so1 W1S1 [səu US sou] adv
[: Old English; Origin: swa]
a) [+adjective/adverb]
used to emphasize how great a feeling or quality is, or how large an amount is
It was so embarrassing!
Why didn't you call? We were so worried.
I've never seen so many people here before!
ever so BrE
They're being ever so quiet.
b) [+adjective/adverb]
used when emphasizing the degree or amount of something by saying what the result is
so ... (that)
He was so weak that he could hardly stand up.
There was so much smoke that they couldn't see across the hallway.
Everything happened so quickly I hadn't time to think.
so ... as to be
The particles are so small as to be almost invisible.
c) spoken old-fashioned used before or after a verb to emphasize that someone does something a lot or to a great degree
I wish you wouldn't fuss so (=as much as you do) . It makes me nervous.
He does so enjoy reading your letters.
d) spoken informal used before a noun phrase to emphasize what you are saying - used especially by young people
He is just so not the right person for her.
2.) not so big/good/bad etc
not very big, good etc
I'm afraid the news is not so good.
Of course I'd like to help, but things aren't so simple.
3.) [not used with negative verbs]
used to add that what has just been said is also true about someone or something else
so do I/so is he/so would Peter etc
Joe was a little upset, and so was I.
He's been ill, and so has his wife.
As the demand rises, so do prices.
4.) used to refer back to an idea, action, quality, situation etc that has just been mentioned
hope so/think so/say so etc
'Will I need my umbrella?' 'I don't think so.'
If you want to go home, just say so.
be more so/less so/too much so
The band is popular and likely to become more so.
Jerry is very honest, perhaps too much so.
The troops will not advance until ordered to do so .
Did Luke sell them? And, if so , what happened to the money?
'Has he lost a fortune?' ' So they say .'
'Look - I've even cleaned the windows.' ' So I see .'
Parents can withdraw their child from school if they so wish .
5.) be so
to be true or correct
'It belongs to my father.' ' Is that so ?'
Morton says his parents kicked him out, but his brothers say this isn't so .
6.) ... or so
used when you cannot be exact about a number, amount, or period of time and you think it may be a little more than the figure you are mentioning
We have to leave in five minutes or so.
I stopped reading after thirty or so pages.
7.) spoken used to get someone's attention, especially in order to ask them a question
So, how was school today?
8.) spoken used to check that you have understood something
So this is just a copy?
9.) spoken used when asking a question about what has just been said
'He's going to Paris on business.' 'So when is he coming back?'
10.) be not so much ... as ...
used to say that one description of someone or something is less suitable or correct than another
The details are not so much wrong as they are incomplete.
11.) not/without so much as sth
used when you are surprised or annoyed that someone did not do something
He left without so much as a goodbye.
12.) so long!
AmE spoken used to say goodbye
13.) not so ... as ...
formal used in comparisons to say that something or someone has less of a particular quality than another person or thing
The bed was not so comfortable as his own.
14.) so much for sb/sth
spoken used to say that a particular action, idea, statement etc was not useful or did not produce the result that was hoped for
He's late again. So much for good intentions!
15.) only so many/much
used to say that there is only a limited quantity of something
There's only so much that anybody's brain can handle at any one time.
There are only so many hours in the working day.
16.) spoken used with a movement of your hand to show how big, high etc something or someone is
Oh, he's about so tall, with brown hair and eyes.
17.) spoken used to show that you have found something out about someone
So! You've got a new girlfriend?
18.) so great a man/so small a part etc
formal used to emphasize an adjective, especially when what is being mentioned is surprising or unusual
He had never spoken to so large a crowd before.
It was amazing how much they accomplished in so short a time.
19.) like so
spoken used when you are showing someone how to do something
Then turn the paper over and fold it, like so.
20.) and so on/forth
used at the end of a list to show that you could continue it in a similar way
You can do things for your health in the way of diet, exercise, good lifestyle, not smoking and so on.
21.) literary or formal in the way that is described
Dorothy and Sarah continued to write to each other, and so began a life-long friendship.
so ... that
The furniture is so arranged that the interviewee and the interviewer are not physically separated by a desk.
22.) and so
and therefore
Madeira has an ideal climate, and so it is not surprising that it has become a tourist paradise.
This was considered to be a religious issue and so to be a matter for the church courts.
23.) so she is/so there are etc
spoken especially BrE used to show that you agree with something that has just been mentioned, especially something that you had not noticed or had forgotten
'Look, she's wearing a hat just like yours.' 'So she is.'
24.) be just/exactly so
to be arranged tidily, with everything in the right place
Everything had to be just so, or Edna would make us do it again.
25.) so be it
spoken used to show you do not like or agree with something, but you will accept it
If that means delaying the trip, so be it.
26.) spoken
a) used to say that a person's behaviour or action is typical of that person
'He was about half an hour late.' 'That is just so Chris.'
b) used to say that something suits someone or is the type of thing they like
You must buy that jacket - it's so you!
27.) I do so/it is so etc
AmE spoken used especially by children to say that something is true, can be done etc when someone else says that it is not, cannot etc
'You can't swim.' 'I can so.'
→↑so-so,even so ateven1 (4), so far atfar1 (7), so far as I'm concerned atfar1 (14), so far as sth is concerned atfar1 (15), so far as I know/I can remember/I can tell etc atfar1 (16), as/so long as atlong2 (5), so much the better atbetter3 (4), so to speak atspeak
so 2
so2 conj
1.) used to say that someone does something because of the reason just stated
I was feeling hungry, so I made myself a sandwich.
2.) so (that)
a) in order to make something happen, make something possible etc
He lowered his voice so Doris couldn't hear.
Why don't you start out early so that you don't have to hurry?
b) used to say that something happens or is true as a result of the situation you have just stated
There are no buses, so you'll have to walk.
The gravestones were covered with moss so that it was impossible to read the names on them.
3.) spoken used to introduce the next part of a story you are telling someone
So anyway, he goes in and his boots get stuck in the mud.
4.) so? also so what?
spoken not polite used to tell someone that something does not matter
So what if we're a little late?
'She might tell someone.' 'So? No one will believe her.'
5.) so as to do sth
formal in order to do something
I drove at a steady 50 mph so as to save fuel.
We went along silently on tiptoe so as not to disturb anyone.
6.) (just) as ... so ...
formal used to compare two people or things, when they are similar
Just as the French love their wine, so the English love their beer.
so 3
so3 n [singular]
[Date: 1800-1900; Origin: sol]
the fifth note in a musical ↑scale according to the ↑sol-fa system

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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