American English

Definition of sore adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1if a part of your body is sore, it is painful, and often red, especially because of infection or because a muscle has been used too much to have a sore throat His feet were sore after the walk. My stomach is still sore (= painful) after the operation. Thesauruspainfulsore raw inflamed infected excruciating burning itchyThese words all describe something that causes you physical pain.painful causing you physical pain Painful can describe a part of the body, an illness, an injury, a treatment, or a death:Is your knee still painful? a series of painful injections a slow and painful deathsore (of a part of the body) painful and often red, especially because of infection or being used too much:a sore throat Their feet were sore after hours of walking.raw (of a part of the body) red and painful, for example because of an infection or because the skin has been damaged:The skin on her heels had been rubbed raw.inflamed (of a part of the body) painful, swollen, and hot because of an infection or injury:If your tonsils become inflamed, you should see a doctor.infected containing harmful bacteria:The wound became infected.excruciating extremely painful Excruciating can describe feelings, treatments, or death but not parts of the body:an excruciating throat/back/knee.burning painful and giving a feeling of being very hot:She felt a burning sensation in her throat.itchy giving an uncomfortable feeling on your skin that makes you want to scratch; having this feeling:an itchy rash I feel itchy all over.Patterns sore/inflamed/itchy eyes raw/inflamed/itchy skin a painful/an excruciating death a painful/burning sensation excruciating/burning pain
  2. 2[not before noun] sore (at somebody/about something) (informal) upset and angry, especially because you have been treated unfairly synonym annoyed
    noun [uncountable] an ointment to reduce soreness and swelling
  4. Idioms
    a sight for sore eyes (informal)
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    a person or thing that you are pleased to see
    a sore point
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    a subject that makes you feel angry or upset when it is mentioned It's a sore point with Sue's parents that the children have not been baptized yet.
    stand/stick out like a sore thumb
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    to be very noticeable in an unpleasant way The blue building stood out like a sore thumb among the whitewashed villas. If you wear a suit to the party, you'll stand out like a sore thumb.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sore