1 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.
I’ve never been to so expensive a restaurant (= such an expensive restaurant) before.
2 MAINLY US 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).
3 used at the end of a sentence to mean to a very great degree:
Is that why you hate him so?
You worry so!
so (SAME WAY)
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.
so (SENTENCE BEGINNING)
1 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…
2 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?
3 used to refer to a discovery that you have just made:
So that’s what he does when I’m not around!
4 used as a brief pause, sometimes to emphasize what you are saying:
So, here we are again – just you and me.
5 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?
6 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.
so (IN ORDER THAT)
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.
so (MENTIONED EARLIER)
1 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.
2 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.”
3 used to give certainty to a fact that has just been stated:
“My eyes are slightly different colours.” “So they are.”
“That’s her brother – he looks like James Dean.” “So he does.”
4 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.
5 US CHILD’S WORD used, especially by children, to argue against a negative statement:
“You didn’t even see the movie.” “I did so!”
so (IN THIS WAY)
1 in this way; 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.
2 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.
3 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.
just/exactly so perfectly tidy and well arranged: pharasal
He’s a perfectionist – everything has to be just so.
noun [S] INFORMAL
an instruction to do something, or permission given by someone to do something:
She’s not allowed to do anything without her father’s say-so.
so-and-so (PERSON NOT NAMED)
noun [U] INFORMAL
used instead of a particular name to refer to someone or something, especially when the real name is not important or you have forgotten it:
She always keeps me up to date with the latest gossip – you know, so-and-so from down the road is having a baby and so-and-so’s just bought a car.
so-and-so (UNPLEASANT PERSON)
noun [C] INFORMAL
a polite way of referring to an unpleasant person:
Mr Baker was such a so-and-so – he didn’t have a pleasant word to say about anyone!
adjective [before noun]
1 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.
2 used to introduce a new word or phrase which is not yet known by many people:
It isn’t yet clear how destructive this so-called ‘super virus’ is.
adjective, adverb INFORMAL
between average quality and low quality; not good or well:
a so-so performance
“How are you getting on with your new boss?” “So-so.”
and so on (ALSO and so forth)
together with other similar things:
schools, colleges and so on
so much the better (ALSO all the better) INFORMAL
used to say that a particular action or situation would be even more successful:
If you can go there this afternoon, so much the better.
if I may be/make so bold (as to) OLD-FASHIONED FORMAL
a polite way of asking for or suggesting something when you do not want to offend someone:
If I may be so bold, you still haven’t mentioned why you’re here.
There’s none so deaf as those who will not hear. SAYING
said about someone who has been given advice which they have chosen to ignore, or who has been told something which they do not want to believe
(I’m so hungry), I could eat a horse. HUMOROUS
used to say that you are extremely hungry
despite what has just been said:
I had a terrible headache, but even so I went to the concert.
An immediate interest cut might give a small boost to the economy. Even so, any recovery is likely to be very slow.
every so often
sometimes but not often:
Every so often I treat myself to a meal in an expensive restaurant.
as/so far as I know
used to say what you think is true, although you do not know all the facts:
He isn’t coming today, as far as I know.
as/so far as I’m concerned
used to say what your personal opinion is about something:
She can come whenever she likes, as far as I’m concerned.
as/so far as I can tell
used to say what you have noticed or understood:
There’s been no change, as far as I can tell.
So far we’ve made thirty-two thousand pounds.
so far so good
used to say that an activity has gone well until now:
I’ve found a tin of beans. So far so good, but where is the opener?
be so good as to (ALSO be good enough to) FORMAL
used to make a polite request:
Be so good as to close the door when you leave.
so help me (God) FORMAL
used to make a promise in a very formal and serious way:
Everything I have said is true, so help me God.
without so much as a by-your-leave OLD-FASHIONED DISAPPROVING
without asking for permission:
That’s twice now he’s just walked in here without so much as a by-your-leave and picked a book off the shelf!
so long INFORMAL
You’ll be lucky! (ALSO You should be so lucky!) UK INFORMAL
said in order to tell someone that it is very unlikely that they will get what they want:
“She’s going to ask for a salary increase.” “She’ll be lucky!”
in so many words
directly, or in a way that makes it very clear what you mean:
“Did he say he was unhappy with Anna?” “Well, not in so many words but that was certainly the impression I got.”
I told her, in so many words, to stop interfering.
not so much sth as sth
If you say that something is not so much one thing as something else, you mean it is more the second thing:
They’re not so much lovers as friends.
I don’t feel angry so much as sad.
a particular amount:
By the time you’ve paid so much for the ferry and so much for the train fare, it would be cheaper to go by plane
so much for sth
used to express disappointment and annoyance at the fact that a situation is not as you thought it was:
The car’s broken down again. So much for our trip to the seaside.
not nearly as/so
a lot less:
She’s not nearly as beautiful as you said she was.
My cold isn’t nearly so bad as it was.
There’s nowt so queer as folk. UK INFORMAL SAYING
said to emphasize that people sometimes behave in a very strange way
or so INFORMAL
They raised two hundred pounds or so for charity.
I should be so lucky! INFORMAL
said when what you want is extremely unlikely to happen:
“You might win first prize.” “I should be so lucky.”
sink to such a level/such depths (ALSO sink so low)
to do something so bad:
I can’t believe you would sink so low as to snitch on your best friends.
So what? INFORMAL
used to mean ‘it’s not important’ and ‘I don’t care’:
So what if I’m 35 and I’m not married – I lead a perfectly fulfilling life!
“Andrew won’t like it, you know.” “So what? – I don’t care what Andrew thinks!”
so as to
in order to:
I always keep fruit in the fridge so as to keep insects off it.
so there INFORMAL HUMOROUS
used for emphasis, or to show that something is being done in opposition to someone else’s wishes:
Mine’s bigger than yours, so there!
No, I won’t help you, so there!
As ye sow, so shall ye reap. LITERARY SAYING
used to mean that the way you behave in life will affect the treatment you will receive from others
so to speak
used to explain that what you are saying is not to be understood exactly as stated:
In that relationship it’s very much Lorna who wears the trousers, so to speak (= Lorna makes all the important decisions).
I told you so! INFORMAL
said when something bad happens after you warned someone that it would happen
without (so much as) a backward glance
If you leave without a backward glance, you are completely happy to leave and have no sad feelings about it:
She left the city where she had lived all her life without a backward glance.
without so much as a by-your-leave OLD-FASHIONED
without asking for anyone’s permission, in a way that is rude