soup·​çon | \ süp-ˈsōⁿ How to pronounce soupçon (audio) , ˈsüp-ˌsän \

Definition of soupçon

: a little bit : trace a soupçon of suspicion

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Culinary enthusiasts may think "soupçon" originated with a dash of garlic in the coq au vin or a splash of vanilla in the crème anglaise, but the etymology of the word has more to do with inklings and suspicions than with food. Sometime in the 18th century, English speakers borrowed "soupçon" from the French, who were using the word to mean "drop," "touch," or "suspicion." The Old French form of the word was "sospeçon," which in turn comes from the Latin forms suspection- and suspectio. Etymologists have further traced the word's Latin ancestry to the verb suspicere, meaning "to suspect." "Suspicere," as you might expect, is also the source of the English words "suspect" and "suspicion."

Examples of soupçon in a Sentence

Add just a soupçon of salt. the book is filled with cynicism and sarcasm, along with a soupçon of existentialist angst
Recent Examples on the Web The budget plan contains a few soupcons of intrigue as well: Patrick May, The Mercury News, 24 May 2017 David Mallamud’s score (with lyrics by Dawkins) is a pastiche of styles and musical-theater in-jokes — a little music hall, a little Kander-and-Ebb with a soupcon of Mozart for the especially quick-eared. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, 12 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soupçon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of soupçon

1766, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for soupçon

French, literally, suspicion, from Old French sospeçon, from Latin suspection-, suspectio, from Latin suspicere to suspect — more at suspect

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The first known use of soupçon was in 1766

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Cite this Entry

“Soupçon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of soupçon

: a small amount of something

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