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[suhn] /sʌn/
a male child or person in relation to his parents.
a male child or person adopted as a son; a person in the legal position of a son.
any male descendant:
a son of the Aztecs.
a son-in-law.
a person related as if by ties of sonship.
a male person looked upon as the product or result of particular agencies, forces, influences, etc.:
a true son of the soil.
a familiar term of address to a man or boy from an older person, an ecclesiastic, etc.
the Son, the second person of the Trinity; Jesus Christ.
Origin of son
before 900; Middle English sone, Old English sunu; cognate with Dutch zoon, German Sohn, Old Norse sunr, sonr, Gothic sunus, Lithuanian sūnùs, Sanskrit sūnus; akin to Greek huiós
Related forms
sonless, adjective
sonlike, adjective


variant of soni- before a vowel:
sonance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for son
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It's very hard for a man to talk to his son in the way that a stranger can," he said.

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • Pericles had not visited his son since his return to perfect consciousness.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Or from what necessity did the son of Atreus, assembling an army, lead it hither?

  • We met the son and the old man at one of their mines yesterday.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Only when there was no son could the daughter inherit if at all.

    The Family and it's Members Anna Garlin Spencer
British Dictionary definitions for son


a male offspring; a boy or man in relation to his parents
a male descendant
(often capital) a familiar term of address for a boy or man
a male from a certain country, place, etc, or one closely connected with a certain environment: a son of the circus, a son of the manse
adjective filial
Derived Forms
sonless, adjective
sonlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English sunu; related to Old Norse sunr, Gothic sunus, Old High German sunu, Lithuanian sūnus, Sanskrit sūnu


(Christianity) the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ
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 son

Old English sunu "son, descendant," from Proto-Germanic *sunuz (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian sunu, Old Norse sonr, Danish søn, Swedish son, Middle Dutch sone, Dutch zoon, Old High German sunu, German Sohn, Gothic sunus "son").

The Germanic words are from PIE *su(e)-nu- "son" (cf. Sanskrit sunus, Greek huios, Avestan hunush, Armenian ustr, Lithuanian sunus, Old Church Slavonic synu, Russian and Polish syn "son"), a derived noun from root *seue- (1) "to give birth" (cf. Sanskrit sauti "gives birth," Old Irish suth "birth, offspring"). Son of _____ as the title of a sequel to a book or movie is recorded from 1929 ("Son of Tarzan").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with son


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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