[sawr, sohr]
adjective, sorer, sorest.
physically painful or sensitive, as a wound, hurt, or diseased part: a sore arm.
suffering bodily pain from wounds, bruises, etc., as a person: He is sore because of all that exercise.
suffering mental pain; grieved, distressed, or sorrowful: to be sore at heart.
causing great mental pain, distress, or sorrow: a sore bereavement.
causing very great suffering, misery, hardship, etc.: sore need.
Informal. annoyed; irritated; offended; angered: He was sore because he had to wait.
causing annoyance or irritation: a sore subject.
a sore spot or place on the body.
a source or cause of grief, distress, irritation, etc.
Archaic. sorely.

before 900; Middle English (adj., noun, and adv.); Old English sār; cognate with Dutch zeer, German sehr, Old Norse sārr

soreness, noun
unsore, adjective
unsorely, adverb
unsoreness, noun

1. tender. 3. aggrieved, hurt, pained, vexed. 4. grievous, distressing, painful, depressing. 8. infection, abscess, ulcer, wound. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sore (sɔː)
1.  (esp of a wound, injury, etc) painfully sensitive; tender
2.  causing annoyance: a sore point
3.  resentful; irked: he was sore that nobody believed him
4.  urgent; pressing: in sore need
5.  (postpositive) grieved; distressed
6.  causing grief or sorrow
7.  a painful or sensitive wound, injury, etc
8.  any cause of distress or vexation
9.  archaic direly; sorely (now only in such phrases as sore pressed, sore afraid)
[Old English sār; related to Old Norse sārr, Old High German sēr, Gothic sair sore, Latin saevus angry]

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

O.E. sar "painful, grievous, aching," infl. in meaning by O.N. sarr "sore, wounded," from P.Gmc. *sairaz (cf. O.Fris. sar "painful," M.Du. seer, Du. zeer "sore, ache," O.H.G. ser "painful"), from PIE base *sai- "suffering" (cf. O.Ir. saeth "pain, sickness"). Adv. use (e.g. sore afraid) has mostly died
out (except as sorely), but remains the main meaning of Ger. cognate sehr "very." Slang meaning "angry, irritated" is first recorded 1738; sorehead "mean, discontented person" is first recorded 1848, Amer.Eng.

O.E. sar "bodily injury, sickness, disease, pain, suffering," from root of sore (adj.). Now restricted to ulcers, boils, blisters.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sore (sôr)
An open skin lesion, wound, or ulcer. adj.
Painful to the touch; tender.

sore'ness n.
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


In addition to the idiom beginning with sore, also see sight for sore eyes; stick out (like a sore thumb).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
His arms were getting sore, holding himself over the seat.
He had the beginning of a cold sore in the middle of his upper lip.
Within a few months, however, he is sore and disillusioned.
With an average sortie length for the squadron of about ten hours, the crews
  put up with sore rumps.
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