Definition of son in English:



  • 1A boy or man in relation to either or both of his parents.

    • ‘Family dramas never die and this one tells the tale of two devoted parents and their four sons.’
    • ‘It was earlier decided by the committee that only married sons with both parents should be included.’
    • ‘Every good wish to the proud parents and their son for the future.’
    • ‘Three years ago, his parents lost their son Michael, 14, in a road accident.’
    • ‘Throughout their relationship, they had been the main parents to four sons, all of whom had been conceived in previous marriages.’
    • ‘A lecturer who survived the tsunami disaster lost her husband, both her sons and her parents in the tragedy.’
    • ‘In many cultures, the couple relationship is secondary to the relationship with parents, especially between sons and mothers.’
    • ‘Your problem is similar to that of parents whose sons show some talent on the football pitch.’
    • ‘The only people who have my home phone number are my work, my parents and my son's mother - I wonder which one of them it could have been?’
    • ‘Parents with three daughters are about 10% more likely to get divorced than parents of three sons.’
    • ‘As the parents of three sons, my wife and I strived to teach them right from wrong and to tell the truth when asked a question regarding a wrong done to others.’
    • ‘I was born and brought up here, the eldest son of Irish parents.’
    • ‘In the early nineties, I gave birth to a son and like all parents I do sometimes wonder what the future holds for him.’
    • ‘One of the messages read simply: ‘In memory of all those who lost their lives from very grateful parents whose two sons were saved.’’
    • ‘Alex is the son of British-Bulgarian parents, with an English mother, and a Bulgarian father.’
    • ‘We are friendly with our neighbours, with people at work, and with the kids and parents at our son's school.’
    • ‘The parents of two sons still make regular weekend visits to the parlor.’
    • ‘The data forces us to believe that urban, modern parents prefer sons.’
    • ‘And some relatives don't even know where their parents, brothers or sons are being held.’
    • ‘But Daniel was also a caring son who did his parents' garden and helped out at the pensioners' Christmas party.’
    male child, boy, son and heir
    descendant, offspring
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A male offspring of an animal.
      • ‘This design is based on the availability of large half-sib families of progeny-tested sons of elite sires with readily accessible semen samples.’
      • ‘He's the best son of an outstanding young stallion, from an exceptional family.’
    2. 1.2A male descendant.
      ‘the sons of Adam’
      • ‘Noah is a descendant of Adam, so we're all sons of Adam, too.’
      • ‘This is the land, which until now was being held by sons and descendants of our colonial oppressors at our expense.’
    3. 1.3(in Christian belief) the second person of the Trinity; Christ.
      • ‘God the Father gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for sinners because He loved us.’
      • ‘Rather, we are to go and teach them, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’
      • ‘He is able to overcome the greatest obstacles in order to advance the glorious kingdom of his Son.’
      • ‘These statements make it evident that Christ is not a Son by the grace of adoption.’
      • ‘Hence it is said right now to be translated into the kingdom of His dear Son.’
    4. 1.4A man considered in relation to his native country or area.
      ‘one of Norfolk's most famous sons’
      • ‘A bronze bust of one of Tenby's most famous sons, Augustus John, has just been bought by the town's museum and art gallery.’
      • ‘It was bound to an all Yorkshire affair because the other two semi-finalists were also native sons.’
      • ‘Inside Alabama is an exceptionally readable history of Alabama written by a native son.’
      • ‘Bolton will shortly be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of its most famous sons, Samuel Crompton.’
      • ‘The crowd fed off the energy their native sons were generating, with an awe-inspiring roar of approval.’
      • ‘The list of names is not exhaustive and many may be surprised by the non-appearance of some of Newry's famous sons, including the late actor and teacher Séan Hollywood.’
      • ‘Now the city's native sons and daughters are speculating on how that complex culture will change in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.’
      • ‘So when the two native sons faced each other they weren't going to give an inch.’
      • ‘In Wadowice, Poland, people left school and work early and headed for church to pray for their native son.’
      • ‘A native son, he received his forestry degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1926.’
      • ‘Now, basketball officials the world over embrace the notion of their native sons playing in the NBA, given the long-term developmental benefits.’
      • ‘I am their native son whom beneficial fate had sent to America and who had not forgotten them.’
      • ‘‘This is Snoop Dogg's corner,’ he says, referring to one of Long Beach's more famous native sons.’
      • ‘The heartbeat of a tranquil and proud village thumped with a louder beat when native sons and daughters turned out in force to pay tribute to one of the own who had reached the promised land.’
      • ‘One of Cumbria's most famous sons is highlighting the plight of the region's threatened farmland birds.’
      • ‘He is providing a great service and the County Board certainly owes it to its native sons and daughters living outside the county to be able to tune in, happy that they will find out how their old clubs are doing.’
      • ‘A legal wrangle over a seaside town's plans to honour one of its most famous sons with a commemorative plaque is set to be resolved today.’
      • ‘A book written by one of Ulverston's famous sons about a landmark case in naval history is to be relaunched next month.’
      • ‘However York seems to be more than happy to celebrate one of its most famous sons…’
      • ‘He was keen to stick up for one of the town's few famous sons.’
    5. 1.5A man regarded as the product of a particular person, influence, or environment.
      ‘sons of the church’
      • ‘The likes of Aimé Guibert, meanwhile, come across as men genetically at one with their environment, as authentic sons of the wine soil.’
    6. 1.6Used by an older person as a form of address for a boy or young man.
      ‘you're on private land, son’
      • ‘We know you are sick in the head, son, and sure as night follows day, smoking cigars not help.’
      • ‘Well I hope you're a method actor, son, because you're really going to enjoy this.’
      • ‘If they would have came to me and said, hey, son, why don't we come into my office and talk?’
      • ‘‘Hold on a minute, son,’ he said and the engines started and ran up on to the sand.’
      • ‘Then you'll be a man, my son, and what's more, you'll be able to sleep at night.’
      • ‘We're the The Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner - you've kept us waiting.’
      • ‘It works both ways, although I have to say I think you're clutching at straws a bit there, son.’
      • ‘After all, there's a war on, son!’
      • ‘Well here we go, happy birthday Karin's dad - and I'd put your foot down if I were you, son.’
      • ‘Ah, now, leave well enough alone, my son, surely what you have is more than enough to go on.’
      • ‘Well that's the best way to cope - you can keep your retreats and your yogic breathing, just get slaughtered, son!’
      • ‘Don't behave like a drunken grope artist in front of a room full of journalists, son.’


  • son of a bitch

    • informal Used as a general term of contempt or abuse.

      and → sonofabitch
      • ‘True to say if such were indeed the case then we would have to be the dumbest sons of bitches to have ever walked this planet, Earth.’
      • ‘Maybe there were five sons of bitches who beat their wives up.’
      • ‘That was the son of a bitch that had been abusing her?’
      • ‘Now's the time to abuse power like a crazy son of a bitch!’
      • ‘What the hell was wrong with those sons of bitches!’
      • ‘Just don't talk to the sons of bitches but don't leave.’
      • ‘Bobby answered and said, ‘Give me back my passport you son of a bitch!’’
      • ‘If I were a journalist, I'd be one mean son of a bitch.’
      • ‘I'm crying, I'd say to him, but don't you dare take it wrong, you son of a bitch.’
      • ‘I, uh, I can't seem to get those sons of bitches at the Franklin Mint interested in my idea for a Cold War chess set.’
      scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer
      View synonyms
  • son of a gun

    • informal A jocular or affectionate way of addressing or referring to someone.

      ‘he's a pretentious son of a gun, but he's got a heart of gold’
      • ‘He's not a bashful-type person; a real son of a gun, I'll tell you that.’
      • ‘He's a tough son of a gun, but when he learns how to play blocks better, using his hands better, he'll be a difference maker.’
      • ‘I knew I'd get a laugh sooner or later from this son of a gun.’
      • ‘If it takes another day, another week, a month, another five years, we are going to get this son of a gun.’
      • ‘Cale is an irritating, hypocritical son of a gun, isn't he?’
      • ‘Adam, you son of a gun, if I'da seen her first, there's no way she would have gone for you, not with me around.’
      • ‘As I bent to pick it up, I noticed the silvery glint of the top of a can and a bit of green label through one of the torn corners and awareness dawned: son of a gun, my Old Man had come through for me!’
      • ‘‘He's one tough son of a gun,’ said a former employee.’
      • ‘But don't forget, I am a resourceful son of a gun.’
      • ‘James, you are one cold, calculating son of a gun.’


Old English sunu, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zoon and German Sohn, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek huios.