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SON, n. [Sax. sunu; Goth. sunus; G. sohn; D. zoon; Sw. son; Dan. sön; Sans. sunu; Russ. syn or sin.]

  1. A male child; the male issue of a parent, father or mother. Jacob had twelve sons. Ishmael was the son of Hagar by Abraham.
  2. A male descendant, however distant; hence in the plural, sons signifies descendants in general, a sense much used in the Scriptures. The whole human race are styled sons of Adam.
  3. The compellation of an old man to a young one, or of a confessor to his penitent; a term of affection. Eli called Samuel his son. Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift. – Shak.
  4. A native or inhabitant of a country; as, the sons of Britain. Let our country never be ashamed of her sons.
  5. The produce of any thing. Earth's tall sons, the cedar, oak and pine. – Blackmore. Note. The primary sense of child is produce, issue; a shoot.
  6. One adopted into a family. Moses was the son of Pharaoh's daughter. – Exod. ii.
  7. One who is converted by another's instrumentality, is called his son; also, one educated by another; as, the sons of the prophets.
  8. Christ is called the Son of God, as being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, or in consequence of his relation to the Father.
  9. Son of pride, sons of light, son of Belial. These are Hebraisms, which denote that persons possess the qualities of pride, of light, or of Belial, as children inherit the qualities of their ancestors.

SO-NA'TA, n. [It. See Sound.]

A tune intended for an instrument only, as cantata is for the voice.

SONG, n. [Sax. song; D. zang; G. sang, gesang; Sw. siöng; Dan. sang. See Sing.]

  1. In general, that which is sung or uttered with musical modulations of the voice, whether of the human voice or that of a bird.
  2. A little poem to be sung, or uttered with musical modulations; a ballad. The songs of a country are characteristic of its manners. Every country has its love songs, its war songs, and its patriotic songs.
  3. A hymn; a sacred poem or hymn to be sung either in joy or thanksgiving, as that sung by Moses and the Israelites after escaping the dangers of the Arabian gulf and of Pharaoh; or of lamentation, as that of David over the death of Saul and Jonathan. Songs of joy are represented as constituting a part of heavenly felicity.
  4. A lay; a strain; a poem. The bard that first adorn'd our native tongue, / Tun'd to his British lyre this ancient song. – Dryden.
  5. Poetry; poesy; verse. This subject for heroic song / Pleas'd me. – Milton.
  6. Notes of birds. [See Def. l.]
  7. A mere trifle. The soldier's pay is a song. – Silliman. Old song, a trifle. I do not intend to be thus put off with an old song. – More.


Ennobled in song. – Coleridge.


Consisting of songs. [Low and not in use.] – Dryden.

SONG'STER, n. [song and Sax. steora, one that steers.]

  1. One that sings; one skilled in singing; not often applied to human beings, or only in slight contempt. – Howell.
  2. A bird that sings; as, the little songster in his cage. [In this use, the word is elegant.]


A female singer. – Thomson.

SO-NIF'ER-OUS, a. [L. sonus, sound, and fero, to bear.]

Sounding; producing sound.


A man married to one's daughter.

SON'NET, n. [Fr. from It. sonetta; Sp. soneta. See Sound.]

  1. A short poem of fourteen lines, two stanzas of four verses each and two of three each, the rhymes being adjusted by a particular rule. – Milton. Johnson. Busby.
  2. A short poem. I have a sonnet that wilt serve the turn. – Shak.

SON'NET, v.i.

To compose sonnets. – Bp. Hall.

SON-NET-EER, n. [Fr. sonnetier.]

A composer of sonnets or small poems; a small poet; usually in contempt. – Pope.

SO-NOM'E-TER, n. [L. sonus, sound, and Gr. μετρεω, to measure.]

An instrument for measuring sounds or the intervals of sounds. – Ed. Encyc.

SON-O-RIF'IC, a. [L. sonus, sound, and facio, to make.]

Producing sound; as, the sonorific quality of a body. – Watts.

SO-NO'ROUS, a. [L. sonorus, from sonus, sound.]

  1. Giving sound when struck. Metals are sonorous bodies.
  2. Loud sounding; giving a clear or loud sound; as, a sonorous voice.
  3. Yielding sound; as, the vowels are sonorous. – Dryden.
  4. High sounding; magnificent of sound. The Italian opera, amidst all the meanness and familiarity of the thoughts, has something beautiful and sonorous in the expression. – Addison.


With sound; with a high sound.


  1. The quality of yielding sound when struck, or coming in collision with another body; as, the sonorousness of metals.
  2. Having or giving a loud or clear sound; as, the sonorousness of a voice or an instrument.
  3. Magnificence of sound. – Johnson.

SON-SHIP, n. [from son.]

  1. The state of being a son, or of having the relation of a son.
  2. Filiation; the character of a son. – Johnson.


Among Mohammedans, an infidel.


Mohammedan infidelity.

SOON, a.

Speedy; quick. [Not in use.]

SOON, adv. [Sax. sona; Goth. suns.]

  1. In a short time; shortly after any, time specified or supposed; as, soon after sunrise; soon after dinner; I shall soon return; we shall soon have clear weather.
  2. Early; without the usual delay; before any time supposed. How is it that ye have come so soon to-day? – Exod. ii.
  3. Readily; willingly. But in this sense it accompanies would, or some other word expressing will. I would as soon see a river winding among woods or in meadows, as when it is tossed up in so many whimsical figures at Versailles. – Addison. As soon as, so soon as, immediately at or after another event. As soon as the mail arrives, I will inform you. As soon as Moses came nigh to the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. – Exod. xxxii.

SOON'LY, adv.

Quickly; speedily. [Not in use.]


A kind of black tea.