some

1 of 6

adjective

ˈsəm How to pronounce some (audio)
 for sense 2 without stress 
1
: being an unknown, undetermined, or unspecified unit or thing
some person knocked
2
a
: being one, a part, or an unspecified number of something (such as a class or group) named or implied
some gems are hard
b
: being of an unspecified amount or number
give me some water
have some apples
3
: remarkable, striking
that was some party
4
: being at least one
used to indicate that a logical proposition is asserted only of a subclass or certain members of the class denoted by the term which it modifies

some

2 of 6

pronoun

singular or plural in construction
1
: one indeterminate quantity, portion, or number as distinguished from the rest
2
: an indefinite additional amount
ran a mile and then some

some

3 of 6

adverb

ˈsəm How to pronounce some (audio)
ˌsəm
1
: about
some 80 houses
twenty-some people
2
a
: in some degree : somewhat
felt some better
b
: to some degree or extent : a little
the cut bled some
I need to work on it some more
c
used as a mild intensive
that's going some
Using Some as an Adverb: Usage Guide

When some is used to modify a number, it is almost always a round number

a community of some 150,000 inhabitants

but because some is slightly more emphatic than about or approximately it is occasionally used with a more exact number in an intensive function.

an expert parachutist, he has some 115 jumps to his credit Current Biography

When some is used without a number, most commentators feel that somewhat is to be preferred. Their advice is an oversimplification, however; only when some modifies an adjective, usually a comparative, will somewhat always substitute smoothly. When some modifies a verb or adverb, and especially when it follows a verb, substitution of somewhat may prove awkward.

Italy forced me to grow up some E. W. Brooke
I'm not a prude; I've been around some in my day Roy Rogers
here in Newport, both Southern Cross and Courageous practiced some more W. N. Wallace

-some

4 of 6

adjective suffix

: characterized by a (specified) thing, quality, state, or action
awesome
burdensome
cuddlesome

-some

5 of 6

noun suffix

: group of (so many) members and especially persons
foursome

-some

6 of 6

noun combining form

1
: body
chromosome
2
: chromosome
monosome

Examples of some in a Sentence

Adjective Can I have some water? She had some interest in the job. I have some money left, but not much. I hope I've been of some help. We met some years ago. He spoke at some length about his problems. Adverb Would you like some more potatoes? I need to work on it some more. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
There are more than two dozen players, coaches and an owner with Texas connections — some stronger than others — on the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 Jan. 2024 But that doesn't mean there might not also be some more special guests at the table. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 26 Sep. 2023 The powerful explosion Monday at downtown Fort Worth’s Sandman Signature Hotel will likely trigger multiple lawsuits — from the nearly two dozen people injured, some seriously, to the property owners and businesses that sustained potentially millions of dollars in damage. Emily Brindley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 23 Jan. 2024 In addition to the different crystal orientations, the transistors had a variety of different traits to test: Some had thin sheets, some thicker; some had long channels, some shorter. IEEE Spectrum, 4 Jan. 2024 Within just a couple of generations, humans managed to purge grizzlies, which once commanded a population some 10,000 strong in California, from the entire state. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 Jan. 2024 There are obviously some more controversial parts of Kissinger’s legacy: the rise of Pinochet in Chile, the bombing of Cambodia, the genocide in Bangladesh. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2023 There were also some less encouraging developments. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2023 Teachers in Portland, Oregon, walked off the job on Wednesday for the first day of a strike that shuttered schools for some 45,000 students in Oregon's largest city. CBS News, 1 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'some.' 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 som, adjective & pronoun, from Old English sum; akin to Old High German sum some, Greek hamē somehow, homos same — more at same

Adjective suffix

Middle English -som, from Old English -sum; akin to Old High German -sam -some, Old English sum some

Noun suffix

Middle English (northern dialect) -sum, from Middle English sum, pronoun, one, some

Noun combining form

New Latin -somat-, -soma, from Greek sōmat-, sōma

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Pronoun

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

Adverb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near some

Cite this Entry

“Some.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/some. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

some

1 of 4 adjective
ˈsəm How to pronounce some (audio)
 for sense 2b  səm,
 without stress 
1
: being one unknown, unnamed, or unspecified unit or thing
some person knocked
2
a
: being one, a part, or an unspecified number of something (as a class or group) named
some birds can't fly
b
: being of an unspecified amount or number
give me some water
have some apples
3
: worthy of notice or consideration
that was some party

some

2 of 4 pronoun
1
: a part or quantity of something
some of the milk
some of the apples
2
: an indefinite additional amount
ran a mile and then some

some

3 of 4 adverb
ˈsəm How to pronounce some (audio)
ˌsəm
1
: reasonably close to : about
some eighty houses
2
a
: somewhat entry 2
felt some better
b
: to some degree
the cut bled some

-some

4 of 4 adjective suffix
səm
1
: having the quality or nature of the thing specified
burdensome
2
: causing a (specified) feeling or condition
fearsome
Etymology

Adjective suffix

Old English -sum "having a particular quality, action, or effect"

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