: something that settles a matter : a decisive blow or answer : finisher
: something outstanding or exceptional

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

circa 1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sockdolager was circa 1830


Dictionary Entries Near sockdolager

Cite this Entry

“Sockdolager.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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