Definition of soy in English:



  • 1Protein derived from soybeans, used as a replacement for animal protein in foods and fodder.

    ‘I'm trying to add more soy into my diet’
    ‘soy is a key ingredient in livestock feed’
    • ‘Whether your aim is to avoid milk or to eat more soy, you can now find 'cultured soy' tucked in among the milk products in the yogurt aisle.’
    • ‘Besides nuts, wheat, soy and milk are common allergens.’
    • ‘My doctor recommended that I incorporate soy into my diet.’
    • ‘Many children who are allergic to soy tolerate cow's milk formulas quite well.’
    • ‘Nutritionists say that, for the most part, eating soy is better for most people than eating mostly beef or pork.’
  • 2The soybean plant.

    ‘soy is the nation's leading source of food-grade oil’
    ‘the most common GMOs are soy, corn, canola and cotton’
    • ‘The chief benefits of biotech corn and soy accrue to farmers who lower their weed and pest control costs.’
    • ‘Runaway pollen and seeds from GM crops like soy, corn and canola have been a great concern since the commercial cultivation of GM plants began in 1996.’
    • ‘Typical crops for conventional biodiesel production include soy, sunflower, rapeseed, palm, and other oilseed-bearing crops such as jatropha.’
    • ‘Second only to corn as America's most widely grown crop, soy is the nation's leading source of food-grade oil.’
    • ‘More and more land was put towards cash crops like coffee and soy.’


Late 17th century: from Japanese soy, shoy, variant of shō-yu, from Chinese shi-yu, from shi ‘salted beans’ + yu ‘oil’.