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

  • n. The underside of the foot.
  • n. The underside of a shoe or boot, often excluding the heel.
  • n. The part on which something else rests while in a vertical position, especially:
  • n. The bottom surface of a plow.
  • n. The bottom surface of the head of a golf club.
  • transitive v. To furnish (a shoe or boot) with a sole.
  • transitive v. To put the sole of (a golf club) on the ground, as in preparing to make a stroke.
  • adj. Being the only one: the sole survivor of the crash.
  • adj. Of or relating to only one individual or group; exclusive: The court has the sole right to decide.
  • adj. Law Single; unmarried.
  • n. Any of various chiefly marine flatfish of the family Soleidae, related to and resembling the flounders, especially any of several European species, such as Solea solea, valued as food fishes.
  • n. Any of various other flatfish, especially certain coastal flounders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. only
  • adj. unmarried (especially of a woman); widowed.
  • n. A wooden band or yoke put around the neck of an ox or cow in the stall.
  • n. A pond or pool; a dirty pond of standing water.
  • n. The bottom or plantar surface of the foot.
  • n. The bottom of a shoe or boot.
  • n. Solea solea, a flatfish of the family Soleidae.
  • v. to put a sole on (a shoe or boot)
  • v. To pull by the ears; to pull about; haul; lug.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Being or acting without another; single; individual; only.
  • adj. Single; unmarried.
  • n. Any one of several species of flatfishes of the genus Solea and allied genera of the family Soleidæ, especially the common European species (Solea vulgaris), which is a valuable food fish.
  • n. Any one of several American flounders somewhat resembling the true sole in form or quality, as the California sole (Lepidopsetta bilineata), the long-finned sole (Glyptocephalus zachirus), and other species.
  • n.
  • n. The bottom of the foot; hence, also, rarely, the foot itself.
  • n. The bottom of a shoe or boot, or the piece of leather which constitutes the bottom.
  • n. The bottom or lower part of anything, or that on which anything rests in standing.
  • n. The bottom of the body of a plow; -- called also slade; also, the bottom of a furrow.
  • n. The horny substance under a horse's foot, which protects the more tender parts.
  • n. The bottom of an embrasure.
  • n. A piece of timber attached to the lower part of the rudder, to make it even with the false keel.
  • n. The seat or bottom of a mine; -- applied to horizontal veins or lodes.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a sole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish with a sole, as a shoe or boot; put a new sole on. Compare half-sole, v. t.
  • Only; alone in its kind; being or acting without another; single; unique; individual: as, God is the sole creator and sovereign of the world.
  • Alone; unaccompanied; solitary.
  • Mere.
  • In law, single; unmarried; not having a spouse: as, a feme sole. See feme.
  • Alone; by itself; singly.
  • To pull by the ears; pull about; haul; lug.
  • In golf, to place the sole of (a club) on the ground immediately behind the ball in preparing for a shot.
  • n. The bottom or under side of the foot; technically, the planta, corresponding to the palm of the hand.
  • n. The foot.
  • n. That part of a shoe or boot which comes under the sole of the foot, and upon which the wearer treads.
  • n. The part of anything that forms the bottom, and on which it stands upon the ground; the bottom or lower part of anything.
  • n. A flat surface like the sole of the foot.
  • n. In ichthyology, a flatfish of the family Solcidæ, and especially of the genus Solea; a soleid or sole-fish.
  • n. A wooden band or yoke put around the neck of an ox or a cow in a stall.
  • n. A pond.
  • n. Same as sol.
  • n.
  • n. In golf, the flat, bottom part of a club which rests on the ground.
  • n. The inner cylindrical surface of a water-wheel which forms the bottoms of the buckets on the periphery. See sole-plate, 2.
  • n. A name given to various Australian fishes: in Sydney to Synaptura nigra; in Melbourne to Rhombosolea bassensis; in New Zealand to Rhombosolea monopus (called the flounder in Tasmania) and Peltorhamphus novæ-zelandiæ; and in Tasmania to Ammotretis restrains, of the family Pleuronectidæ.

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

  • n. lean flesh of any of several flatfish
  • v. put a new sole on
  • n. the underside of footwear or a golf club
  • n. the underside of the foot
  • adj. being the only one; single and isolated from others
  • adj. not divided or shared with others
  • n. right-eyed flatfish; many are valued as food; most common in warm seas especially European


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin solea, sandal, from solum, bottom, sole of the foot.
Middle English, alone, from Old French sol, from Latin sōlus.
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin solea, sandal, flatfish (from its shape).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sole, soole, from Old English sāl ("a rope, cord, line, bond, rein, door-hinge, necklace, collar"), from Proto-Germanic *sailan, *sailaz (“rope, cable”), *sailō (“noose, rein, bondage”), from Proto-Indo-European *sey- (“to tie to, tie together”). Cognate with Scots sale, saile ("halter, collar"), Dutch zeel ("rope, cord, strap"), German Seil ("rope, cable, wire"), Icelandic seil ("a string, line"). Non-Germanic cognate include Albanian dell ("sinew, vein"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English, from Old English sol ("mire, miry place"), from Proto-Germanic *sulan (“mire, wallow, mud”), from Proto-Indo-European *sūl- (“thick liquid”). Cognate with Eastern Frisian soal ("ditch"), Dutch sol ("water and mud filled pit"), German Suhle ("mire, wallow"), Norwegian saula, søyla ("mud puddle"). More at soil. (Wiktionary)
From earlier sowle ("to pull by the ear"). Origin unknown. Perhaps from sow (“female pig”) +‎ -le, as in the phrase "take a sow by the wrong ear", or from Middle English sole ("rope"). See above. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English sole, soule, from Old French sol, soul ("alone"), from Latin sōlus ("alone, single, solitary, lonely"), of unknown origin. Perhaps related to Old Latin sollus ("whole, complete"), from Proto-Indo-European *solw-, *salw-, *slōw- (“safe, healthy”). More at save. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English sole, soole, from Old English sole, solu ("shoe, sandal, sole"), from Proto-Germanic *sulô, *suljō (“sandal, shoe, sole”), from Latin solea ("sandal, bottom of the shoe"), from Proto-Indo-European *swol- (“sole”). Cognate with Dutch zool ("sole, tread"), German Sohle ("sole, insole, bottom, floor"), Danish sål ("sole"), Icelandic sóli ("sole, outsole"), Gothic 𐍃𐌿𐌻𐌾𐌰 (sulja, "sandal"). Related to Latin solum ("bottom, ground, soil"). More at soil. (Wiktionary)


  • And all the real and personal estate of said Myra Bradwell shall be liable for the debts of said company, contracted while she is a stockholder therein, and all stock of said company owned by her, and the earnings thereof, shall be her sole and separate property, the same as if she were an unmarried woman; and she shall have the same right to hold any office or offices in said company, or transact any of its business that a _feme sole_ would have.

    History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II

  • This week seven readers have offered their satirical definitions for the term sole proprietorship, and now it's time for you to vote for best definition. stories: News

  • Pathetic that in a democracy the one who raises the most money and sells his or her sole is the one seens as the victor.

    Senate GOP edges out Dems in fundraising

  • Most successfully, indeed, had she instilled into the youthful breast of Indiana, a wondering curiosity to see the place which she described as the sole residence of elegance and fashion, and an eager impatience to exhibit there a person which she was assured would meet with universal homage.


  • Or many small businesses are what they call sole proprietorships.

    CNN Transcript Jul 9, 2004

  • Most small business are what they call sole proprietors or limited partnerships, and so they pay tax like an individual pays tax.

    CNN Transcript Jul 15, 2002

  • He told reporters Iraq wished to play "an active role in supporting Arab League efforts" on Syria, which he described as the "sole and appropriate framework" to solve the crisis in Syria.

    SFGate: Don Asmussen: Bad Reporter

  • He told reporters Iraq wished to play "an active role in supporting Arab League efforts" on Syria which he described as the "sole and appropriate framework" to solve the crisis in Syria.

    SFGate: Don Asmussen: Bad Reporter

  • But anyway, I, of course, also, you know, came into serious disagreement with the LTTE, who I supported, because of their own internal abuses, you know, and internal-and they also wiped out many other-the other Tamil militant groups decimated them and tried to establish themselves as the sole-what they call the sole representatives of the Tamil people.

    Democracy Now!

  • I am deeply offended that California was conspicuously absent from the list, let alone that it was not in sole possession for firstplace.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » New Institute for Justice Report on Asset Forfeiture


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