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[soh-kawld] /ˈsoʊˈkɔld/
called or designated thus:
the so-called Southern bloc.
incorrectly called or styled thus:
so-called intellectuals.
Origin of so-called
1650-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for so-called
  • The purpose of this so-called preferment is to instantly add complex fermentation flavors to the new batch of dough.
  • The page is conceived and executed as the so-called second cover of the magazine, always featuring a single actress or actor.
  • So in reality, these so-called bailouts infect the other countries rather than disinfect them.
British Dictionary definitions for so-called


  1. (prenominal) designated or styled by the name or word mentioned, esp (in the speaker's opinion) incorrectly: a so-called genius
  2. (also used parenthetically after a noun): these experts, so-called, are no help
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for so-called

1650s, from so + past participle of call (v.). As a "sneer word" (1980, Safire, who lumps it with self-proclaimed, would-be, and purported), from 1837.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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