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See also: ṣoak



From Middle English soken, from Old English socian (to soak, steep, literally to cause to suck (up)), from Proto-Germanic *sukōną (to soak), causative of Proto-Germanic *sūkaną (to suck). Cognate with Middle Dutch soken (to cause to suck). More at suck.



soak (third-person singular simple present soaks, present participle soaking, simple past and past participle soaked)

  1. (intransitive) To be saturated with liquid by being immersed in it.
    I'm going to soak in the bath for a couple of hours.
  2. (transitive) To immerse in liquid to the point of saturation or thorough permeation.
    Soak the beans overnight before cooking.
  3. (intransitive) To penetrate or permeate by saturation.
    The water soaked into my shoes and gave me wet feet.
  4. (transitive) To allow (especially a liquid) to be absorbed; to take in, receive. (usually + up)
    A sponge soaks up water; the skin soaks in moisture.
    I soaked up all the knowledge I could at university.
    • 1927, F. E. Penny, chapter 4, in Pulling the Strings:
      The case was that of a murder. It had an element of mystery about it, however, which was puzzling the authorities. A turban and loincloth soaked in blood had been found; also a staff.
  5. (figuratively, transitive) To take money from.
    1928, Upton Sinclair, Boston
    It's a blackmail ring, and the district attorneys get a share of the loot. [] Well, they got him in the same kind of jam, and soaked him to the tune of three hundred and eighty-six thousand.
  6. (slang, dated) To drink intemperately or gluttonously.
  7. (metallurgy, transitive) To heat (a metal) before shaping it.
  8. (ceramics, transitive) To hold a kiln at a particular temperature for a given period of time.
    We should soak the kiln at cone 9 for half an hour.
  9. (figuratively, transitive) To absorb; to drain.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir H. Wotton to this entry?)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


soak (plural soaks)

  1. An immersion in water etc.
    • 2020 February 25, Christopher de Bellaigue, “The end of farming?”, in The Guardian[1]:
      wildlife tourism has turned Knepp into a successful business that employs more people than it did when it was a farm. Springtime overnighters snuggling down in a luxury treehouse after a soak in the open-air, wood-fired Swedish Hikki bathtub may hear nightingales serenading their consorts
    After the strenuous climb, I had a nice long soak in a bath.
  2. (slang, Britain) A drunkard.
  3. (slang) A carouse; a drinking session.
  4. (Australia) A low-lying depression that fills with water after rain.
    • 1985, Peter Carey, Illywhacker, Faber & Faber 2003, p. 38:
      I set off early to walk along the Melbourne Road where, one of the punters had told me, there was a soak with plenty of frogs in it.
    • 1996, Doris Pinkington, Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, in Heiss & Minter, Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, Allen & Unwin 2008, p. 170:
      Molly and Daisy finished their breakfast and decided to take all their dirty clothes and wash them in the soak further down the river.