Definition of SOS in English:


nounPlural SOSs

  • 1An international code signal of extreme distress, used especially by ships at sea.

    ‘they put out an SOS that they were on fire’
    1. 1.1 An urgent appeal for help.
      ‘I'd thought of phoning a desperate SOS to James’
    2. 1.2British A message broadcast in an emergency in an attempt to contact a person whose whereabouts are not known.
      ‘here is an SOS message for Mr Arthur Brown about his brother, who is dangerously ill’


  • Somalian shilling(s).


Early 20th century: letters chosen as being easily transmitted and recognized in Morse code; by folk etymology an abbreviation of save our souls.