sop

noun
\ ˈsäp \

Definition of sop

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 chiefly dialectal : a piece of food dipped or steeped in a liquid
2 : a conciliatory or propitiatory bribe, gift, or gesture

sop

verb
sopped; sopping

Definition of sop (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to steep or dip in or as if in liquid
b : to wet thoroughly : soak

Definition of SOP (Entry 3 of 3)

standard operating procedure; standing operating procedure

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Synonyms & Antonyms for sop

Synonyms: Noun

backhander [British], boodle, bribe, cumshaw, fix

Synonyms: Verb

drench, drown, impregnate, macerate, saturate, soak, sodden, souse, steep

Antonyms: Verb

wring (out)

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Did You Know?

Noun

The etymology of sop takes us from bread to hellhounds to bribery. The journey starts over 900 years ago, when sop first referred to bread soaked in water, wine, or another liquid. Such soggy bread was considered a treat sure to tempt any appetite. Sops were considered so appealing that English translations of Virgil's Aeneid tell of a sibyl using one soaked in honey to distract and drug Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of the gates of the underworld, so Aeneas could get by him safely. By the 1600s, that mythological use of sop had given rise to the expression give a sop to Cerberus, meaning "to bribe" and to using sop to refer to a bribe or conciliatory gift.

Examples of sop in a Sentence

Noun

as a sop to the teachers' union for supporting his reelection campaign, the mayor promised to push for the abolition of the residency requirement

Verb

sopped the sponge with the detergent and began scrubbing the floor vigorously my book fell in the swimming pool and was thoroughly sopped before I could fish it out
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In a sop to them, the cabinet has agreed to step up preparations for such an outcome. The Economist, "Britain’s new Brexit plan is savaged—by its own Brexit secretary," 9 July 2018 In a sop to them, the cabinet has agreed to step up preparations for such an outcome. The Economist, "Britain’s new Brexit plan is savaged—by its own Brexit secretary," 9 July 2018 In a sop to them, the cabinet has agreed to step up preparations for such an outcome. The Economist, "Britain’s new Brexit plan is savaged—by its own Brexit secretary," 9 July 2018 In a sop to them, the cabinet has agreed to step up preparations for such an outcome. The Economist, "Britain’s new Brexit plan is savaged—by its own Brexit secretary," 9 July 2018 In a sop to them, the cabinet has agreed to step up preparations for such an outcome. The Economist, "The biggest risk to Theresa May’s new Brexit plan is not from her party," 8 July 2018 What’s unclear is whether Microsoft is providing the dongle as a sop to those who are investing in the USB-C interface and peripherals, or whether Microsoft sees USB-C as a true replacement for the Surface Connector. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's $80 Surface USB-C dongle suggests there'll be no new Surface Dock," 25 June 2018 In a sop to big business, the administration has proposed loosening Depression-era regulations aimed at limiting the amount of time 16- and 17-year-olds can spend doing hazardous work, such as mining, roofing, or operating a chain saw. Rikha Sharma Rani, The New Republic, "Weaponizing Children," 8 June 2018 Is the National Football League’s new national-anthem policy a sop to President Trump or a nod to the millions of football fans who were beginning to think the people in charge of the country’s most popular professional sport were losing their way? Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "The NFL Stops Indulging a Dangerous Narrative," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here's the best way to sop up the mess (and eliminate the lingering pee odor) on every surface. 1. Heloise, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove Cat Pee Odor," 18 Feb. 2015 Stow wet boots and shoes in a tray that sops up the moisture: a plain old baking sheet lined with cork. Good Housekeeping, "Create a Handmade Boot Tray," 28 Jan. 2011 His 6-foot-6 frame was sopping wet from collecting shopping carts in the parking lot. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "At Toys ‘R’ Us, ‘There Is Nothing Left’: The Day It Closed for Good," 30 June 2018 And while there’s, justly, an uptick in interest in refreshing skin tonics during the warmer months, when an astringent can sop up excess oil to control shine and prevent breakouts, toning is just as essential when the temperatures dip . . Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Overlooked Beauty Product Is the Secret to Healing Dry Skin," 22 Oct. 2018 Last year, two main forces propelled crude higher: an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners to trim production; and robust global growth that helped sop up excess supply from U.S. shale. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, "The Oil Market Is Getting More Dangerous," 16 July 2018 Back at the main fire station a short time later, the men conferred with local emergency responders about their availability for night duty, their faces drawn with fatigue, their uniforms sopping wet. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Amid Florence’s Chaos, Rescue Team Keeps Going," 15 Sep. 2018 In matters of hair, that meant an unlikely pairing of dry scalps and sopping ends (as if the Steve Zissou-esque knit beanies worn by some models played a protective role backstage). Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Dripping Wet Hair and No-Makeup Makeup Just Set a New Bar for Clean Beauty at Calvin Klein," 12 Sep. 2018 To cool the dog, spray them with cool (not cold) water or place sopping towels soaked in cool water over the dog's body. Jennifer Williams, Fox News, "The Daily Spike: How to protect dogs from summer heat stroke," 3 Aug. 2018

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

Noun

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

Verb

circa 1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sop

Noun

Middle English soppe, from Old English sopp; akin to Old English sūpan to swallow — more at sup

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Dictionary Entries near sop

sooty stripe

sooty tern

sooty wing

sop

SOP

sopaipilla

sope

Statistics for sop

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sop

The first known use of sop was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sop

sop

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sop

disapproving : something that is done or given to someone in order to prevent trouble, gain support, etc.

sop

verb
\ ˈsäp \
sopped; sopping

Kids Definition of sop

1 : to soak or dip in or as if in liquid He sopped the bread in gravy.
2 : to mop or soak up The water was sopped up with rags.

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More from Merriam-Webster on sop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sop

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sop

Spanish Central: Translation of sop

Nglish: Translation of sop for Spanish Speakers

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