Main definitions of sop in US English:

: sop1SOP2



  • 1A thing given or done as a concession of no great value to appease someone whose main concerns or demands are not being met.

    ‘my agent telephones as a sop but never finds me work’
    • ‘Media pundits have suggested it was a sop to appease the right wing in the cabinet.’
    • ‘However, just tinkering with the exchange rate or giving a few sops to exporters is unlikely to ramp exports up by the kind of scale that a seven per cent growth entails.’
    • ‘The Magazine, a big glossy monthly freebie with the Sydney Morning Herald and a sop to Sydney's more onanistic tendencies, last week came up with a list of Sydney's ten finest minds.’
    • ‘Looked at from afar both subsidies look like sops to the middle classes.’
    • ‘There may be some sops to home-buyers in Wednesday's budget, possibly in the form of raising the threshold at which Stamp Duty becomes payable from £60,000 to £100,000.’
    • ‘His comments on Monday may have been sops to a hostile and left leaning audience.’
    • ‘Here are some sops which might help politicians in spreading their net for votes.’
    • ‘With major textile shops going all out to woo customers with sops, Loom World too is not far behind.’
    • ‘The critical thing is that fostering civilized behavior should be a priority up front in the design of our foreign policy, not an afterthought, a sop to bleeding hearts, or a pretext for something else.’
    • ‘Only then will we get the council tax relief out area needs and put a sop to these ridiculously high rises.’
    • ‘It should be possible to offer some sops to agencies which are diligent in repairing the roads dug up by them.’
    • ‘The main sop is a pledge to increase markets for US goods overseas by carrying out a more aggressive trade policy against Europe and Japan.’
    • ‘The great powers were focused on collective security; it was as a concession, a sop, that they consented to a peripheral project regarding human rights.’
    • ‘As a sop to the public, murder is likely to be excepted from this change of jurisdiction; but who defines murder?’
    • ‘Think of the good done - the minimum wages, the new deals and other sops to middle class consciences, they plead.’
    • ‘While the Centre seems content to follow a policy of wait-and-watch, the State governments say that by the time the sops are handed out, it would be too late.’
    • ‘Those handwritten appraisals of titles by bookshops are merely a sop to political correctness and their own egos.’
    • ‘But if he imagines that the country will be any the better for his cynical sops to the class-warrior wing of his party, he is mistaken.’
    • ‘The Government should, therefore, not act in haste and introduce subsidies and other sops for mitigating short-term repercussions, as these would affect the industry in the long run.’
    • ‘There are added serrations at the front of the slide, a sop to popular demand more than a useful necessity unless you're going to mount a scope atop the pistol.’
    compromise, adjustment, modification
    View synonyms
  • 2A piece of bread dipped in gravy, soup, or sauce.

    • ‘Aleberry was ale boiled with spices and sugar and sops of bread.’
    • ‘As such, soups or sops, as they were also known, became a dish with its own distinction, so did bisque.’
    • ‘At this time sops - pieces of bread - were used to soak up liquid mixtures, and these were often first toasted, which reduced their tendency to disintegrate.’
    • ‘By chance I'd had them the day before as a satisfactory sop for a piece of grilled sea bass at Kensington Place in west London.’


[with object]
  • 1sop something upSoak up liquid using an absorbent substance.

    ‘he used some bread to sop up the sauce’
    • ‘I took one look, took a very deep breath, and then used all the available towels to sop up the mess, much to the barely concealed amusement of Zachery.’
    • ‘If you can, buy a dozen different wines, have a picnic in the car park with plenty of baguettes to sop up the wine, and select your favourites before going back in to buy them.’
    • ‘The batter sops up more than two grams of saturated fat and three grams of trans fat in the deep-fat fryer.’
    • ‘But if, like us, you have any sympathies towards English food whatsoever, you'll love the way they are soaking in the tomato gravy, getting all soggy and sopping up the flavours.’
    • ‘Mom grabbed a paper towel and sopped up the spilled coffee.’
    • ‘We take bread and sop up the soup from the brown ceramic bowls.’
    • ‘Run it along your hairline to sop up excess sweat.’
    • ‘Hoppers are often eaten for breakfast, but Jaffrey emphasizes their versatility, and also their pleasing ability to sop up all sorts of juices and savoury or sweet flavours.’
    • ‘Those same frozen fries gain similar respectability sopping up the cognac-tinged pan juices of rock 'n' roll beef, a staple of local Vietnamese menus that grew on me here.’
    • ‘All Polish donuts, though, are greasy because the dense dough sops up the fry oil, and they tend to have a leathery paper tear-texture to the skin.’
  • 2Wet thoroughly; soak.

    • ‘Then he would "sop" his bread or biscuit in the sweet mixture.’


Old English soppian ‘dip (bread) in liquid’, sopp (noun), probably from the base of Old English sūpan ‘sup’. Sense 1 (mid 17th century) alludes to the sop used by Aeneas on his visit to Hades to appease Cerberus.




Main definitions of sop in US English:

: sop1SOP2


  • Standard Operating Procedure.