Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. In the condition or manner expressed or indicated; thus: Hold the brush so.
  • adv. To the amount or degree expressed or understood; to such an extent: She was so weary that she fell.
  • adv. To a great extent; to such an evident degree: But the idea is so obvious.
  • adv. Because of the reason given; consequently: She was weary and so fell.
  • adv. Afterward; then: to the gas station and so home.
  • adv. In the same way; likewise: You were on time and so was I.
  • adv. Apparently; well, then. Used in expressing astonishment, disapproval, or sarcasm: So you think you've got troubles?
  • adv. In truth; indeed: "You aren't right.” "I am so!”
  • adj. True; factual: I wouldn't have told you this if it weren't so.
  • adj. In good order: Everything on his desk must be exactly so.
  • conj. Usage Problem With the result or consequence that: He failed to appear, so we went on without him.
  • conj. Usage Problem In order that: I stayed so I could see you.
  • pro. Such as has already been suggested or specified; the same: She became a loyal friend and remained so.
  • interj. Used to express surprise or comprehension: So! You've finished your work at last.
  • idiom so as to In order to: Mail your package early so as to ensure its timely arrival.
  • idiom so that In order that: I stopped so that you could catch up.
  • idiom so that With the result or consequence that.
  • idiom so what Used to express contempt or lack of interest.
  • n. Music Variant of sol1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • conj. In order that.
  • conj. With the result that; for that reason; therefore.
  • conj. Provided that; on condition that, as long as.
  • adv. To the (explicitly stated) extent that.
  • adv. To the (implied) extent.
  • adv. In a particular manner.
  • adv. In the same manner or to the same extent as aforementioned; also.
  • adj. True, accurate.
  • adj. In that state or manner; with that attribute. (replaces the aforementioned adjective phrase)
  • adj. Homosexual.
  • interj. Used after a pause for thought to introduce a new topic, question or story.
  • interj. Short for so what..
  • interj. Be as you are; stand still; used especially to cows; also used by sailors.
  • n. A syllable used in solfège to represent the fifth note of a major scale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In that manner or degree.
  • adv. In like manner or degree; in the same way; thus; for like reason; whith equal reason; -- used correlatively, following as, to denote comparison or resemblance; sometimes, also, following inasmuch as.
  • adv. In such manner; to such degree; -- used correlatively with as or that following.
  • adv. Very; in a high degree; that is, in such a degree as can not well be expressed.
  • adv. In the same manner; as has been stated or suggested; in this or that condition or state; under these circumstances; in this way; -- with reflex reference to something just asserted or implied; used also with the verb to be, as a predicate.
  • adv. The case being such; therefore; on this account; for this reason; on these terms; -- used both as an adverb and a conjuction.
  • adv. It is well; let it be as it is, or let it come to pass; -- used to express assent.
  • adv. Well; the fact being as stated; -- used as an expletive
  • adv. Is it thus? do you mean what you say? -- with an upward tone
  • adv. About the number, time, or quantity specified; thereabouts; more or less
  • adv. So is now commonly used as a demonstrative correlative of as when it is the puprpose to emphasize the equality or comparison suggested, esp. in negative assertions, and questions implying a negative answer. By Shakespeare and others so … as was much used where as … as is now common. See the Note under As, 1.
  • conj. Provided that; on condition that; in case that; if.
  • interj. Be as you are; stand still; stop; that will do; right as you are; -- a word used esp. to cows; also used by sailors.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In, of, or to that degree; to an amount, extent, proportion or intensity specified, implied, or understood: used in various constructions.
  • In the same sense so sometimes modifies a verb.
  • With an adjective, adverb, or verb only, the consequent being omitted or ignored, and the degree being fixed by previous statements or by the circumstances of the case.
  • Followed by that, as, or but, introducing a clause or an infinitive phrase noting result.
  • In this sense sometimes followed by a phrase or clause of result without any connective.
  • Of or to the following degree, extent, amount, etc.; thus.
  • In that manner; in such manner (as the context indicates).
  • In the manner explained by a correlative as (or so or how) and a subordinate clause.
  • In the following manner; as follows; thus.
  • In the manner previously noted or understood.
  • Still gath'ring force, it smokes; and, urg'd amain, Whirls, leaps, and thunders down impetuous to the plain;
  • In such a manner: followed by that or as, with a clause or phrase of result.
  • By this or that means; by virtue of or because of this or that; for that reason; therefore; on those terms or conditions: often with a conjunctive quality (see II.).
  • In a like manner, degree, proportion, etc.; correspondingly; likewise: with a correlative clause (usually with as) expressed or understood.
  • In such way as aforesaid; in the aforesaid state or condition; the same: a pronominal adverb used especially for the sake of avoiding repetition.
  • As aforesaid; precisely as stated; in very truth; in accordance with fact; verily.
  • Such being the ease; accordingly; therefore; well, then: used in continuation, with a conjunctive quality.
  • In an indefinite degree; extremely: as, you are so kind; we were so delighted.
  • Then; thereafter.
  • An abbreviation of so be it: implying acquiescence, assent, or approbation.
  • An abbreviation of is it so? as, He leaves us to-day. So?
  • In asseveration, and frequently with an ellipsis: as, I declare I did not, so help me God!
  • As an indefinite particle: Ever; at all: now used only in composition, as in whoso, whosoever, whatsoever, etc.
  • In proportion as.
  • So long as; provided that.
  • With the purpose or result that; to that degree that: now followed by an infinitive phrase, or, in dialectal use, a clause of purpose or result.
  • Such a Quantity regarded indefinitely or distributively: as, so much of this kind and so much of that. Compare so many, under many, adjective
  • With the effect or result that.
  • Provided that; in case that; if.
  • Synonyms Wherefore, Accordingly. See therefore.
  • In, of, or to what degree, extent, amount, intensity, or the like; as: used with or without the correlative adverb so or as, in connecting subordinate with principal clauses. See as II.
  • In the manner that; even as; as.
  • In such a manner that; so that: followed by a clause of purpose or result.
  • Provided that; on condition that; in case that.
  • Go quietly! gently! easy now! be still: often used in quieting a restless animal. Sometimes spelled soh.
  • Nautical, a direction to the helmsman to keep the ship steady: as, steady, so! steady!
  • An abbreviation of south.
  • n. See soe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. in such a condition or manner, especially as expressed or implied
  • adv. in the same way; also
  • adv. in a manner that facilitates
  • n. the syllable naming the fifth (dominant) note of any musical scale in solmization
  • adv. in the way indicated
  • adv. subsequently or soon afterward (often used as sentence connectors)
  • adv. to a certain unspecified extent or degree
  • adv. (usually followed by `that') to an extent or degree as expressed
  • adv. (used to introduce a logical conclusion) from that fact or reason or as a result
  • adv. to a very great extent or degree
  • adv. in truth (often tends to intensify)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English swā.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English so, swo, from Old English swā ("so, as, the same, such, that"), from Proto-Germanic *swa, *swē (“so”), from Proto-Indo-European *swē, *swō (reflexive pronomial stem). Cognate with Scots sae ("so"), West Frisian sa ("so"), Dutch zo ("so"), German so ("so"), Danish  ("so"), Old Latin suad ("so"), Albanian sa ("how much, so, as"), Ancient Greek ὡς (hōs, "as"). (Wiktionary)

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