Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To attack by swooping down on. Used of a bird of prey.
  • intransitive verb To swoop down, as an attacking hawk does.
  • intransitive verb To plunge into a liquid.
  • intransitive verb To make soaking wet; drench.
  • intransitive verb To steep in a mixture, as in pickling.
  • intransitive verb Slang To make intoxicated.
  • intransitive verb To become immersed or soaking wet.
  • noun The act or process of sousing.
  • noun Food steeped in pickle, especially pork trimmings.
  • noun The liquid used in pickling; brine.
  • noun A drunkard.
  • noun A period of heavy drinking; a binge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • With a sudden plunge; with headlong descent; with violent motion downward; less correctly, with sudden violence in any direction.
  • noun In architecture, a support or underprop.
  • To swoop; rush with violence; descend with speed or headlong, as a hawk on its prey.
  • To strike.
  • To be diligent.
  • To strike with sudden violence, as a bird strikes its prey; pounce upon.
  • noun See sous.
  • To steep in piekle.
  • To plunge (into water or other liquid); cover or drench (with liquid).
  • To pour or dash, as water.
  • noun A pouncing down; a stoop or swoop; a swift or precipitate descent, especially for attack: as, the souse of a hawk upon its prey.
  • noun A blow; a thump.
  • noun A dip or plunge in the water.
  • noun Pickle made with salt; sauce.
  • noun Something kept or steeped in pickle; especially, the head, ears, and feet of swine pickled.
  • noun The car: in contempt.

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

  • adverb With a sudden swoop; violently.
  • noun The act of sousing, or swooping.
  • intransitive verb To swoop or plunge, as a bird upon its prey; to fall suddenly; to rush with speed; to make a sudden attack.
  • transitive verb To steep in pickle; to pickle.
  • transitive verb To plunge or immerse in water or any liquid.
  • transitive verb To drench, as by an immersion; to wet throughly.
  • transitive verb rare To pounce upon.
  • noun Pickle made with salt.
  • noun Something kept or steeped in pickle; esp., the pickled ears, feet, etc., of swine.
  • noun Prov. Eng. The ear; especially, a hog's ear.
  • noun The act of sousing; a plunging into water.

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

  • noun A corrupt form of sou.
  • noun A pickle made with salt.
  • noun Something kept or steeped in pickle; esp., the pickled ears, feet, etc., of swine.
  • noun The ear; especially, a hog's ear.
  • noun US, Appalachian Pickled scrapple.
  • noun A person suffering from the disease of alcoholism.
  • noun Caribbean Pickled/ Boiled ears and feet of a pig
  • verb to immerse in liquid; to steep or drench
  • noun A heavy blow.

Etymologies

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

[From Middle English souse, swooping motion, alteration of sours, source, a rising; see source.]

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

[Middle English sousen, probably from Old French *souser, to pickle, from souz, sous, pickled meat, of Germanic origin; see sal- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin uncertain.

Examples

  • But, my writing beverage - just so you all won't think me a souse, is Cafe Francais.

    ... But Not Least

  • Hast thou no great bag-pudding, nor hog's-face that is called souse?

    A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 6

  • It is sometimes also known as souse meat, particularly if pickled with vinegar.

    FAZED

  • It is sometimes also known as souse meat, particularly if pickled with vinegar.

    FAZED

  • We have something down South that's similar, called "souse".

    Scrapple, Food of the ... ?

  • "We frow water on 'em!" said Baby William, laughing with delight as his grandfather made-believe bite some "souse" off his ears.

    The Curlytops on Star Island or Camping out with Grandpa

  • "We frow water on 'em!" said Baby William, laughing with delight as his grandfather made-believe bite some "souse" off his ears.

    The Curlytops on Star Island

  • The araguato at the "tail-end" of the bridge, not knowing what had happened, and thinking all was right for swinging himself across, slipped his tail from the branch just at the very same instant that the wounded one let go, and the whole chain fell "souse" into the water!

    The Forest Exiles The Perils of a Peruvian Family in the Wilds of the Amazon

  • In all probability, his sudden "souse" into the water had astonished Bruin himself; -- from that moment all his thoughts were to provide for his own safety, and, with this intention, he was endeavouring to get back to the surface of the snowdrift, when Alexis first caught sight of his snout.

    Bruin The Grand Bear Hunt

  • The araguato at the "tail-end" of the bridge, not knowing what had happened, and thinking all was right for swinging himself across, slipped his tail from the branch just at the very same instant that the wounded one let go, and the whole chain fell "souse" into the water!

    Popular Adventure Tales

Comments

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  • See head cheese.

    October 31, 2007

  • You know, I keep hearing scouse in some song lyrics and thinking it's the same thing as souse. Gah!

    August 4, 2008

  • I'd rather have a souse than a scouse spouse.

    August 5, 2008

  • I'd rather be a hammer than a nail.

    August 6, 2008

  • Yes I would. If I could, I surely would.

    August 6, 2008

  • "and if this F. Merriville is the daughter of the only member of the family with whom I ever had the slightest acquaintance you may depend upon it she hasn't a souse, and hopes I may be so obliging as to remedy this."

    —Georgette Heyer, Frederica

    Same as sou.

    June 5, 2009

  • Barton Fink (1991):

    Geisler: Mayhew, some help, the guy's a souse!

    Barton: He's a great writer...

    Geisler: A great souse!

    Barton: You don't understand...

    Geisler: Souse!

    Barton: He's in pain, because he can't write...

    Geisler: Souse! Souse! Can't write? He manages to write his name on the back of his paycheck every week!

    September 6, 2009

  • '...Zeena's husband slept in the tent to watch the props, he said. Really it was because he was a souse and he couldn't make love to Zeena any more.'

    - Nightmare Alley, William Lindsay Gresham

    June 30, 2012

  • Tristram Shandy, Vol. IV, Ch. IX: "What a chapter of chances, said my father, turning himself about upon the first landing, as he and my uncle Toby were going down stairs-----what a long chapter of chances do the events of this world lay open to us! Take pen and ink in hand, brother Toby, and calculate it fairly-----I know no more of calculations than this balluster, said my uncle Toby, (striking short of it with his crutch, and hitting my father a desperate blow souse upon his shin bone)..." Baaahahahahaha! 18th century slapstick! YESSSS!!!!!

    March 16, 2013