Definition of sock in English:

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Pronunciation: /sɒk/


1A garment for the foot and lower part of the leg, typically knitted from wool, cotton, or nylon.
Example sentences
  • In more formal settings, black over-the-calf stretch nylon cotton or wool socks are fitting.
  • Cotton socks absorb moisture and keep feet drier than nylon socks.
  • Fleece picks up lint easily and a fleece garment washed with wool socks or terry towels will never look the same again.
1.1A removable inner sole placed inside a shoe or boot for added warmth or to improve the fit.
1.2A white marking on the lower part of a horse’s leg, not extending as far as the knee or hock: a Welsh pony mare, black with four white socks
More example sentences
  • Ranger is a 4-year old sorrel with a flaxen mane and tail, right hind sock, and left hind stocking.
  • Shorty is a 3-year old brown gelding with a star, strip, snip, connected lower tip, left front sock and right front pastern.
2 informal A hard blow: a sock on the jaw
More example sentences
  • Instead of a hard sock in the arm, he got a soft smack in the arm.
  • I was treated to a sock on the jaw by the same thugs later that night.
  • The Maus mounted a 128 mm main gun that would punch through enemy armor like a thrown sock punches through a wall made out of gelatin.
2.1 [mass noun] US Force or emphasis: we have enough speed and sock in our line-up to score runs
More example sentences
  • If Martin can succeed, the lineup has enough sock elsewhere to cash in.
  • Coming up from the minors is the right-handed-hitting Juan Uribe, who has good sock but can be undisciplined on breaking balls.


[with object] informal
Hit forcefully: Jess socked his father across the face
More example sentences
  • The guy protested and laid a hand on Novak - who responded by socking him and threatening to knock his teeth out.
  • But this did nothing to stop Grant from fulfilling his end of the showdown; he socked Hearns with a straight right to the body and followed up with a left hook that must have made Hearns' cranium vibrate.
  • He says he socked a taxi inspector at the airport.



bless your (or his/her/their) little cotton socks

chiefly British
Used as an expression of endearment: you’re so sweet, bless your little cotton socks
More example sentences
  • The official history of the short story is written by the professors of English Literature, God bless their little cotton socks.
  • Interestingly, the little beauty that is amplifier has continued to function throughout, bless its little cotton socks.
  • Well, bless my little cotton socks, it works!

knock (or blow) someone's socks off

informal Amaze or impress someone: this dish will knock your socks off!
More example sentences
  • The other kind of trailer is the one that knocks your socks off, stands your hair on end, sears the retina and leaves you gasping.
  • I just had one solo, so I blew some real good blues notes and knocked their socks off.
  • Chairman of the school's governors, Dave Waters said: ‘It has just knocked my socks off - we expected around 70 per cent in our favour - but 98 per cent is just unbelievable.’

knock the socks off

informal Surpass or beat.
Example sentences
  • The three top cheeses in the competition would knock the socks off most Continental varieties.
  • I've spent a lot of time in the swanky bars of London, Leeds and all other cities around the UK, but I have to say, Manchester in general knocks the socks off anywhere.
  • Gilbert agreed: ‘This is a 16 bit processor that knocks the socks off 32 bit.’

—— one's socks off

informal Do something with great energy and enthusiasm: she acted her socks off
More example sentences
  • Prepare to laugh your socks off with the craziest clowns in town and top circus acts from all over the world at the Circus Hilarious show which takes place at Forum 28, Duke Street, on Wednesday, February 16, at 2pm and 5pm.
  • And within three minutes you're laughing your socks off, which is a good sign.
  • Rock and dance your socks off to the tunes of DJ Steady B and guests from the Kidnapper Crew, whose films will be projected on the walls.

pull one's socks up

informal Make an effort to improve one’s work, performance, or behaviour.
Example sentences
  • A more professional approach to the game has made each member of the side a better fielder, keener to win, no longer prepared to be pushed about by sides that could beat them if they pulled their socks up.
  • ‘The authorities need to pull their socks up and I am hoping that after the election fever which is gripping the Town Hall is over, we can start the ball rolling,’ she says.
  • Now we've finally been appointed it might hit home to one or two that they need to pull their socks up!

put a sock in it

[usually in imperative] British informal Stop talking.
Example sentences
  • How true, how very true, you are so wise, but put a sock in it, eh?
  • Once she'd put a sock in it, I did what we all do when we're lost: I asked a nice man the way.
  • If a luminary on the campaign team goes ‘off message’ with a genuinely sensible observation, put a sock in it, pronto.

sock and buskin

archaic The theatrical profession; drama.
Example sentences
  • Mills said he had given up his trade of glue-making for the sock and buskin, and he hoped soon to have an engagement at one of the minors.
  • In the seclusion of a then inland Calvinistic college the seductions of the drama still pursued him, and sock and buskin made their prints all along the pages of the ‘Pastime.’

sock it to someone

informal Attack or make a forceful impression on someone.
Example sentences
  • Yes, on that show, yes, and I remember being amazed at it, that he was actually just there and he did sock it to me.
  • So anyway, what I was trying to say before I got all sidetracked was - sock it to me.
  • The company really socks it to you, however, if you want more OS support - increasing the OS support to three years costs another $1,400.

Phrasal verbs


sock something away

North American Put money aside as savings: you’ll need to sock away about $900 a month
More example sentences
  • But all of the extra fees and hassles have yet to stop the vast majority of us from socking our money away in banks.
  • She once again starts socking her benefit away for retirement.
  • People alive today know that there are not enough people in the workforce to support a public pension; they're trying to sock it away for their retirement.

sock something in

North American Envelop or make impassable by inhospitable weather conditions: the beach was socked in with fog
More example sentences
  • The message they were getting was clear: we had been on this lollipop cruise for six weeks, got socked in with weather for a seventh, and now, finally, it was time to shut up and fly the hours.
  • He thought the Alaska State Troopers might fly over, but said he didn't realize at the time that everyone else in the vicinity was socked in with snow as well, preventing any possible flight.
  • The coast was socked in with fog this morning, making an inland Southern California heat wave look like a mirage.


Old English socc 'light shoe', of Germanic origin, from Latin soccus 'comic actor's shoe, light low-heeled slipper', from Greek sukkhos.

  • Old English socc was a ‘light shoe’. It goes back ultimately to Latin soccus ‘comic actor's shoe, light low-heeled slipper’, from Greek sukkhos. The phrase knock the socks off was originally US English from the early 19th century; pull one's socks up arose in the late 19th century; put a sock in it is early 20th century.

Words that rhyme with sock

ad hoc, amok, Bangkok, baroque, belle époque, bloc, block, bock, brock, chock, chock-a-block, clock, doc, dock, floc, flock, frock, hock, hough, interlock, jock, knock, langue d'oc, lock, Locke, Médoc, mock, nock, o'clock, pock, post hoc, roc, rock, schlock, shock, smock, Spock, stock, wok, yapok

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sock

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