Definition of soak in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /səʊk/


[with object]
1Make or allow (something) to become thoroughly wet by immersing it in liquid: soak the beans overnight in water
More example sentences
  • Rinse thoroughly, then soak the fabric in a dilute bleach solution.
  • Rinse or soak them thoroughly in fresh water to remove excess salt before adding them to your compost pile.
  • If using dried beans, soak them overnight, then cover with fresh water and cook for between 60 and 90 minutes, until tender.
immerse, steep, submerge, submerse, dip, sink, dunk, bathe, wet, rinse, douse, marinate, souse, pickle, ret
1.1 [no object] Be immersed in water or another liquid: she spent some time soaking in a hot bath
More example sentences
  • As I soaked in the hot water to wake up, my brain was awhirl in a multitude of thoughts.
  • Let agitation begin, but stop the washer and let the towels soak in hot water.
  • Lying with her feet propped on the rim of the large tub, Yvonne let herself soak in the hot water.
1.2(Of a liquid) cause (something or someone) to become extremely wet: the rain poured down, soaking their hair
More example sentences
  • Gasping slightly he felt the water rapidly soak him through, chilling him to the bone; still he moved further into the waters.
  • I held it over his head and wrung it out; the water soaked his sheets, his hair and his shirt.
  • Substances where this mold can be found include places where water has soaked wood.
drench, wet through, saturate, waterlog, deluge, inundate, submerge, drown, swamp
archaic sop
1.3 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of a liquid) penetrate or permeate completely: cold water was soaking into my shoes
More example sentences
  • The cold water easily soaked through my clothes, leaving me shivering, a harsh contrast to the warmth of a moment ago.
  • When the water soaks into my shoes, I lose all feeling in my toes, but it is okay because I am not being beaten for being a little wet.
  • He flinched, and the orange liquid soaked through his pants.
permeate, penetrate, percolate, soak into, seep into/through, spread through, infuse, impregnate, imbue, pervade
1.4 (soak something off/out) Remove something by immersing it in water for a period of time: don’t disturb the wound—soak the dressing off if necessary
More example sentences
  • ‘Now soak it off with warm water,’ she said, gesturing to the bloody linen.
  • It is mostly used after the salt is soaked out.
  • ‘I changed the sheets and pillowcases, and I'm soaking the bloodstain out,’ Tara said earnestly.
2 informal Impose heavy charges or taxation on: VAT would not soak the rich—it would soak the everyday guy struggling to stay afloat
More example sentences
  • Likewise, their prescription-drug plan is limited to seniors, and even then it soaks the taxpayers while allowing the drug makers to keep charging rip-off prices.
3 [no object] archaic, informal Drink heavily: you keep soaking in taverns


1An act of immersing someone or something in liquid for a period of time: I’m looking forward to a long soak in the bath
More example sentences
  • You might have tried brining a turkey, but other meats benefit from a soak in a salt-sugar liquid too.
  • So I shall seek other forms of rest and relaxation after work today, probably involving some music and a good book, with the possible addition of a soak in the bath.
  • I lit candles all around the bathroom, and had a nice soak in a bath full of lavender scented bubbles.
2 informal A heavy drinker: his daughter stayed up to put the old soak to bed
More example sentences
  • It helps to mar what is otherwise a perfectly respectable account of the old soak's rise to power.
  • Some old soak deprived of a few bob won't make it.
  • If you don't make any more beer soon you'll run out, and then where will you be, you old soak?
3Australian A hollow where rainwater collects; a waterhole.
Example sentences
  • A number of Warlpiri families were also camped near the soak.

Phrasal verbs


soak oneself in

Immerse oneself in (a particular experience, activity, or interest): he soaked himself in the music of Mozart
More example sentences
  • He had soaked himself in all his books from the intervening years.
  • This is not a college course, it's a living proposition, here for you to use, to dive into and soak yourself in.
  • He grew up soaking himself in the traditional Greek music.

soak something up

Absorb a liquid: use clean tissues to soak up any droplets of water
More example sentences
  • The towels soaked up the red liquid with blinding efficiency, soaking up almost ten times their weight in liquid.
  • The bread soaked up the meaty juices in a satisfyingly rustic way.
  • The garden also uses bark chip mulch which soaks up water and slowly releases it into the ground and a combination of soil and gravel to improve drainage.
absorb, suck up, draw up/in, blot (up), mop (up), sponge up, sop up, take in/up
2.1Expose oneself to or experience something beneficial or enjoyable: lie back and soak up the Mediterranean sun he spends his time painting and soaking up the culture
More example sentences
  • For half a century now many rich and varied cultural experiences have been soaked up over the scorching hot Perth summers.
  • Lie back and soak it up - the bright tones and soothing vocals are best appreciated horizontally, although there's plenty of wiggle in these wobbly cut-up rhythms as well.
  • We both spent time outside, soaking up some rays and just enjoying the spring weather.
informal2.2 Cost or use up money: the project had soaked up over £1 billion



Pronunciation: /ˈsəʊkɪdʒ/
Example sentences
  • The dump is actually on a height above it, surely anyone can see that soakage from the dump will go into the river and then go on to be used in the water supply.
  • I was told there wasn't enough soakage on the site, even though the one beside it was fine.
  • One is the harvesting and conveyance of water from the water source, the river typically in the Murray-Darling system, and how much water is lost through soakage and evaporation and so on, just to get it to the farm gate.


Pronunciation: /ˈsəʊkə/
Example sentences
  • The feeders can be proper freshwater patterns filled with mashed mackerel, worm and bread, the bread acting as binder and scent soaker.
  • Monday could be a real soaker for the Chicago area.
  • So as you can see...we had quite a soaker on Sunday.


Old English socian 'become saturated with a liquid by immersion'; related to sūcan 'to suck'.

  • suck from Old English:

    The Old English verb sūcan is from an Indo-European root imitating the sound; Old English soak is related. The phrase suck up to was originally schoolboys' slang of the mid 19th century. Late Middle English suckle was probably formed from the slightly earlier suckling from suck. The word suction made its appearance in the early 17th century from the related Latin sugere ‘suck’. A sucker (Late Middle English) was originally a young mammal before it was weaned, or a baby feeding at its mother's breast. The notion of a naïve and innocent baby led, in the 19th century, to that of a gullible person or an easy victim. See also even

Words that rhyme with soak

awoke, bespoke, bloke, broke, choke, cloak, Coke, convoke, croak, evoke, folk, invoke, joke, Koch, moke, oak, okey-doke, poke, provoke, revoke, roque, smoke, soke, spoke, stoke, stony-broke (US stone-broke), stroke, toke, toque, woke, yoke, yolk

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: soak

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.