the letters represented by the radio telegraphic signal (· · · – – – · · ·) used, especially by ships in distress, as an internationally recognized call for help.
any call for help: We sent out an SOS for more typists.
verb (used without object)
to send an SOS.

1905–10, from the Morse code alphabet, in which three dots (or short clicks) represents the letter S and three dashes (or long clicks) represents the letter O Unabridged


(in prescriptions) if necessary.

< Latin sī opus sit


2 [soh]
noun Music.
sol1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sos
World English Dictionary
so1 (səʊ)
1.  (foll by an adjective or adverb and a correlative clause often introduced by that) to such an extent: the river is so dirty that it smells
2.  (used with a negative; it replaces the first as in an equative comparison) to the same extent as: she is not so old as you
3.  (intensifier): it's so lovely; I love you so
4.  in the state or manner expressed or implied: they're happy and will remain so
5.  (not used with a negative; foll by an auxiliary verb or do, have, or be used as main verbs) also; likewise: I can speak Spanish and so can you
6.  informal indeed: used to contradict a negative statement: You didn't tell the truth. I did so!
7.  archaic provided that
8.  and so on, and so forth and continuing similarly
9.  just so See just
10.  or so approximately: fifty or so people came to see me
11.  quite so I agree; exactly
12.  so be it used to express agreement or resignation
13.  so much
 a.  a certain degree or amount (of)
 b.  a lot (of): it's just so much nonsense
14.  so much for
 a.  no more can or need be said about
 b.  used to express contempt for something that has failed: so much for your bright idea
15.  in order (that): to die so that you might live
16.  with the consequence (that): he was late home, so that there was trouble
17.  (takes an infinitive) so as in order (to): to slim so as to lose weight
sentence connector
18.  in consequence; hence: she wasn't needed, so she left
19.  used to introduce a sentence expressing resignation, amazement, or sarcasm: so you're publishing a book!
20.  thereupon; and then: and so we ended up in France
21.  used to introduce a sentence or clause to add emphasis: he's crazy, so he is
22.  informal so what! what importance does that have?
23.  used to substitute for a clause or sentence, which may be understood: you'll stop because I said so
adj (used with is, was, etc)
24.  factual; true: it can't be so
25.  an exclamation of agreement, surprise, etc
usage  In formal English, so is not used as a conjunction, to indicate either purpose (he left by a back door so he could avoid photographers) or result (the project was abandoned so his services were no longer needed). In the former case to or in order to should be used instead, and in the latter case and so or and therefore would be more acceptable. The expression so therefore should not be used

so2 (səʊ)
music a variant spelling of soh

the internet domain name for

abbreviation for
Somalia (international car registration)

1.  an internationally recognized distress signal in which the letters SOS are repeatedly spelt out, as by radio-telegraphy: used esp by ships and aircraft
2.  a message broadcast in an emergency for people otherwise unobtainable
3.  informal a call for help
[C20: letters chosen as the simplest to transmit and receive in Morse code; by folk etymology taken to be an abbreviation for save our souls]

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

O.E. swa, swæ "in this way," from P.Gmc. *swa (cf. O.S., M.Du., O.H.G. so, O.N. sva, Dan. saa, Swed. sa, O.Fris. sa, Du. zo, Ger. so "so," Goth. swa "as"), from PIE reflexive pronomial stem *s(w)o- (cf. Gk. hos "as," O.Latin suad "so," L. se "himself"). So? as a term of dismissal is attested from
1886 (short for is that so?); so what as an exclamation of indifference dates from 1934. So-so "mediocre" is from 1530; so-and-so is from 1596 meaning "something unspecified;" first recorded 1897 as a euphemistic term of abuse.
"The adverb so at the beginning of a sentence ('So I'll pay for it!'), probably of Yiddish origin, occurs frequently in conversation." [M.Pei, "Story of English," 1952]

1910, from International Morse code letters, chosen arbitrarily as being easy to transmit and difficult to mistake. Not an acronym for "save our ship" or anything else. Won out over alternative suggestion C.Q.D., which is said to mean "come quickly, distress," or "CQ," general call for alerting other
ships that a message follows, and "D" for danger. SOS is the telegraphic distress signal only; the oral equivalent is mayday.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

s.o.s. abbr.
Latin si opus sit (if needed)

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

SOS definition

1. Scheme Object System.
2. An infamously losing text editor. Once, back in the 1960s, when a text editor was needed for the PDP-6, a hacker crufted together a quick-and-dirty "stopgap editor" to be used until a better one was written. Unfortunately, the old one was never really discarded when new ones (in particular, TECO) came along. SOS is a descendant ("Son of Stopgap") of that editor, and many PDP-10 users gained the dubious pleasure of its acquaintance. Since then other programs similar in style to SOS have been written, notably the early font editor BILOS /bye'lohs/, the Brother-In-Law Of Stopgap (the alternate expansion "Bastard Issue, Loins of Stopgap" has been proposed).
3. The PDP-10 instruction to decrease a value. Oppose AOS.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. seller's option

  2. significant other

  3. Somalia (international vehicle ID)

  4. strikeout

  5. symphony orchestra

  1. a signal of distress in Morse code

  2. chipped beef on toast (from "shit on a shingle")

  3. same old shit

  4. Somalia—shilling

Latin si opus sit (if needed)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

So definition

(Nubian, Sabako), an Ethiopian king who brought Egypt under his sway. He was bribed by Hoshea to help him against the Assyrian monarch Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4). This was a return to the policy that had been successful in the reign of Jeroboam I.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature