Definition of soak in English:



  • 1Make or allow (something) to become thoroughly wet by immersing it in liquid.

    ‘soak the beans overnight in water’
    • ‘They were somewhat difficult to come by, anchovies packed in oil are much easier to find, but I finally located some and soaked them overnight.’
    • ‘Steven soaks his clothes overnight to get out stains.’
    • ‘Rinse thoroughly, then soak the fabric in a dilute bleach solution.’
    • ‘If you want your paste to not be green, soak the pistachios overnight, and then remove the skins with a tea towel.’
    • ‘In a bowl, combine tapioca and milk; soak for one hour.’
    • ‘To get rid of the salt, I would recommend that you soak it at least overnight.’
    • ‘If using dried beans, soak them overnight, then cover with fresh water and cook for between 60 and 90 minutes, until tender.’
    • ‘Cook until the flour is light golden brown, then stir in the stock and also the liquid reserved from soaking the dried mushrooms.’
    • ‘Allow the tea to cool, soak a washcloth in it, wring it out, lie down, and place it over your closed eyes for 15 to 20 minutes.’
    • ‘For a natural fabric softener, soak garments overnight in a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water, then rinse well in clear water before washing.’
    • ‘The woman had gotten a towel and soaked it in the sink.’
    • ‘Steep it for 10 minutes, allow the tea to cool and soak your feet for 30 minutes.’
    • ‘Any sailor who shot an albatross would soak it overnight to get rid of the fishy taste, and make pies from it the next morning.’
    • ‘The are usually packed in olive oil or vinegar, and are frequently slit so they absorb the flavor of the wine vinegar marinade in which they are soaked.’
    • ‘If using dried borlotti beans soak them overnight in cold water then rinse well.’
    • ‘Rinse or soak them thoroughly in fresh water to remove excess salt before adding them to your compost pile.’
    • ‘Make sure it is totally submerged, and soak each batch in clean water to avoid pollutants.’
    • ‘Then they soak the projectiles in the poison over night.’
    • ‘He ripped off two lengths of bandage and began soaking them in the liquid.’
    • ‘To clean your bearings thoroughly, take the bearings apart and soak them in a citrus degreaser.’
    immerse, steep, submerge, submerse, dip, sink, dunk, bathe, wet, rinse, douse, marinate, souse, pickle, ret
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    1. 1.1[no object]Be immersed in water or another liquid.
      ‘she spent some time soaking in a hot bath’
      • ‘She soaked for hours, enjoying the feel of the warm water against her skin.’
      • ‘One night, while I was soaking in the bath, the phone rang.’
      • ‘Since they cannot maintain a peaceful mind within activity, they avoid noisy places and spend their days soaking in stale water.’
      • ‘Let agitation begin, but stop the washer and let the towels soak in hot water.’
      • ‘While those were soaking in boiling water, I also boiled chicken with garlic and onions.’
      • ‘After realizing how long I had sat soaking in the water, I hoisted myself up out of the tub and walked across the room to retrieve a towel.’
      • ‘Lying with her feet propped on the rim of the large tub, Yvonne let herself soak in the hot water.’
      • ‘After 15 to 20 minutes soaking in the water, your pores will enlarge and pulse quicken.’
      • ‘I then left the clothes in a bucket to soak overnight with washing soda.’
      • ‘Luke ran to the bathroom and started to run some super hot water for Winnie to soak in for a while.’
      • ‘They were more likely to say they soak in a tub to relax.’
      • ‘She has a stack of willow in her garden at all times, soaking in water ready for weaving.’
      • ‘As I soaked in the hot water to wake up, my brain was awhirl in a multitude of thoughts.’
      • ‘An old man, whose face looked as if he'd been soaking in water too long, snuck glances at me while puffing on a cigarette.’
      • ‘I couldn't have looked convinced, because she then dragged me over to her sink where a dirty baking dish was soaking in water.’
      • ‘I laid quietly in the bathtub soaking in the warm water and letting it settle my thoughts.’
      • ‘She thought about going home and soaking in the water.’
      • ‘Once the slices have soaked for 10 minutes, discard the liquid.’
      • ‘I wrung out a cold washrag, let it soak in the hot water as I brushed my hair, then braided it into a tight braid in the back of my head.’
      • ‘Also, soaking in a shallow tub of salty water may ease the discomfort.’
    2. 1.2(of a liquid) cause (something or someone) to become extremely wet.
      ‘the rain poured down, soaking their hair’
      • ‘Cat twirled around as the warm rain pounded down on her, soaking her uniform-dress and hair.’
      • ‘Substances where this mold can be found include places where water has soaked wood.’
      • ‘Water came spraying out and soaked his t-shirt quite thoroughly.’
      • ‘Once the weather had died down, I found to my horror that I had about 100 kg of sea water soaking my rations.’
      • ‘I buried my face in his chest, allowing my tears to soak his shirt, leaving tell tale damp spots where my eyes had pressed.’
      • ‘The rain poured down relentlessly, soaking her to the skin within minutes of its beginning.’
      • ‘I heard the shattering but not before I felt the hot liquid soaking my worm pajama pants and burning my skin.’
      • ‘As spray soaked the men on-board the sergeant bellowed orders.’
      • ‘I gasp loudly as the cold liquid soaks my face and my chest.’
      • ‘The warm salty tears soaked her palms thoroughly, making them damp.’
      • ‘She could feel a stinging liquid dribbling down her shoulder and soaking her shirt; her wound had reopened in her frantic flight.’
      • ‘Instead of sleeping, though, I cried silently, my tears soaking the pillow.’
      • ‘Running her hands threw her long black hair she let the water soak her back.’
      • ‘I held it over his head and wrung it out; the water soaked his sheets, his hair and his shirt.’
      • ‘A small stream of warm red liquid flowed down my neck and hit my shirt, soaking a small patch of black cloth.’
      • ‘He stood shivering as rain soaked his clothes, trying to protect his harp.’
      • ‘The liquid quickly soaked his grey socks and he stepped out of the fuming puddle in no time, fumbling to take off the wet articles of clothing.’
      • ‘Roof and mechanical system leaks can allow water to soak interior surfaces.’
      • ‘She took another shuddering breath as she placed her head under the running water and allowed it to soak her hair.’
      • ‘Gasping slightly he felt the water rapidly soak him through, chilling him to the bone; still he moved further into the waters.’
      drench, wet through, saturate, waterlog, deluge, inundate, submerge, drown, swamp
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    3. 1.3[no object](of a liquid) penetrate or permeate completely.
      ‘cold water was soaking into my shoes’
      • ‘At this point, water either soaks into the face of the concrete masonry or flows down the wall.’
      • ‘The ink had soaked through the pages, the pages curled and wrinkled.’
      • ‘He flinched, and the orange liquid soaked through his pants.’
      • ‘The sweat band wrapped tightly around her forehead was drenched, and sweat soaked through her clothes and covered her face and arms.’
      • ‘Sweat soaked through her clothes and matted her short red hair.’
      • ‘The front side of the cage began to glow, and in seconds, the liquid that had soaked into my clothes disappeared, and I was dry.’
      • ‘The cold water easily soaked through my clothes, leaving me shivering, a harsh contrast to the warmth of a moment ago.’
      • ‘If the water soaks in, the wood needs to be refinished.’
      • ‘Glancing at his paper, he realised that the ink had soaked through several sheets.’
      • ‘The water was soaking through the cotton wool, and was then hanging until a sufficiently large drop fell into the bath.’
      • ‘During a downpour I saw two young girls wearing bell-bottomed jeans that were so long the hem waded through every puddle and water had soaked up to the back of their knees!’
      • ‘When the water soaks into my shoes, I lose all feeling in my toes, but it is okay because I am not being beaten for being a little wet.’
      • ‘Sweat from his fingertips soaks into the comic's cover.’
      • ‘His sweat would've soaked through her breeches, but she sat sort of side-saddle, and her legs were facing the inside of the arena.’
      • ‘By then tears were already soaking into her skin and her eyes were a bit swollen.’
      • ‘Whatever ink soaks through will be absorbed by the paper towel.’
      • ‘All four gardaí had to return to the station to shower and change uniforms as the petrol had soaked through their clothes causing a further hazard.’
      • ‘I see the droplets soak into the stale, brown grass, and I watch it pound the drooping daylilies and roses.’
      • ‘Accidentally knocking over the bottle, I watched as the crimson coloured liquid soaked into the white papers.’
      • ‘It was caused by me stupidly putting a retractable pen in my pocket - the ink soaked into the fabric.’
      permeate, penetrate, percolate, soak into, seep into, seep through, spread through, infuse, impregnate, imbue, pervade
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    4. 1.4Remove something by immersing it in water for a period of time.
      ‘don't disturb the wound—soak the dressing off if necessary’
      • ‘It is mostly used after the salt is soaked out.’
      • ‘‘Now soak it off with warm water,’ she said, gesturing to the bloody linen.’
      • ‘If that appears to be a problem, disconnect it, and soak the salt clog out (around the bottom float ball) in a tub of water.’
      • ‘I had to soak the labels off for all of them so they could buy more.’
      • ‘He had to soak the blood out of the sponge often, and soon discovered that after squeezing it into the bucket, the water within got more and more pink.’
      • ‘So do most full ones, just soak the label off first.’
      • ‘‘I changed the sheets and pillowcases, and I'm soaking the bloodstain out,’ Tara said earnestly.’
  • 2informal Impose heavy charges or taxation on.

    ‘few of us common people care how much tax Congress soaks on racing motorboats’
    • ‘Likewise, their prescription-drug plan is limited to seniors, and even then it soaks the taxpayers while allowing the drug makers to keep charging rip-off prices.’
  • 3archaic, informal [no object] Drink heavily.

    ‘you keep soaking in taverns’


  • 1[in singular] An act of immersing someone or something in liquid for a period of time.

    ‘I'm looking forward to a long soak in the tub’
    • ‘You might have tried brining a turkey, but other meats benefit from a soak in a salt-sugar liquid too.’
    • ‘On many moonless nights, they have enjoyed a warm soak, watching thousands of stars, in complete solitude.’
    • ‘It turned out to be a quicker soak than he'd anticipated.’
    • ‘I lit candles all around the bathroom, and had a nice soak in a bath full of lavender scented bubbles.’
    • ‘So I shall seek other forms of rest and relaxation after work today, probably involving some music and a good book, with the possible addition of a soak in the bath.’
    • ‘Cleaning your food processor bowl with a good soak is tough because of the hole in the middle.’
    • ‘I completely tuned her out after that, and enjoyed a hot soak.’
    • ‘As an alternative to sleeping aids, some experts recommend a soak in a hot tub.’
    • ‘Tiptoe through the garden for a moonlit soak in the hot tub or simply cuddle up by the fire in your room.’
    • ‘They had all opted for a soak in the hot tub, and Ashley lent them a few of her bathing suits.’
    • ‘Other highlights of our weekend: a soak in an outdoor, rooftop hot tub.’
    • ‘For a soothing, relaxing soak, put dried thyme into an eight-inch square of cheesecloth.’
    • ‘He nods, says he'll be there on Sunday - as always - for his 15 minutes of ice followed by a soak in the cold tub.’
    • ‘After a long walk back to Piccadilly Circus and a stuffy train journey home during which I dozed off, I was glad of a soak in a cool, deep bath.’
    • ‘Top off your perfect evening with a soothing soak in one of their private baths.’
    • ‘I had been washing from a bucket of water he provided for me each morning and while it was refreshing, I really needed to have a good soak and wash my hair.’
    • ‘The essence of the Sycamore experience is a soak in one of the resort's fancifully named redwood tubs.’
    • ‘I enjoyed the dip, even if it was in a cold bath that looked as if a football team had enjoyed a soak before me.’
    • ‘Hot chocolate warms me before I retire to my room for a pre-dinner nap and a good long soak in the bath to pre-empt any aches and pains from the day's exercise.’
    • ‘Most, though, are intended as peaceful retreats for grown-ups who prefer quiet soaks to water slides.’
  • 2informal A heavy drinker.

    ‘his daughter stayed up to put the old soak to bed’
    • ‘Satyrs and nymphs gambol about him harmlessly, and Silenus is a cheerful old soak.’
    • ‘He's either a total soak, or he was getting someone else a drink when he ran into Jan.’
    • ‘If you don't make any more beer soon you'll run out, and then where will you be, you old soak?’
    • ‘It helps to mar what is otherwise a perfectly respectable account of the old soak's rise to power.’
    • ‘Some old soak deprived of a few bob won't make it.’
    drinker, serious drinker, hard drinker, problem drinker, alcoholic
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Phrasal Verbs

  • soak oneself in

    • Immerse oneself in (a particular experience, activity, or interest)

      ‘he soaked himself in the music of Mozart’
      • ‘Recording equipment has become cheap and accessible to an extent unforeseeable 30 years ago, while the globalisation of music makes it easy for musicians to soak themselves in a multiplicity of sources.’
      • ‘This is not a college course, it's a living proposition, here for you to use, to dive into and soak yourself in.’
      • ‘He went about researching the war meticulously, soaking himself in the plentiful documentary material from this most media-infiltrated of conflicts.’
      • ‘He had soaked himself in all his books from the intervening years.’
      • ‘On the other hand, it was admirable to see the way he soaked himself in England, and acquired a perfect mastery of English, even if his English remained a little stiff.’
      • ‘He grew up soaking himself in the traditional Greek music.’
      • ‘Like a field absorbing fresh spring rains, we can continue to soak ourselves in the Spirit's presence, absorbing more and more of his life.’
      • ‘I tried to soak myself in the story, to let the notes and phrases marinate in my head.’
  • soak something up

    • 1Absorb a liquid.

      ‘use clean tissues to soak up any droplets of water’
      • ‘The garden also uses bark chip mulch which soaks up water and slowly releases it into the ground and a combination of soil and gravel to improve drainage.’
      • ‘The three-month trial has shown hemp to be a more effective mop crop, in that it grows quicker and produces bigger plants, soaking up more water and nutrients.’
      • ‘This was annoying enough, but after I'd used towels to soak up the water, I heard an ominous dripping noise coming from below.’
      • ‘It must have soaked up some water in the cellar over the years and swelled somewhat.’
      • ‘The bread soaked up the meaty juices in a satisfyingly rustic way.’
      • ‘Unless the roof is waterproofed, that weight could double as the soil soaks up water during rains.’
      • ‘So if you have your bag with you, or if your clothing falls too low, it soaks up the hose water like a sponge.’
      • ‘The plants and trees will provide storm water protection by soaking up the rain.’
      • ‘The drawback is that down soaks up water, so you can't wear most jackets in the rain.’
      • ‘The towels soaked up the red liquid with blinding efficiency, soaking up almost ten times their weight in liquid.’
      absorb, suck up, draw in, draw up, sponge up, sop up, take in, take up
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      1. 1.1Expose oneself to or experience (something beneficial or enjoyable)
        ‘lie back and soak up the Mediterranean sun’
        ‘he spends his time painting and soaking up the culture’
        • ‘We both spent time outside, soaking up some rays and just enjoying the spring weather.’
        • ‘I'm going on vacation to soak up some sun and refresh my mind.’
        • ‘Now she's going off to a Greek island to soak up the sun.’
        • ‘Lie back and soak it up - the bright tones and soothing vocals are best appreciated horizontally, although there's plenty of wiggle in these wobbly cut-up rhythms as well.’
        • ‘"We're just going to soak up the atmosphere," said Lesley.’
        • ‘For half a century now many rich and varied cultural experiences have been soaked up over the scorching hot Perth summers.’
        • ‘So if you couldn't get tickets to the paid events, you can still soak up the atmosphere.’
        • ‘I stood there soaking up the final rays of the sun until it set completely.’
      2. 1.2informal Cost or use up money.
        ‘the project had soaked up over $1 billion’


Old English socian become saturated with a liquid by immersion; related to sūcan to suck.