Definitions

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

  • adj. Commonly called: "new buildings ... in so-called modern style” ( Graham Greene).
  • adj. Incorrectly or falsely termed: My so-called friends were gossiping about me again.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. So named; called by such a name, with a very strong connotation that the item is not worthy of that name.
  • adj. Same as above, without the negative connotation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. So named; called by such a name (but perhaps called thus with doubtful propriety).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See so called, under so, adverb

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

  • adj. doubtful or suspect

Etymologies

so + called (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • 'If there were any lingering doubts concerning the status and integrity of the Palestinian National Authority -- and its so-called President, Mahmoud Abbas (\ "so-called\" because his term of office, such as it was, expired almost a year ago) -- they were surely dispelled once and for all by its decision to drop its support for a UN resolution that would have referred the Goldstone Report on Israel\'s post-Christmas 2008 attack on Gaza to the UN Security Council.

    Saree Makdisi: Last Straw for the Palestinian "Authority"?

  • I usually resist the term "so-called," but it's appropriate here because this amendment is not about balancing the budget.

    The Seattle Times

  • "From your repeated use of the phrase 'so-called anomalies,' can I assume that your observations have suggested a more useful or more accurate term?"

    Chain of Attack

  • Boykin, then a Pentagon intelligence officer, touched off a firestorm in October 2003 after giving speeches while in uniform in which he referred to the so-called war on terrorism as a battle with Satan.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • The minister was referring to the so-called carry trade, the practice by which some investors borrow money overseas at low international interest rates and then invest it in Brazil.

    Brazil Measures Counter Credit Growth

  • There is another and arguably more compelling reason why Slovaks should question the need to cough up in the name of so-called European "solidarity," though.

    Slovakia Says No

  • There is another and arguably more compelling reason why Slovaks should question the need to cough up in the name of so-called European "solidarity."

    Slovakia Says No to Europe's Bailouts

  • There is a literature—in fact quite an extensive one1—on why companies apparently concentrate their attention on short-term financial control at the expense of longer-term so-called “strategic” controls.

    Managing with Dual Strategies

  • A presidential pardon has granted amnesty to 651 prisoners in Myanmar, also known as Burma, though not all of those detained are identified as so-called prisoners of conscience.

    CNN.com

  • And yet, according to the Times' own Twitter dispatch, the devices are referred to as "so-called #DSK buttons."

    Gizmodo

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