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

  • n. The letters represented by the Morse Code signal · · · - - - · · ·, used as an international distress signal, especially by ships and aircraft.
  • n. A call or signal for help.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. emergency, mayday, distress
  • n. The conventional Morse code call made by a ship in distress.
  • n. a children's game involving placing S's and O's on a grid, and collecting points by creating an "SOS" sequence, played with alternating turns by opponents.
  • Secretary of State
  • special order sale

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The letters signified by the signal ( … --- … ) prescribed by the International Radiotelegraphic Convention of 1912 for use by ships in distress.

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

  • n. an internationally recognized distress signal in radio code


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Chosen because its morse code sequence (· · · — — — · · ·) was easy to remember. Many mnemonics and backronyms were later formed from the sequence.



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