There are 2 main definitions of sop in English:

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sop1

Line breaks: sop
Pronunciation: /sɒp
 
/

noun

1A thing of no great value given or done as a concession to appease someone whose main concerns or demands are not being met: my agent telephones as a sop but never finds me work
More example sentences
  • Media pundits have suggested it was a sop to appease the right wing in the cabinet.
  • The great powers were focused on collective security; it was as a concession, a sop, that they consented to a peripheral project regarding human rights.
  • The main sop is a pledge to increase markets for US goods overseas by carrying out a more aggressive trade policy against Europe and Japan.
2A piece of bread dipped in gravy, soup, or sauce.
Example sentences
  • At this time sops - pieces of bread - were used to soak up liquid mixtures, and these were often first toasted, which reduced their tendency to disintegrate.
  • By chance I'd had them the day before as a satisfactory sop for a piece of grilled sea bass at Kensington Place in west London.
  • As such, soups or sops, as they were also known, became a dish with its own distinction, so did bisque.

verb (sops, sopping, sopped)

[with object] (sop something up) Back to top  
1Soak up liquid using an absorbent substance: he used some bread to sop up the sauce
More example sentences
  • We take bread and sop up the soup from the brown ceramic bowls.
  • All Polish donuts, though, are greasy because the dense dough sops up the fry oil, and they tend to have a leathery paper tear-texture to the skin.
  • The batter sops up more than two grams of saturated fat and three grams of trans fat in the deep-fat fryer.
1.1 archaic Wet thoroughly; soak: the dews ... bemoistening sop his harden’d shoes
More example sentences
  • Then he would "sop" his bread or biscuit in the sweet mixture.

Origin

Old English soppian 'dip (bread) in liquid', sopp (noun), probably from the base of Old English sūpan 'sup'. Sense 1 (mid 17th century) alludes to the sop used by Aeneas on his visit to Hades to appease Cerberus.

More
  • The Old English word sop first meant ‘to dip bread in liquid’—Chaucer says of his Franklin ‘Wel loved he in the morn a sop in wyn’—but nowadays a sop is something you do or offer as a concession to appease someone. This was originally used in the phrase a sop to Cerberus, referring to the monstrous three-headed watchdog which, in Greek mythology, guarded the entrance of Hades. In the Aeneid Virgil describes how the witch guiding Aeneas to the underworld threw a drugged cake to Cerberus, which allowed the hero to pass the monster in safety. When soppy, which comes from sop, first appeared in English in the early 19th century it meant ‘soaked with water’, not tears, as you might expect today from a feeble, sentimental soppy person. The writer H. G. Wells was one of the first to use the word in this sense. Soup (Middle English) comes from the French form of the same word. The American from soup to nuts for ‘from beginning to end’ dates from the early 20th century, while in the soup, also originally American and a variant of being in hot water is slightly earlier. Sip (Old English), sup (Old English), and supper (Middle English) go back to the same root.

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There are 2 main definitions of sop in English:

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SOP2

Syllabification: SOP

Entry from US English dictionary

abbreviation

Standard Operating Procedure.

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