from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb To the amount or degree expressed or understood; to such an extent.
  • adverb To a great extent; to such an evident degree.
  • adverb Afterward; then.
  • adverb Used to preface a remark or signal a new subject.
  • adverb In the same way; likewise.
  • adverb Apparently; well, then. Used in expressing astonishment, disapproval, or sarcasm.
  • adverb In truth; indeed; assuredly.
  • adverb Informal Used as an intensive, especially with verbs or verb phrases.
  • adverb In the condition or manner expressed or indicated; thus.
  • adjective True; factual.
  • adjective In good order.
  • conjunction For that reason; therefore.
  • conjunction With the result or consequence that.
  • conjunction With the purpose that.
  • pronoun Such as has already been suggested or specified; the same or roughly the same.
  • interjection Used to express surprise or comprehension.
  • idiom (so as to) In order to.
  • idiom (so that) With the purpose that.
  • idiom (so that) With the result or consequence that.
  • idiom (so what) Used to express contempt or lack of interest.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See soe.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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

[Middle English, from Old English swā; see swo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


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