Definition of soke in English:



  • 1A right of local jurisdiction.

    • ‘Maud, William the Conqueror's queen, held the town and soke as part of the king's demesne.’
    • ‘In 1888 the soke of Peterborough, which retained special jurisdictions, was given its own county council, and in 1965 was merged with Huntingdonshire, before finding its way in 1972 into a substantially enlarged Cambridgeshire.’
    1. 1.1 A district under a particular jurisdiction; a minor administrative district.
      • ‘The private sokes of Stigand and Harold, however, gradually disappeared when cathedral, castle and Mancroft were raised on the sites of the sokes.’
      • ‘A royal estate served, in turn, as an administrative centre for a cantref, a territory including numerous townships, analogous to the English soke or primitive ‘shire’.’
      • ‘The larger sokes covered wide areas and berewicks and sokelands could be either whole or parts of a village.’
      • ‘Clear parallels can be drawn between the soke and the Northumbrian shire, yet they were not made because, according to Stenton, the soke was Danish.’
      • ‘For this reason the five hide units were combined in some regions into districts of 300 hides, which were called ship sokes.’
      territory, region, province, district, area, zone
      View synonyms


Late Old English, back-formation from obsolete soken ‘habitual visiting of a place’.