significant other

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significant other (plural significant others)

  1. One's exclusive romantic partner.
    Synonyms: better half, other half, partner, (abbreviation) s/o, (initialism) SO
    Hyponyms: boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, husband, wife
    • 2000 March 9, “Couples Working Different Shifts, Union Poll Finds”, in Deseret News, retrieved 27 October 2013, page D7:
      Almost half of working women who are married or live with a partner are seeing their significant other only in passing because the two work different shifts, an AFL-CIO poll found.
    • 2006 February 12, Michelle Singletary, “Love and money go hand in hand”, in Boston Globe, retrieved 27 October 2013:
      More than half (57 percent) of consumers think it would be wonderfully romantic if their significant other booked tickets for a surprise international trip.
  2. A person with whom one has an important bond of some kind.
    • 1983 June 21, William E. Geist, “High Schools Struggle with Coach Shortage”, in New York Times, retrieved 27 October 2013:
      Dr. Nogueira said it was always preferable to have coaches drawn from a school's staff because a coach "is a significant other" to a student.
    • 1985 December 14, Katherine Bishop, “Ward 5B: A Model of Care for AIDS”, in New York Times, retrieved 27 October 2013:
      As in the rest of the hospital, a family member or "significant other" such as a lover or close friend, is allowed to spend the night in a patient's room on a cot.
    • 1989 December 26, Graham Vink, “Not At Home On The Range”, in Spokesman-Review, retrieved 27 October 2013, page F1:
      If your spouse, children or other significant others are still whining about all those holiday leftovers you made them eat, maybe it's time to spruce up your culinary skills.