Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “so-called”


adjective [before noun]     /ˌsəʊˈkɔːld/ US  /ˌsoʊˈkɑːld/
B2 used to show that you think a word that is used to describe someone or something is not suitable or not correct : It was one of his so-called friends who supplied him with the drugs that killed him.Seeming and purporting to beFaking and pretending B2 used to introduce a new word or phrase that is not yet known by many people : It isn't yet clear how destructive this so-called ' super virus ' is.Terminology and vocabulary
(Definition of so-called adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of so-called

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Seeming and purporting to be, but you might be interested in these topics from the Being and existing topic area:

Definitions of “so-called” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the art and knowledge involved in preparing and eating good food

Word of the Day


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