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

  • noun One's male child.
  • noun A male descendant.
  • noun A man considered as if in a relationship of child to parent.
  • noun One personified or regarded as a male descendant.
  • noun Used as a familiar form of address for a young man.
  • noun Christianity The second person of the Trinity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A form of the termination -tion, in some words derived through Old French, as in benison, malison, venison, reason, season, treason, etc. See -tion.
  • noun An original spelling of sound.
  • noun A male child; the male issue of a parent, father or mother.
  • noun A male descendant, however distant; hence, in the plural, descendants in general.
  • noun One adopted into a family; any young male dependent; any person in whom the relation of a son to a parent is perceived or imagined.
  • noun A person or thing born or produced, in relation to the producing soil, country, or the like.
  • noun A person whose character partakes so much of some quality or characteristic as to suggest the relationship of son and parent: as, sons of light; sons of pride; the son of perdition.
  • noun One of Christ's followers; one of the regenerate.
  • noun In the New Testament, Christ as the promised Messiah.
  • noun In the years preceding the revolution, one of associations formed to forward the American cause.
  • noun One of the secret associations, similar to the Knights of the Golden Circle, formed in the North during the civil war, for the purpose of giving aid to the Confederacy.

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

  • noun A male child; the male issue, or offspring, of a parent, father or mother.
  • noun A male descendant, however distant; hence, in the plural, descendants in general.
  • noun Any young male person spoken of as a child; an adopted male child; a pupil, ward, or any other young male dependent.
  • noun A native or inhabitant of some specified place.
  • noun The produce of anything.
  • noun Jesus Christ, the Savior; -- called the Son of God, and the Son of man.
  • noun See School of the prophets, under Prophet.

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

  • noun A male child, a boy or man in relation to his parents; one's male offspring.
  • noun A male adopted person in relation to his adoption parents.
  • noun A male person who has such a close relationship with an older or otherwise more authoritative person that he can be regarded as a son of the other person.
  • noun A male person considered to have been significantly shaped by some external influence.
  • noun A male descendant.
  • noun A familiar address to a male person from an older or otherwise more authoritative person.
  • noun UK, colloquial A friendly address to a person of equal authority.

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

  • noun the divine word of God; the second person in the Trinity (incarnate in Jesus)
  • noun a male human offspring


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

[Middle English, from Old English sunu; see seuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English sone, from Old English sunu ("son"), from Proto-Germanic *sunuz (“son”), from Proto-Indo-European *suHnús (“son”), from Proto-Indo-European *seu̯H- (“to bear, give birth”). Cognate with Scots son ("son"), West Frisian soan ("son"), Eastern Frisian sone, suun ("son"), Dutch zoon ("son"), Afrikaans seun ("son"), Low German sone, son ("son"), German Sohn ("son"), Danish søn ("son"), Swedish son ("son"), Icelandic sonur ("son"), Lithuanian sūnùs ("son"), Russian сын (syn, "son"), Avestan  (hūnuš, "son"), Sanskrit सूनु (sūnú, "son"), Ancient Greek υἱύς, υἱός (hyiús, hyiós, "son"), Albanian çun ("lad, boy, son"), Armenian ուստր (ustr, "son"), Tocharian B soy, soṃśke ("son").


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  • Granting _alleyn_ to be rightly put for alone, no ancient writer, I apprehend, ever used such a phrase as this; any more than we should now say -- _my son alone_ for _my only son_.

    The Rowley Poems Thomas Chatterton

  • During the celebrated Peninsular campaign, as a lady, whose son, a French officer in Spain, was seated in her room, she was astonished to perceive the folding doors at the bottom of the apartment slowly open, and disclose to her eyes, _her son_.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 17, No. 491, May 28, 1831 Various

  • But if she was childless, the next of kin of her husband must beget one son by her; he did not _marry_ her, and his connection with her _ceased on the birth of a son_.

    On The Structure of Greek Tribal Society: An Essay 1906

  • It's kep 'by a widder woman whose on'y son -- _red-'aired son_ -- went to sea twenty-three years ago, at the age o' fourteen, an 'was never' eard of arterwards.

    Light Freights 1903

  • "Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto sons, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and _scourgeth every son_ whom he receiveth."

    God's Plan with Men 1900

  • He copied this stone on 13th September 1855, noting in his diary that Henrietta sketched the church while he copied and translated the inscription which ran as follows -- _Thorleifr Nitki raised this Cross to Fiak, son of his brother's son_, the date being 1084 or 1194 A.D. CHAPTER XXVIII

    George Borrow and His Circle Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of Borrow And His Friends Clement King Shorter 1891

  • 'The Angel of the Lord said unto Abraham, Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not _withheld_ thy son, _thine only son_, from Me, therefore blessing I will bless thee,' etc.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture St. John Chapters I to XIV Alexander Maclaren 1868

  • None but a child could become a son; the idea is -- a spiritual coming of age; _only when the child is a man is he really and fully a son_.

    Unspoken Sermons Series I., II., and II. George MacDonald 1864

  • Gerock (p. 20) thinks that Zacharias 'prayer was not for a son of his own, but for an adopted son– as, for instance, the future husband of Mary who might become his heir, and hence accounts for his surprise and unbelief at the announcement of John.

    The Koran (Al-Qur'an) 1854

  • The duties of a father are not the same as those of a son; is the word therefore wholly equivocal when we speak of one person as a _good father_, and another as a _good son_?

    The Philosophy of the Conditioned Henry Longueville Mansel 1845


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