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[sok-it] /ˈsɒk ɪt/
a hollow part or piece for receiving and holding some part or thing.
  1. a device intended to hold an electric light bulb mechanically and connect it electrically to circuit wires.
  2. Also called wall socket. a socket placed in a wall to receive a plug that makes an electrical connection with supply wiring.
  1. a hollow in one part that receives another part:
    the socket of the eye.
  2. the concavity of a joint:
    the socket of the hip.
verb (used with object)
to place in or fit with a socket.
Origin of socket
1300-50; Middle English soket < Anglo-French, equivalent to Old French soc plowshare (< Gaulish *soccos; compare Welsh swch, Old Irish socc) + -et -et
Related forms
socketless, adjective
unsocketed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for socket
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Cecilia pointed to the head and to the socket, and burst out laughing; the crowd behind laughed too.

    The Bracelets Maria Edgeworth
  • With a report that rang through the room like a pistol shot, it broke off in its socket.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • I find it, and push it securely back into its socket; then the one at the bottom of the door.

    The House on the Borderland William Hope Hodgson
  • When I sat down to jam the rod-butt in the socket I had awakened to possibilities.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • And then while the candle burnt out dead in the socket I sat in a waking dream.

    Theodore Watts-Dunton James Douglas
  • Then I sat down, jammed the rod in the socket, put on the drag, and began to strike.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • That evening he worked on the socket of the steel hook, and in two days he had the job finished.

    The Mystery Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Then with a great wrench the cross was lifted into the socket prepared for it.

    The Centurion's Story David James Burrell
  • The latter grasped Joes hand and almost wrung it from its socket.

    Baseball Joe on the Giants Lester Chadwick
British Dictionary definitions for socket


a device into which an electric plug can be inserted in order to make a connection in a circuit
(mainly Brit) such a device mounted on a wall and connected to the electricity supply Informal Brit names point, plug US and Canadian name outlet
a part with an opening or hollow into which some other part, such as a pipe, probe, etc, can be fitted
a spanner head having a recess suitable to be fitted over the head of a bolt and a keyway into which a wrench can be fitted
  1. a bony hollow into which a part or structure fits: a tooth socket, an eye socket
  2. the receptacle of a ball-and-socket joint
(transitive) to furnish with or place into a socket
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-Norman soket a little ploughshare, from soc, of Celtic origin; compare Cornish soch ploughshare
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 socket

c.1300, "spearhead" (originally one shaped like a plowshare), from Anglo-French soket "spearhead, plowshare" (mid-13c.), diminutive of Old French soc "plowshare," from Vulgar Latin *soccus, perhaps from a Gaulish source, from Celtic *sukko- (cf. Welsh swch "plowshare," Middle Irish soc "plowshare"), properly "hog's snout," from PIE *su- "pig" (cf. Latin sus "swine;" see sow (n.) "female pig").

Meaning "hollow part or piece for receiving and holding something" first recorded early 15c.; anatomical sense is from c.1600; domestic electrical sense first recorded 1885. Socket wrench is attested from 1837. The verb is 1530s, from the noun. Related: Socketed; socketing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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socket in Medicine

socket sock·et (sŏk'ĭt)

  1. The concave part of a joint that receives the articular end of a bone.

  2. A hollow or concavity into which a part, such as an eye fits.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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socket in Technology

The Berkeley Unix mechansim for creating a virtual connection between processes. Sockets interface Unix's standard I/O with its network communication facilities. They can be of two types, stream (bi-directional) or datagram (fixed length destination-addressed messages). The socket library function socket() creates a communications end-point or socket and returns a file descriptor with which to access that socket. The socket has associated with it a socket address, consisting of a port number and the local host's network address.
Unix manual page: socket(2).

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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