Main definitions of sob in English

: sob1SOB2



  • 1Cry noisily, making loud, convulsive gasps.

    ‘he broke down and sobbed like a child’
    ‘he sobbed himself to sleep’
    • ‘Hailey slammed the door and stumbled to her bed, sobbing like a baby.’
    • ‘She sobbed into my shirt this time, pulling my arms down around her.’
    • ‘She was still sobbing uncontrollably in my arms.’
    • ‘I felt his hands make circles on my back as I gripped his shirt and sobbed louder.’
    • ‘Instead, sadness overwhelmed her and she threw herself at the bed, sobbing uncontrollably into her pillow.’
    • ‘Then a woman sobbing caught his attention and he remembered the unwilling assistant.’
    • ‘Emily, too, starts sobbing, and her husband comforts her.’
    • ‘Jessica didn't want to cry again, but before she knew it she was sobbing louder than she ever had before.’
    • ‘He looked over at Katie, who was sobbing hysterically, tears pouring down her cheeks.’
    • ‘She leans back against the seat and starts sobbing endlessly.’
    • ‘Tears began falling again and I fell to the ground onto my knees sobbing.’
    • ‘Mother was sobbing as we walked out into the shadows of the car park.’
    • ‘He moved forward to touch her arm but she flinched away, sobbing harder.’
    • ‘All she wanted to do right now was start sobbing.’
    • ‘A hand reached up to wipe my tears and I began to sob louder.’
    • ‘Her mother sobbed loudly, but everyone else was silent.’
    • ‘Now I don't care any more what other people think and now I sob out loud as well.’
    • ‘She closed the window then collapsed on the bed sobbing into the pillows.’
    • ‘Brett sighed and sat next to her, pulling her into a hug as she sobbed uncontrollably into his shoulder.’
    • ‘The line repeated endlessly in my head as he screamed louder, the woman sobbing harder.’
    weep, cry, shed tears, snivel, whimper, whine, howl, mewl, bawl
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    1. 1.1with object Say while crying noisily.
      ‘she sobbed out her troubles to him’
      with direct speech ‘‘I thought they'd killed you,’ he sobbed weakly’
      • ‘She pressed her palms against her stinging eyes, sobbing his name incoherently.’
      • ‘But above all, we have seen people dying, heard people sobbing their last words.’
      • ‘I sobbed out Eli's name, and reached to touch him, but we had begun our trek.’
      • ‘This, and the girls sobbing outside auditions, ‘I just wanna be famous’.’
      • ‘She mustered courage and sobbed out the story of her torture by the prison guard to the jail boss.’


  • An act or sound of sobbing.

    ‘with a sob of despair she threw herself on to the bed’
    • ‘Tears started spilling from her eyes and a choked sob tore from her throat.’
    • ‘She felt a choking sob coming up her throat.’
    • ‘With a sob of relief she began to cry in earnest against his shirt.’
    • ‘I could not control it, a soft choked sob escaped from my lips.’
    • ‘With a sob of joy she embraced Christin, holding him tightly, cheek to cheek.’
    • ‘She clamped a hand over her mouth to stifle the sobs tearing their way loose.’
    • ‘A sob tore from my chest, and I buried my face in my hands.’
    • ‘They could hear soft sobs coming from inside the room.’
    • ‘So I tell Jill everything, in between my sobs of relief and shame.’
    • ‘Muffled sobs came from somewhere but before Darien could haul himself up and follow, they stopped.’
    • ‘A louder sob came from the girl who had broke down crying.’
    • ‘I let out a small sob of relief.’
    • ‘Small choking sobs escaped from him as he began to cry.’
    • ‘He clutched his stomach and doubled over, as silent sobs wracked his frail body.’
    • ‘He didn't mean for it to, but a choked sob escaped from his throat.’
    • ‘I stood there for a second and I heard a few muffled sobs from her.’
    • ‘The tears flowed down her face, and she let out a small stifled sob.’
    • ‘The crowd erupted in cheers and sobs of joy.’
    • ‘Kirby turned her face away from Paul, tears and choking sobs shaking her body violently.’
    • ‘I'm choking out ugly, gasping sobs.’
    howl, bawl, yowl, keening
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Middle English: perhaps of Dutch or Low German origin; compare with Dutch dialect sabben ‘to suck’.




Main definitions of sob in English

: sob1SOB2


(also s.o.b.)

North American
  • short for son of a bitch
    • ‘This SOB had better do time in the clink.’
    • ‘I'm glad they caught the SOB.’
    • ‘I hope you nail the SOB.’
    • ‘He was typecast for years as a pugnacious gangster and ornery little SOB.’
    • ‘You're no closer to divorcing the SOB than you were two years ago.’
    scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer
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