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

  • noun An opening or a cavity into which an inserted part is designed to fit.
  • noun The concave part of a joint that receives the end of a bone.
  • noun A hollow or concavity into which a part, such as the eye, fits.
  • transitive verb To furnish with or insert into a socket.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An opening or cavity into which anything is fitted; any hollow thing or place which receives and holds something else.
  • noun Specifically A small hollow tube or depression in a candlestick to hold a candle. Also called nozle.
  • noun In anatomy, specifically, the hollow of one part which receives another; the concavity or excavation of an articulation: as, an eye-socket; the socket of the hip.
  • noun In mining, the end of a shot-hole, when this remains visible after the shot has been fired.
  • noun In well-boring, a tool with various forms of gripping mechanism, for seizing and lifting tools dropped in the tube.
  • noun In the just, a defense of steel attached to the saddle, and serving to protect the legs and thighs. Compare bur, 3 . Also socquette.
  • noun In golf, the neck of a club into which the shaft runs.
  • noun A chuck or holder on the end of a drill-spindle having a taper-hole to receive the corresponding taper-shank of the drill or of another socket.
  • To provide with or place in a socket.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An opening into which anything is fitted; any hollow thing or place which receives and holds something else.
  • noun Especially, the hollow tube or place in which a candle is fixed in the candlestick.
  • noun (Electricity) the receptacle of an electric lamp into which a light bulb is inserted, containing contacts to conduct electricity to the bulb.
  • noun (Electricity) the receptacle fixed in a wall and connected by conductive wiring to an electrical supply, containing contacts to conduct electricity, and into which the plug of an electrical device is inserted; -- called also a wall socket or outlet. The socket will typically have two or three contacts; if three, the third is connected to a ground for safety.
  • noun (Mach.) a bolt that passes through a thimble that is placed between the parts connected by the bolt.
  • noun Same as Framing chisel. See under Framing.
  • noun a pipe with an expansion at one end to receive the end of a connecting pipe.
  • noun [U.S.] a pole armed with iron fixed on by means of a socket, and used to propel boats, etc.
  • noun a wrench consisting of a socket at the end of a shank or rod, for turning a nut, bolthead, etc., in a narrow or deep recess.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun mechanics An opening into which a plug or other connecting part is designed to fit (e.g. a light bulb socket).
  • noun anatomy A hollow into a bone which a part fits, such as an eye, or another bone, in the case of a joint.
  • noun computing A two-way named pipe on Unix and Unix-like systems, used for interprocess communication.

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

  • noun a receptacle into which an electric device can be inserted
  • noun receptacle where something (a pipe or probe or end of a bone) is inserted
  • noun a bony hollow into which a structure fits


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

[Middle English soket, from Anglo-Norman, spearhead, diminutive of soc, plowshare, probably of Celtic origin; see sū- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman soket, "spearhead" (diminutive of Old French soc: plowshare), from Vulgar Latin soccus.



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  • "If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,

    And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort.

    And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,

    Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!"

    - anon.

    December 19, 2007

  • Oh gosh! I haven't heard that for ages. It does annoy me that it's written with American stress though (ADdress not adDRESS).

    socket makes me a little bit queasy. Learning about dry socket only intensified that feeling, so I'm not sure quite where it came from.

    August 6, 2008

  • Hmmmm, stress is workable even with adDRESS although involves duffing the as thee. Wish I was as good as you with the IPA!

    August 6, 2008

  • That's an American stress? I didn't realize that. I use both pronunciations, depending on how I'm using the word (ADD-ress for noun, addRESS for verb).

    August 6, 2008