1

sop

noun \ ˈsäp \
Updated on: 4 Dec 2017

Definition of sop

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

sop was our Word of the Day on 10/13/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of sop in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of sop from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of sop

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


2

sop

verb

Definition of sop

sopped; sopping
transitive verb
1 a : to steep or dip in or as if in liquid
b : to wet thoroughly : soak
2 : mop 1

Examples of sop in a Sentence

  1. sopped the sponge with the detergent and began scrubbing the floor vigorously

  2. my book fell in the swimming pool and was thoroughly sopped before I could fish it out

Recent Examples of sop from the Web

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.

First Known Use of sop

circa 1529


SOP

abbreviation

Definition of SOP

standard operating procedure; standing operating procedure


SOP Defined for English Language Learners

sop

noun

Definition of sop for English Language Learners

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


SOP Defined for Kids

sop

verb \ ˈsäp \

Definition of sop for Students

sopped; sopping
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.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sop? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

the significant part of a grievance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!