[suhm; unstressed suhm]
being an undetermined or unspecified one: Some person may object.
(used with plural nouns) certain: Some days I stay home.
of a certain unspecified number, amount, degree, etc.: to some extent.
unspecified but considerable in number, amount, degree, etc.: We talked for some time. He was here some weeks.
Informal. of impressive or remarkable quality, consequence, extent, etc.: That was some storm.
certain persons, individuals, instances, etc., not specified: Some think he is dead.
an unspecified number, amount, etc., as distinguished from the rest or in addition: He paid a thousand dollars and then some.
(used with numerals and with words expressing degree, extent, etc.) approximately; about: Some 300 were present.
Informal. to some degree or extent; somewhat: I like baseball some. She is feeling some better today.
Informal. to a great degree or extent; considerably: That's going some.

before 900; Middle English (adj. and pronoun); Old English sum orig., someone; cognate with Middle Low German, Middle High German sum, Old Norse sumr, Gothic sums

some, sum (see usage note at the current entry).

As pronouns, both some and any may be used in affirmative or negative questions: Will you (won't you) have some? Do you (don't you) have any? But some is used in affirmative statements and answers: You may have some. Yes, I'd like some. And in negative statements and answers, any is the usual choice: I don't care for any. No, I can't take any. Unabridged


a native English suffix formerly used in the formation of adjectives: quarrelsome; burdensome.

Middle English; Old English -sum; akin to Gothic -sama, German -sam; see same


a collective suffix used with numerals: twosome; threesome.

Middle English -sum, Old English sum; special use of some (pronoun)


a combining form meaning “body,” used in the formation of compound words: chromosome.
Also, -soma.

< Greek sôma body; see soma1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
some (sʌm, (unstressed) səm)
1.  a.  (a) certain unknown or unspecified: some lunatic drove into my car; some people never learn
 b.  (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): some can teach and others can't
2.  a.  an unknown or unspecified quantity or amount of: there's some rice on the table; he owns some horses
 b.  (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): we'll buy some
3.  a.  a considerable number or amount of: he lived some years afterwards
 b.  a little: show him some respect
4.  informal (usually stressed) an impressive or remarkable: that was some game!
5.  a certain amount (more) (in the phrases some more and (informal) and then some)
6.  about; approximately: he owes me some thirty pounds
7.  not standard (US) to a certain degree or extent: I guess I like him some
[Old English sum; related to Old Norse sumr, Gothic sums, Old High German sum some, Sanskrit samá any, Greek hamē somehow]

suffix forming adjectives
characterized by; tending to: awesome; tiresome
[Old English -sum; related to Gothic -sama, German -sam]

suffix forming nouns
indicating a group of a specified number of members: threesome
[Old English sum, special use of some (determiner)]

-some3 (-səʊm)
n combining form
a body: chromosome
[from Greek sōma body]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

as a suffix forming adjectives, it represents O.E. -sum (see some; cf. O.Fris. -sum, Ger. -sam, O.N. -samr), related to sama "same." As a suffix added to numerals meaning "a group of that number" (cf. twosome) it represents O.E. sum "some," used after the genitive plural (cf.
sixa sum "six-some"), the inflection disappearing in M.E. Use of some with a number meaning "approximately" also was in O.E.

O.E. sum "some," from P.Gmc. *sumas (cf. O.S., O.Fris., O.H.G. sum, O.N. sumr, Goth. sums), from PIE base *sem- "one, as one" (cf. Skt. samah "even, level, similar, identical;" Gk. 'hamo-; see same).
"The word has had greater currency in English than in the other Teutonic languages, in some of which it is now restricted to dialect use, or represented only by derivatives or compounds, as WFris. sommige, somlike, Du. sommige (also somtiids, sommijlen 'sometimes'), LG sömige (G. dial. summige)." [OED]
Meaning "remarkable" is attested from 1808, Amer.Eng. colloquial. A possessive form is attested from 1565, but always was rare. Many combination forms (somewhat, sometime, somewhere) were in M.E. but often written as two words till 17-19c.; somehow is from 1664 (first attested in phrase somehow or other); something once was very common as an adv. (cf. something like). Somebody in the sense of "important person" dates from 1566. Somewhen is rare and since 19c. used almost exclusively in combination with more common compounds. Get some "have sexual intercourse" is attested 1899 in a quote attributed to Abe Lincoln from c.1840.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

-some suff.

  1. Body: centrosome.

  2. Chromosome: autosome.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see and then some; catch some rays; catch some z's; dig up (some dirt); in a (some) sense; in some measure; one of these days (some day); take some doing; to some degree; win some, lose some.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
After the financial crisis, some small and midsize managers are flourishing.
But he does feel obligated to consider the arguments against his ideas and to
  respond at some point.
Some governments are pushing to be more than mere stakeholders and instead to
  have the final say in important matters.
We've been hearing for some time about the loss of flora and fauna in our rain
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