Definitions

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

  • n. One of several coins formerly used in France, worth a small amount.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An old French copper coin.
  • n. (slang) cent; pocket money.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An old French copper coin, equivalent in value to, and now displaced by, the five-centime piece (1/20 of a franc), which is popularly called a sou.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An old Roman, Gallic, and French coin, originally of gold, then of silver, and finally of copper.
  • n. an old copper piece worth fifteen deniers (Littré); also, in the corrupted form sou marquee, said to be applied in the southern United States to a sou bearing some distinguishing mark, as a sou of 1767 counterstamped RF, or one marked in some way as counterfeit or spurious.
  • n. An abbreviation of southern.

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

  • n. a former French coin of low denomination; often used of any small amount of money

Etymologies

French, from Old French sol, from Late Latin solidus, solidus; see solidus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • I'm sorry for not talking about Iran election and after effects or Netanyahu settlements, or the grilling of the interior minister or the nationality for the sons of the Lebanese as it should, only that Michael Jackson was able to move the stagnant waters of the blog sou is amazed and shocked that so many care:

    Global Voices in English » MJ Death Reaction in Kuwait

  • He also provided Rob with a species of hat, greatly to be admired for its symmetry and usefulness, as well as for a happy blending of the mariner with the coal-heaver; which is usually termed a sou'wester; and which was something of a novelty in connexion with the instrument business.

    Dombey and Son

  • He then put on an oil-skin cap, not unlike what is called by sailors a 'sou'-wester,' and stood watching the proceedings of his comrade, which were by no means as expeditious as his own; for that gentleman proceeded very leisurely to encase his feet in a pair of thick woollen stockings, and a pair of shoes more capable of resisting the wet than those which he then wore.

    The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 Volume 23, Number 1

  • "Changed a point to the s'uthard o 'sou'-west, sir," he answered, "and looks as if it would blow hard."

    Hudson Bay

  • He also provided Rob with a species of hat, greatly to be admired for its symmetry and usefulness, as well as for a happy blending of the mariner with the coal – heaver; which is usually termed a sou’wester; and which was something of a novelty in connexion with the instrument business.

    Dombey and Son

  • The Blue-Berg range of mountains stretch beyond the great bay, which, unless a "sou'-easter" is tearing over it, lies glowing in tranquil richness.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 17, No. 098, February, 1876

  • It is a particular species, which is found to answer best as requiring less labor to train and cultivate, and is less likely to be blown out of the ground by the violent "sou'-easters" which come sweeping over the mountain.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 17, No. 098, February, 1876

  • The blouse is open at the chest, and is lifted to the waist by his big, brown hands, which are tucked in his trouser pockets, and his head is covered by the kind of hat that sailors call a sou'wester.

    St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 4, February 1878

  • There is _Cole_ without smoke, a "sou'-_West_" without danger;

    Punch, or the London Charivari. Volume 1, July 31, 1841

  • I turned and saw a brawny figure in a reefing-jacket and "sou'-wester."

    The Lady of the Ice A Novel

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "The door opened, and Miss Florinda O'Connor, the model, dashed into the room like a gale of obstreperous autumn leaves.

    "Why, hello, Splutter!" they cried.

    "Oh, boys, I've come to dine with you."

    It was like a squall striking a fleet of yachts.

    Grief spoke first. "Yes, you have?" he said incredulously.

    "Why, certainly I have. What's the matter?"

    They grinned. "Well, old lady," responded Grief, "you've hit us at the wrong time. We are, in fact, all out of everything. No dinner, to mention, and, what's more, we haven't got a sou."


    Stephen Crane, The Third Violet

    September 22, 2007