Definition of so adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//səʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//soʊ//
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  1. 1  to such a great degree Don't look so angry. There's no need to worry so. so… (that)… She spoke so quietly (that) I could hardly hear her. so… as to do something I'm not so stupid as to believe that. (formal, especially British English) Would you be so kind as to lock the door when you leave?
  2. 2  very; extremely I'm so glad to see you. We have so much to do. Their attitude is so very English. The article was just so much (= nothing but) nonsense. (British English) He sat there ever so quietly. (British English) I do love it so.
  3. 3  not so… (as…) (used in comparisons) not to the same degree I haven't enjoyed myself so much for a long time. It wasn't so good as last time. It's not so easy as you'd think. He was not so quick a learner as his brother. It's not so much a hobby as a career (= more like a career than a hobby). (disapproving) Off she went without so much as (= without even) a ‘goodbye’.
  4. 4used to show the size, amount or number of something The fish was about so big (= said when using your hands to show the size). There are only so many (= only a limited number of) hours in a day.
  5. 5  used to refer back to something that has already been mentioned ‘Is he coming?’ ‘I hope so.’ ‘Did they mind?’ ‘I don't think so.’ If she notices, she never says so. I might be away next week. If so, I won't be able to see you. We are very busy—so much so that we won't be able to take time off this year. Programs are expensive, and even more so if you have to keep altering them. I hear that you're a writer—is that so (= is that true)? He thinks I dislike him but that just isn't so. George is going to help me, or so he says (= that is what he says). They asked me to call them and I did so (= I called).
  6. 6  also Times have changed and so have I. ‘I prefer the first version.’ ‘So do we.’ You cannot use so with negative verbs. Use neither or either:‘I’m not hungry.’ ‘Neither am I/I’m not very hungry either.’
  7. 7used to agree that something is true, especially when you are surprised ‘You were there, too.’ ‘So I was—I'd forgotten.’ ‘There's another one.’ ‘So there is.’
  8. 8(informal) used, often with a negative, before adjectives and noun phrases to emphasize something that you are saying He is so not the right person for you. That is so not cool.
  9. 9(informal) used, especially by children, to say that what somebody says is not the case and the opposite is true ‘You're not telling the truth, are you?’ ‘I am, so!’
  10. 10used when you are showing somebody how to do something or telling them how something happened Stand with your arms out, so. (literary) So it was that he finally returned home.
  11. Word Originadverb Old English swā, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zo and German so.Extra examples He thinks I dislike him but that just isn’t so. I hear that you’re a writer— is that so? I might be away next week. If so, I won’t be able to see you. I’m so glad to see you. The article was just so much nonsense. The girls looked so pretty in their summer dresses.Idioms
    and so forth, and so on (and so forth)
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     used at the end of a list to show that it continues in the same way We discussed everything—when to go, what to see and so on.
    (all) the more so because…
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    used to give an important extra reason why something is true His achievement is remarkable; all the more so because he had no help at all.
     used after a number, an amount, etc. to show that it is not exact There were twenty or so (= about twenty) people there. We stayed for an hour or so. with the intention of doing something We went early so as to get good seats. (formal) used to show that you accept something and will not try to change it or cannot change it If he doesn't want to be involved, then so be it.
    1. 1used to show that you have finished talking about something So much for the situation in Germany. Now we turn our attention to France.
    2. 2(informal) used to suggest that something has not been successful or useful So much for that idea!
    (formal) in such a way that The programme has been so organized that none of the talks overlap.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: so