Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “so”

so

adverb uk   /səʊ/ us    /soʊ/

so adverb (VERY)

A2 very, extremely, or to such a degree: The house is so beautiful. Thank you for being so patient. Don't be so stupid! I didn't know she had so many children! You can only do so much to help (= there is a limit to how much you can help).UK informal She's ever so kind and nice. I'm so tired (that) I could sleep in this chair! I'm not so desperate as to agree to that. The word itself is so rare as to be almost obsolete.Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions not standard used before a noun or before "not" to emphasize what is being said: Don't wear that - it's so last year (= it was fashionable last year but not now). I'm sorry, but she is so not a size 10 (= she is very much larger than a size 10).Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions used at the end of a sentence to mean to a very great degree: Is that why you hate him so? You worry so!Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions

so adverb (SAME WAY)

B1 used usually before the verbs "have", "be", or "do", and other auxiliary verbs to express the meaning "in the same way" or "in a similar way": "I've got an enormous amount of work to do." "So have I." "I'm allergic to nuts." "So is my brother." Neil left just after midnight and so did Roz. Just as you like to have a night out with the lads, so I like to go out with the girls now and again.Similar and the sameDescribing people with the same qualities

so adverb (MENTIONED EARLIER)

A2 used to avoid repeating a phrase mentioned earlier: "I hope they stay together." "I hope so too." "Do you think he's upset?" "I don't think so." James is coming tonight, or so he said. B2 used to say that a situation mentioned earlier is correct or true: "Is it true that we're not getting a pay increase this year?" "I'm afraid so." "Anthony and Mia don't get on very well." "Is that so?" "The forecast says it might rain." "If so, we'll have the party inside."Expressions used to describe situations used to say that a fact that has just been stated is certainly true: "My eyes are slightly different colours." "So they are." "That's her brother - he looks like James Dean." "So he does."Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions used instead of repeating an adjective that has already been mentioned: She's quite reasonable to work with - more so than I was led to believe. He's quite bright - well, certainly more so than his brother. US child's word used, especially by children, to argue against a negative statement: "You didn't even see the movie." "I did so!"Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions to do so C1 to act in the way mentioned: Parents must take responsibility for their children. Failure to do so could mean a fine or a jail sentence.

so adverb (IN THIS WAY)

in this way, or like this: The pillars, which are outside the building, are so placed in order to provide the maximum space inside. I've so arranged my trip that I'll be home on Friday evening. used when you are showing how something is done: Just fold this piece of paper back, so, and make a crease here. Gently fold in the eggs like so. used when you are representing the size of something: "How tall is he next to you?" "Oh, about so big," she said, indicating the level of her neck. "The table that I liked best was about so wide," she said, holding her arms out a metre and a half.

so

conjunction uk   /səʊ/ us    /soʊ/

so conjunction (SENTENCE BEGINNING)

A2 used at the beginning of a sentence to connect it with something that has been said or has happened previously: So, there I was standing at the edge of the road with only my underwear on ... So, just to finish what I was saying earlier...Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meanings A2 used as a way of making certain that you or someone else understand something correctly, often when you are repeating the important points of a plan: So we leave on the Thursday and get back the next Tuesday, is that right?Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meanings A2 used to refer to a discovery that you have just made: So that's what he does when I'm not around!Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meanings A2 used as a short pause, sometimes to emphasize what you are saying: So, here we are again - just you and me.Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meanings A2 used before you introduce a subject of conversation that is of present interest, especially when you are asking a question: So, who do you think is going to win the election?Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meanings informal used to show that you agree with something that someone has just said, but you do not think that it is important: So the car's expensive - well, I can afford it.Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meanings

so conjunction (THEREFORE)

A2 and for that reason; therefore: My knee started hurting so I stopped running. I was lost so I bought a street map.Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meanings

so

conjunction, adverb uk   /səʊ/ us    /soʊ/
B1 used before you give an explanation for the action that you have just mentioned: [+ (that)] I deliberately didn't have lunch so (that) I would be hungry tonight. Leave the keys out so (that) I remember to take them with me.Connecting words which introduce a cause or reason so as to B2 in order to: I always keep fruit in the fridge so as to keep insects off it.Connecting words which introduce a cause or reason so as not to C1 in order not to: He did not switch on the light so as not to disturb her.

so

adjective uk   /səʊ/ us    /soʊ/
just/exactly so perfectly tidy and well arranged: He's a perfectionist - everything has to be just so.Clean and tidy

so

noun [S] uk   /səʊ/ us    /soʊ/
the musical note soh
(Definition of so from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of so?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “so” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

blueprint

a photographic copy of an early plan for a building or machine

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More