Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[sou, suhf] /saʊ, sʌf/
verb (used without object)
to make a rushing, rustling, or murmuring sound:
the wind soughing in the meadow.
Scot. and North England. to speak, especially to preach, in a whining, singsong voice.
a sighing, rustling, or murmuring sound.
Scot. and North England.
  1. a sigh or deep breath.
  2. a whining, singsong manner of speaking.
  3. a rumor; unconfirmed report.
Origin of sough1
before 900; (v.) Middle English swoghen, Old English swōgan to make a noise; cognate with Old Saxon swōgan, Old English swēgan, Gothic -swōgjan; (noun) Middle English swow, swo(u)gh, derivative of the v.
Related forms
soughfully, adverb
soughless, adjective


[suhf, sou] /sʌf, saʊ/ British
drain; drainage ditch, gutter, or sewer.
a swampy or marshy area.
verb (used with object)
to drain (land or a mine) by building drainage ditches or the like.
Also, especially Scot., sugh.
1250-1300; Middle English sogh, sohn < ?; compare Dutch (dial.) zoeg little ditch Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sough
Historical Examples
  • Three hours after, Caius sough his father as the old man was making his nightly tour of the barns and stables.

    The Mermaid Lily Dougall
  • If there's a' sough o' cholera,Or typhus,—wha sae gleg as she?

  • Thick rain-clouds were descending upon them, and we could hear the sough of the falling water.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • He could hear the sough of the sea on the beach, far down below him.

    Washed Ashore W.H.G. Kingston
  • She loved, too, the stir and sough of the creaking pines and the cheery calls from the barnyard.

    Kennedy Square F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Naught was heard save the droning of the students and the sough of the wind in the forest.

  • The sough of the calm sea could not reach so far; the flies were few; no bird sang.

    Beyond John Galsworthy
  • I knew it was the “sough” of the sea against the sides of the vessel.

    The Boy Tar Mayne Reid
  • I'll get me out upon the heath, where I can hear the sough of the night winds, and listen to the night-birds' screech.

  • The air was full of the rush of the waves and the sough of a rising wind.

    Mrs. Severn, Vol. 1 (of 3) Mary Elizabeth Carter
British Dictionary definitions for sough


(intransitive) (esp of the wind) to make a characteristic sighing sound
a soft continuous murmuring sound
Word Origin
Old English swōgan to resound; related to Gothic gaswogjan to groan, Lithuanian svageti to sound, Latin vāgīre to lament


(Northern English, dialect) a sewer or drain or an outlet channel
Word Origin
of obscure origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sough

"to make a moaning or murmuring sound," Old English swogan "to sound, roar, howl, rustle, whistle," from Proto-Germanic *swoganan (cf. Old Saxon swogan "to rustle," Gothic gaswogjan "to sigh"), from PIE imitative root *(s)wagh- (cf. Greek echo, Latin vagire "to cry, roar, sound"). The noun is late 14c., from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sough

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sough

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sough