soy sauce

variants: or less commonly soy or chiefly British soya sauce

Definition of soy sauce

: a brown, salty liquid that is made by subjecting soybeans and roasted grain (such as wheat) to long fermentation in brine and is used especially in Asian cooking and as a condiment At its most basic, soy sauce is a fermented liquid made from soybeans and wheat. Soybeans contribute a strong, pungent taste, while wheat lends sweetness.— Lisa McManuse My most recent kick has been Chinese. For more than a year now I've been stir-frying everything in ginger and garlic and adding soy sauce.— Andrew A. Rooney

First Known Use of soy sauce

1795, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about soy sauce

Time Traveler for soy sauce

Time Traveler

The first known use of soy sauce was in 1795

See more words from the same year

Statistics for soy sauce

Cite this Entry

“Soy sauce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for soy sauce

soy sauce


English Language Learners Definition of soy sauce

: a brown sauce that is made from soybeans and used especially in Chinese and Japanese cooking

soy sauce

\ ˈsȯi- \

Kids Definition of soy sauce

: a brown sauce made from soybeans and used especially in Chinese and Japanese cooking

Comments on soy sauce

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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