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Meaning of “so” in the English Dictionary

"so" in British English

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soadverb

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 toagree to that. The word itself is so ​rare as to bealmostobsolete.
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).
used at the end of a ​sentence to ​mean to a very ​greatdegree: Is that why you ​hate him so? You ​worry so!

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  • so adverb (SAME WAY)

B1 used usually before the ​verbs "have", "be", or "do", and other auxiliaryverbs to ​express the ​meaning "in the same way" or "in a ​similar way": "I've got an ​enormousamount 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.

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  • "We went on ​Saturday." "So did we."
  • "I'm ​fed up with him." "So am I."
  • "I've really put on ​weight." "So have I."
  • "I'd like to go ​skiing." "So would I."
  • "We're going to France this ​summer." "So are we."
  • so adverb (MENTIONED EARLIER)

A2 used to ​avoidrepeating a phrase ​mentionedearlier: "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 ​situationmentionedearlier is ​correct or ​true: "Is it ​true that we're not getting a ​payincrease this ​year?" "I'm ​afraid so." "Anthony and Mia don't get along very well." "Is that so?" "The ​forecast says it might ​rain." "If so, we'll have the ​party inside."
used to say that a ​fact that has just been ​stated is ​certainlytrue: "My ​eyes are ​slightly different ​colours." "So they are." "That's her ​brother - he ​looks like James Dean." "So he does."
used ​instead of ​repeating an ​adjective that has already been ​mentioned: She's ​reasonable to ​work with - more so than I was ​led to ​believe. He's ​fairlybright - well, ​certainly more so than his ​brother.
US child's word used, ​especially by ​children, to ​argue against a ​negativestatement: "You didn't ​evensee the ​movie." "I did so!"
to do so
C1 to ​act in the way ​mentioned: Parents must take ​responsibility for ​theirchildren. Failure to do so could ​mean a ​fine or a ​jailsentence.

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  • "Will Charles be there?" "I ​think so."
  • "Is Lucy coming?" "I ​hope so."
  • "Are they ​leaving Manchester?" "I ​believe so."
  • Alice ​works there - or so I was told.
  • Oliver was ​furious - or so Tilly told me.
  • 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 ​maximumspace inside. I've so ​arranged my ​trip that I'll be ​home on ​Fridaynight.
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 ​likedbest was about so ​wide," she said, ​holding her ​arms out a ​metre and a ​half.

soconjunction

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 ​happenedpreviously: 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...
A2 used as a way of making ​certain that you or someone ​elseunderstand something ​correctly, often when you are ​repeating the ​importantpoints of a ​plan: So we ​leave on the ​Thursday and get back the next ​Tuesday, is that ​right?
A2 used to refer to a ​discovery that you have just made: So that's what he does when I'm not around!
A2 used as a ​shortpause, sometimes to ​emphasize what you are saying: So, here we are again - just you and me.
A2 used before you ​introduce a ​subject of ​conversation that is of ​presentinterest, ​especially when you are ​asking a ​question: So, who do you ​think is going to ​win the ​election?
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.

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  • So, what are we having for ​dinner?"
  • So, what were you saying about Nadia?"
  • So, you'll be ​movinghouse I ​hear.
  • So, what was I saying just now?
  • So that's why you ​wanted me there ​tonight - to ​help with the ​cooking!
  • so conjunction (THEREFORE)

A2 and for that ​reason; ​therefore: My ​kneestartedhurting so I ​stoppedrunning. I was ​lost so I ​bought a ​streetmap.

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soconjunction, 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 ​hungrytonight. Leave the ​keys out so (that) I ​remember to take them with me.
so as to
B2 in ​order to: I always ​keepfruit in the ​fridge so as to ​keepflies off it.
so as not to
C1 in ​order not to: He did not ​switch on the ​light so as not to ​disturb her.

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soadjective

uk   /səʊ/  us   /soʊ/
just/exactly so
perfectlytidy and well ​arranged: He's a ​perfectionist - everything has to be just so.

sonoun [S]

uk   /səʊ/  us   /soʊ/
(Definition of so from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"so" in American English

See all translations

soadverb [not gradable]

 us   /soʊ/
to such a ​greatdegree; very: He’s so ​stupid he’d ​believe anything you ​tell him. Our ​familieslive so ​far away.
(used usually before the ​verbs have, be, do, and other ​auxiliaryverbs) in the same way; ​similarly: He was ​interested, and so were a lot of other ​people.
true, or ​truly: He ​thinks I’m out to get him, but that ​simply isn’t so.
more or less like this or in this way: Grandpa could be ​generous when he so ​desired.
So is also used to ​suggest the ​approximatesize of someone or something: The ​box is about so ​big.

soadjective, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /soʊ/
(used ​instead of ​repeating something that has just been ​mentioned) it is the ​situation: "I ​hopeourpaths cross again." "I ​hope so too."

soconjunction

 us   /soʊ/
  • so conjunction (THEREFORE)

and for that ​reason; ​therefore: My ​kneestartedhurting, so I ​stoppedrunning.
  • so conjunction (IN ORDER THAT)

in ​order that, or with the ​result that: They moved so they could be ​closer to her ​family.

So.adjective, noun [U]

abbreviation forsouth or ​southern
(Definition of so from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of so?
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