softball (n.) Look up softball at Dictionary.com
baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled-down version of the game, 1914, from soft + ball (n.1). The game itself so called from 1916, also known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy making (1894). Softball question, one that is easy to answer, is attested from 1976.
soften (v.) Look up soften at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to mitigate, diminish" (transitive), from soft (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to make physically soft" is from 1520s; intransitive sense of "to become softer" is attested from 1610s. Soften up in military sense of "weaken defenses" is from 1940. Related: Softened; softening.
softener (n.) Look up softener at Dictionary.com
c.1600, agent noun from soften.
softly (adv.) Look up softly at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "gently," from soft (adj.) + -ly (2).
softness (n.) Look up softness at Dictionary.com
Old English softnes "ease, comfort; state of being soft to the touch; luxury;" see soft (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "weakness of character, effeminacy" is from c.1600.
software (n.) Look up software at Dictionary.com
1851, soft wares, "woolen or cotton fabrics," also, "relatively perishable consumer goods," from soft + ware (n.). The computer sense is a separate coinage from 1960, based on hardware.
softy (n.) Look up softy at Dictionary.com
also softie, 1863, "silly person," from soft (adj.) + -y (3). Meaning "soft-hearted person" is from 1886; that of "weak, unmanly or effeminate man" is from 1895. The Mister Softee soft ice-cream operation began in Philadelphia, U.S., in 1956.
sog (n.) Look up sog at Dictionary.com
"soft or marshy place," 1530s, of unknown origin. Also as a verb, "to become soaked; to soak" (mid-15c.), perhaps related to soak (v.) or from or related to similar words in Scandinavian.
soggy (adj.) Look up soggy at Dictionary.com
1722, perhaps from dialectal sog "bog, swamp," or the verb sog "become soaked," both of unknown origin, + -y (2). Related: Soggily; sogginess.
Soho Look up Soho at Dictionary.com
district in New York city, 1969, from "South of Houston Street," but probably also echoing the name of the London neighborhood (famous for vice by early 19c.), which was so called since at least 1630s, originally "So Ho," a hunting cry (c.1300) used in calling from a distant place to alert hounds and other hunters; the West End district was so called from earlier association of this area with hunting.
soi-disant (adj.) Look up soi-disant at Dictionary.com
"self-named, so-called, would-be," 1752 (in Chesterfield), French, from soi "oneself" (from Latin se, see se-) + present participle of dire "to say" (see diction).
soigne (adj.) Look up soigne at Dictionary.com
"prepared with great attention to detail," 1821, from French soigné (fem. soignée), from past participle of soigner "to take care of," from soin "care," which is of unknown origin.
soil (v.) Look up soil at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "to defile or pollute with sin," from Old French soillier "to splatter with mud, to foul or make dirty," originally "to wallow" (12c., Modern French souillier), from souil "tub, wild boar's wallow, pigsty," which is from either Latin solium "tub for bathing; seat," or Latin suculus "little pig," from sus "pig." Literal meaning "to make dirty, begrime" is attested from c.1300 in English. Related: Soiled; soiling.
soil (n.1) Look up soil at Dictionary.com
c.1300, originally "land, area, place," from Anglo-French soil "piece of ground, place" (13c.), from an merger or confusion of Old French sol "bottom, ground, soil" (12c., from Latin solum "soil, ground;" see sole (n.1)), Old French soeul, sueil "threshold, area, place" (from Latin solium "seat"), and Old French soil, soille "a miry place," from soillier (see soil (v.)).

Meaning "place of one's nativity" is from c.1400. Meaning "mould, earth, dirt" (especially that which plants grow in) is attested from mid-15c.
soil (n.2) Look up soil at Dictionary.com
"filth, dirt, refuse matter, sewage, liquid likely to contain excrement," c.1600, earlier "miry or muddy place" (early 15c.), from Old French soille "miry place," from soillier (v.) "to make dirty," and in part a native formation from soil (v.). This is the sense in archaic night-soil.
soiree (n.) Look up soiree at Dictionary.com
"an evening party," 1793, from French soirée, from soir "evening," from Old French soir "evening, night" (10c.), from Latin sero (adv.) "late, at a late hour," from serum "late hour," neuter of serus "late," from PIE *se-ro-, suffixed form of root *se- (2) "long, late" (cognates: Sanskrit sayam "in the evening," Lithuanian sietuva "deep place in a river," Old English sið "after," German seit "since," Gothic seiþus "late," Middle Irish sith, Middle Breton hir "long").
sojourn (v.) Look up sojourn at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "stay temporarily, reside for a time; visit;" also "reside permanently, dwell;" from Old French sojorner "stay or dwell for a time," from Vulgar Latin *subdiurnare "to spend the day" (source also of Italian soggiornare), from Latin sub- "under, until" (see sub-) + diurnare "to last long," from diurnus "of a day," from diurnum "day" (see diurnal). Modern French séjourner formed via vowel dissimilation. Related: Sojourned; sojourning.
sojourn (n.) Look up sojourn at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "temporary stay, visit," from Anglo-French sojorn, variant of Old French sejorn, from sejorner "stay or dwell for a time" (see sojourn (v.)).
sojourner (n.) Look up sojourner at Dictionary.com
"temporary resident," 15c., agent noun from sojourn (v.).
soke (n.) Look up soke at Dictionary.com
"right of jurisdiction," Old English socn "jurisdiction, prosecution," literally "seeking," from Proto-Germanic *sokniz, from PIE *sag-ni-, from root *sag- "to seek out" (see seek). Related: Sokeman; sokemanry.
Sol (n.) Look up Sol at Dictionary.com
"the sun personified," mid-15c. (also in Old English), from Latin sol "the sun, sunlight," from PIE *s(e)wol-, variant of root *saewel- "the sun" (cognates: Sanskrit suryah, Avestan hvar "sun, light, heavens;" Greek helios; Lithuanian saule; Old Church Slavonic slunice; Gothic sauil, Old English sol "sun," swegl "sky, heavens, the sun;" Welsh haul, Old Cornish heuul, Breton heol "sun;" Old Irish suil "eye").

The PIE element -*el- in the root originally was a suffix and had an alternative form -*en-, yielding *s(u)wen-, source of English sun (n.). French soleil (10c.) is from Vulgar Latin *soliculus, diminutive of sol; in Vulgar Latin diminutives had the full meaning of their principal words.
sol-fa (n.) Look up sol-fa at Dictionary.com
"syllables used in solmization taken collectively," 1540s, from Italian, from Medieval Latin sol and fa, two notes of the musical scale (see gamut). As a verb from 1560s; compare solfeggio "use the sol-fa system" (1774), from Italian solfeggiare.
solace (n.) Look up solace at Dictionary.com
"comfort in grief, consolation," late 13c., from Old French solaz "pleasure, entertainment, enjoyment; solace, comfort," from Latin solacium "a soothing, assuaging; comfort, consolation," from solatus, past participle of solari "to console, soothe," from PIE *sol-a-, suffixed form of root *sele- "of good mood; to favor" (cognates: Old English gesælig "happy;" see silly). Adjectival form solacious is attested 16c.-17c.
solace (v.) Look up solace at Dictionary.com
"comfort, console in grief," late 13c.; also in Middle English "entertain, amuse, please," from Old French solacier "comfort, console" (often with a sexual connotation) and directly from Medieval Latin solatiare "give solace, console" (source also of Spanish solazar, Italian sollazzare), from Latin solacium (see solace (n.)). Related: Solaced; solacing.
solar (adj.) Look up solar at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "pertaining to the sun," from Latin solaris "of the sun," from sol "sun" (see sol). Meaning "living room on an upper story" is from Old English, from Latin solarium (see solarium). Old English had sunlic "solar."

Astrological sense from 1620s. Meaning "operated by means of the sun" is from 1740; solar power is attested from 1915, solar cell from 1955, solar panel from 1964. Solar system is attested from c.1704; solar wind is from 1958. Solar plexus (1771) "complex of nerves in the pit of the stomach," apparently so called from its central position in the body (see plexus).
solarium (n.) Look up solarium at Dictionary.com
1891, "part of a house arranged to receive the sun's rays," earlier "sundial" (1842), from Latin solarium "sundial," also "a flat housetop," literally "that which is exposed to the sun," from sol "sun" (see sol).
sold Look up sold at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of sell (v.); from Old English salde.
solder (v.) Look up solder at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., sawd "mend by soldering," from solder (n.). Modern form is a re-Latinization from early 15c. Related: Soldered; soldering.
solder (n.) Look up solder at Dictionary.com
early 14c., soudur, from Old French soldure, soudeure, from souder, originally solder, "to consolidate, close, fasten together, join with solder" (13c.), from Latin solidare "to make solid," from solidus "solid" (see solid (adj.)).

Modern form in English is a re-Latinization from early 15c. The loss of Latin -l- in that position on the way to Old French is regular, as poudre from pulverem, cou from collum, chaud from calidus. The -l- typically is sounded in British English but not in American, according to OED, but Fowler wrote that solder without the "l" was "The only pronunciation I have ever heard, except from the half-educated to whom spelling is a final court of appeal ..." and was baffled by the OED's statement that it was American. Related: Soldered; soldering. The noun is first attested late 14c.
soldier (n.) Look up soldier at Dictionary.com
c.1300, souder, from Old French soudier, soldier "one who serves in the army for pay," from Medieval Latin soldarius "a soldier" (source also of Spanish soldado, Italian soldato), literally "one having pay," from Late Latin soldum, extended sense of accusative of Latin solidus, name of a Roman gold coin (see solidus).

The -l- has been regular in English since mid-14c., in imitation of Latin. Willie and Joe always say sojer in the Bill Mauldin cartoons, and this seems to mirror 16c.-17c. spellings sojar, soger, sojour. Modern French soldat is borrowed from Italian and displaced the older French word; one of many military (and other) terms picked up during the Italian Wars in early 16c.; such as alert, arsenal, colonel, infantrie, sentinel.

Old slang names for military men circa early 19c. include mud-crusher "infantryman," cat-shooter "volunteer," fly-slicer "cavalryman," jolly gravel-grinder "marine."
soldier (v.) Look up soldier at Dictionary.com
"to serve as a soldier," 1640s, from soldier (n.). Related: Soldiered; soldiering. To soldier on "persist doggedly" is attested from 1954.
soldiery (n.) Look up soldiery at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Middle French souderie or else a native formation from soldier + -y (1).
sole (n.1) Look up sole at Dictionary.com
"bottom of the foot" ("technically, the planta, corresponding to the palm of the hand," Century Dictionary), early 14c., from Old French sole, from Vulgar Latin *sola, from Latin solea "sandal, bottom of a shoe; a flatfish," from solum "bottom, ground, foundation, lowest point of a thing" (hence "sole of the foot"), of uncertain origin. In English, the meaning "bottom of a shoe or boot" is from late 14c.
sole (adj.) Look up sole at Dictionary.com
"single, alone, having no husband or wife; one and only, singular, unique," late 14c., from Old French soul "only, alone, just," from Latin solus "alone, only, single, sole; forsaken; extraordinary," of unknown origin, perhaps related to se "oneself," from PIE reflexive root *swo- (see so).
sole (n.2) Look up sole at Dictionary.com
common European flatfish, mid-13c., from Old French sole, from Latin solea "a kind of flatfish," originally "sandal" (see sole (n.1)); so called from resemblance of the fish to a flat shoe.
sole (v.) Look up sole at Dictionary.com
"furnish (a shoe) with a sole," 1560s, from sole (n.1). Related: Soled; soling.
solecism (n.) Look up solecism at Dictionary.com
"gross grammatical error;" loosely "any absurdity or incongruity," 1570s, from Middle French solécisme (16c.), from Latin soloecismus "mistake in speaking or writing," from Greek soloikismos "to speak (Greek) incorrectly," from soloikos "ungrammatical utterance," properly "a speaking like the people of Soloi," an Athenian colony in Cilicia (modern Mezitli in Turkey), whose dialect the Athenians considered barbarous. Related: Solecistic.
solely (adv.) Look up solely at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from sole (adj.) + -ly (2).
solemn (adj.) Look up solemn at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "performed with due religious ceremony or reverence, sacred, devoted to religious observances," also, of a vow, etc., "made under religious sanction, binding," from Old French solempne (12c., Modern French solennel) and directly from Latin sollemnis "annual, established, religiously fixed, formal, ceremonial, traditional," perhaps related to sollus "whole" (see safe (adj.)).

"The explanation that Latin sollemnis was formed from sollus whole + annus year is not considered valid" [Barnhart], but some assimilation via folk-etymology is possible. In Middle English also "famous, important; imposing, grand," hence Chaucer's friar, a ful solempne man. Meaning "marked by seriousness or earnestness" is from late 14c.; sense of "fitted to inspire devout reflection" is from c.1400. Related: Solemnly.
solemnity (n.) Look up solemnity at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "observance of ceremony," from Old French solemnite, solempnete "celebration, high festival, church ceremony" and directly from Latin solemnitatem (nominative solemnitas) "a solemnity," from sollemnis (see solemn). Meaning "state of being solemn" is from 1712. Related: Solemnities.
solemnization (n.) Look up solemnization at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "act of celebrating," from Old French solemnisation, solempnisation, or directly from Medieval Latin solempnizationem (nominative solempnizatio), from Latin sollemnis (see solemn).
solemnize (v.) Look up solemnize at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "honor by ceremonies," from Old French solemnisier, from Medieval Latin solemnizare, from Latin solemnis (see solemn). Meaning "render solemn" is from 1726. Related: Solemnized; solemnizing.
solenoid (n.) Look up solenoid at Dictionary.com
"coil of insulated wire carrying an electrical current and having magnetic properties," 1827, from French solénoïde, from Greek solenoeides "pipe-shaped," from solen "pipe, channel" + comb. form of eidos "form, shape" (see -oid). Related: Solenoidal.
soleus (n.) Look up soleus at Dictionary.com
muscle of the calf of the leg, 1670s, Modern Latin, from Latin solea "sole" (see sole (n.1)). So called for its flatness.
solfege (adj.) Look up solfege at Dictionary.com
1912, from solfeggio (1774), from Italian solfeggio, from sol-fa, representing musical notes (see sol-fa).
solicit (v.) Look up solicit at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to disturb, trouble," from Middle French soliciter (14c.), from Latin sollicitare "to disturb, rouse, trouble, harass; stimulate, provoke," from sollicitus "agitated," from sollus "whole, entire" + citus "aroused," past participle of ciere "shake, excite, set in motion" (see cite). Related: Solicited; soliciting.

Meaning "entreat, petition" is from 1520s. Meaning "to further (business affairs)" evolved mid-15c. from Middle French sense of "manage affairs." The sexual sense (often in reference to prostitutes) is attested from 1710, probably from a merger of the business sense and an earlier sense of "to court or beg the favor of" (a woman), attested from 1590s.
solicitate (v.) Look up solicitate at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Latin solicitatus, past participle of sollicitare (see solicit). Related: Solicitated; solicitating.
solicitation (n.) Look up solicitation at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "management," from Middle French solicitation and directly from Latin solicitationem (nominative solicitatio) "vexation, disturbance, instigation," noun of action from past participle stem of solicitare (see solicit). Meaning "action of soliciting" is from 1520s. Specific sexual sense is from c.1600.
solicitor (n.) Look up solicitor at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "one who urges," from Middle French soliciteur, from soliciter (see solicit). Meaning "one who conducts matters on behalf of another" is from early 15c. As a name for a specific class of legal practitioners in Britain, it is attested from 1570s. Both the fem. forms, solicitress (1630s) and solicitrix (1610s), have been in the sexual sense, but the latter seems more common in non-pejorative use.
solicitous (adj.) Look up solicitous at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Latin sollicitus "restless, uneasy, careful, full of anxiety" (see solicit). Related: Solicitously; solicitousness.