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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English *sough, swough, swogh, from Middle English swoȝen, swowen, from Old English swōgan ‎(to make a sound; move with noise; rush; roar), from Proto-Germanic *swōganą from Proto-Indo-European *sweh₂gʰ-, same source as Latin vāgiō. Cognate with Scots souch ‎(sough), Icelandic súgur ‎(a rushing sound, rustle).



sough ‎(third-person singular simple present soughs, present participle soughing, simple past and past participle soughed)

  1. To make a soft rustling or murmuring sound.
    • 1963, Sterling North, Rascal, Avon Books (softcover), p 101:
      I lay awake for a while that evening, listening to the soughing of the wind high in the pines, realizing sadly that we must now return to civilization.


sough ‎(plural soughs)

  1. A murmuring sound; rushing, rustling, or whistling sound.
    • W. Howitt
      The whispering leaves or solemn sough of the forest.
    • 1829, John Carne, Stratton Hill: A Tale of the Civil Wars - Volume 1 - Page 131:
      [...] Arthur; a fearful night it was: there was a sough in the air, a sound drawing nigh like that of a host marching:- — but you're looking pale and forwrought, man; is any thing ailing ye?
  2. A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  3. A (deep) sigh.
  4. (Scotland, obsolete) A vague rumour.
  5. (Scotland, obsolete) A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English (whence also Scots sheuch ‎(ditch)); compare dialectal Dutch zoeg ‎(ditch).


sough ‎(plural soughs)

  1. A small drain; an adit.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of W. M. Buchanan to this entry?)