sole

1 of 4

adjective

1
a
: being the only one
she was her mother's sole support
b
: having no sharer
2
: functioning independently and without assistance or interference
let conscience be the sole judge
3
: belonging exclusively or otherwise limited to one usually specified individual, unit, or group
4
: not married
used chiefly of women
5
archaic : having no companion : solitary
soleness noun

sole

2 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: the undersurface of a foot
b
: the part of an item of footwear on which the sole rests and upon which the wearer treads
2
: the usually flat or flattened bottom or lower part of something or the base on which something rests
soled adjective

sole

3 of 4

verb

soled; soling

transitive verb

1
: to furnish with a sole
sole a shoe
2
: to place the sole of (a golf club) on the ground

sole

4 of 4

noun (2)

: any of various flatfishes (family Soleidae) having a small mouth, small or rudimentary fins, and small eyes placed close together and including important food fishes (such as the European Dover sole)
also : any of various mostly market flatfishes (such as lemon sole) of other families (such as Pleuronectidae)

Examples of sole in a Sentence

Adjective He became the sole heir to the property. The sole aim of the program is to help the poor. She was the sole survivor of the tragedy. Icy roads were the sole cause of the accident. He has sole jurisdiction of the area. Verb My shoes need to be soled.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
All three apparent name changes come after years of reports of strain in Pitt’s relationship with his children since Jolie first filed for divorce and sole physical custody of their kids in 2016. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 31 May 2024 Aledo’s sole defensive error, on the other hand, made a big impact. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 May 2024
Noun
The chunky rubber sole also added a little height, which proved helpful since my city adventure took me into a slightly muddy park. Rachel Trujillo, Travel + Leisure, 30 May 2024 Moreover, opt for shoes that offer breathability and comfort and a durable sole to withstand multiple surfaces. Katrina Cossey, Parents, 30 May 2024
Verb
Rubber soled and perfect for a boat my favorite espadrille maker is famed Spanish house, Castañer. Nneya Richards, Travel + Leisure, 15 July 2023 See all Example Sentences for sole 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sole.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, alone, from Anglo-French sul, soul, seul, from Latin solus

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French sole, soele, from Latin solea sandal; akin to Latin solum base, ground, soil

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin solea sandal, a flatfish

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sole was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near sole

Cite this Entry

“Sole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sole. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

sole

1 of 4 noun
1
: the underside of a foot
2
: the part of footwear on which the sole of the foot rests
soled
ˈsōld
adjective

sole

2 of 4 verb
soled; soling
: to furnish with a sole
sole shoes

sole

3 of 4 noun
: any of various flatfishes that have a small mouth, small fins, and small closely set eyes and that include some fishes used for food

sole

4 of 4 adjective
1
archaic : having no companion : alone
2
a
: having no sharer
sole owner
b
: being the only one
3
: acting independently and without assistance or interference
the sole judge
4
: belonging only to the one person, unit, or group named
given sole authority
soleness noun
Etymology

Noun

Middle English sole "the underside of the foot or shoe," from early French sole (same meaning), from Latin solea "sandal"

Noun

Middle English sole "a type of flatfish," from early French sole (same meaning), from Latin solea "sandal, a flatfish"

Adjective

Middle English sole "alone," from early French seul (same meaning), from Latin solus "alone" — related to desolate, solitude, solo

Medical Definition

sole

noun
1
: the undersurface of a foot
2
: the somewhat concave plate of moderately dense horn that covers the lower surface of the coffin bone of the horse, partly surrounds the frog, and is bounded externally by the wall

Legal Definition

sole

adjective
: belonging exclusively or otherwise limited to one usually specified individual, unit, or group

More from Merriam-Webster on sole

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