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  • (UK) IPA(key): /suːp/
  • (US) enPR: so͞op, IPA(key): /sup/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːp

Etymology 1[edit]

A bowl of soup
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From Middle English soupe, sowpe, from Old French soupe, souppe, sope, from Late Latin suppa (sopped bread), from Proto-Germanic *supô (compare Middle Dutch sope (broth)). Doublet of zuppa. See also sop and supper.


soup (countable and uncountable, plural soups)

  1. Any of various dishes commonly made by combining liquids, such as water or stock with other ingredients, such as meat and vegetables, that contribute flavor and texture.
    Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup.
    • c. 1430 (reprinted 1888), Thomas Austin, ed., Two Fifteenth-century Cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with Extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55 [Early English Text Society, Original Series; 91], London: N. Trübner & Co. for the Early English Text Society, volume I, OCLC 374760, page 11:
      Soupes dorye. — Take gode almaunde mylke [] caste þher-to Safroun an Salt []
    1. (countable) A serving of such a dish, typically in a bowl.
    2. (uncountable) The liquid part of such a dish; the broth.
  2. (figuratively) Any mixture or substance suggestive of soup consistency.
    1. (slang) Thick fog or cloud (also pea soup).
    2. (US, slang) Nitroglycerine or gelignite, especially when used for safe-cracking.
    3. (cant) Dope (illicit drug, used for making horses run faster or to change their personality).
    4. (photography) Processing chemicals into which film is dipped, such as developer.
    5. (biology) Liquid or gelatinous substrate, especially the mixture of organic compounds that is believe to have played a role in the origin of life on Earth.
      primordial soup
    6. (UK, informal, often with "the") An unfortunate situation; trouble, problems (a fix, a mess); chaos.
      • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter I and X:
        B. Wickham had also the disposition and general outlook on life of a ticking bomb. In her society you always had the uneasy feeling that something was likely to go off at any moment with a pop. You never knew what she was going to do next or into what murky depths of soup she would carelessly plunge you. [...] “It may be fun for her,” I said with one of my bitter laughs, “but it isn't so diverting for the unfortunate toads beneath the harrow whom she plunges so ruthlessly in the soup.”
    7. (surfing) The foamy portion of a wave.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
See also[edit]
  • Sanskrit: सूप (sūpa)
  • Tamil: சூப் (cūp)
  • Thai: ซุป (súp)


soup (third-person singular simple present soups, present participle souping, simple past and past participle souped)

  1. (uncommon) To feed: to provide with soup or a meal.
    • 1845, Charles Rowcroft, Tales of the Colonies: Or, The Adventures of an Emigrant, page 432:
      I'm blessed if I've heard about any thing but kangaroo-tail soup all the while I was at Launceston. They souped me there night and day.
    • 1896, Charles Reade, Readiana; Comments on Current Events, page 2:
      Now laughing together thaws our human ice; long before Swindon it was a talking match, —at Swindon who so devoted as Captain Dolignan,—he handed them out—he souped them,—he tough-chickened them,—he brandied and cochinealed one, and he brandied and burnt-sugared the other;
    • 1904 October, East is East and West is West, in The Vassar Miscellany, volume 34, number 1, page 236:
      "I was so mad, I let him wait half an hour to-night before I souped him."
    • 2011, Diza Sauers, Historama, page 152:
      She cooked huge stock pots and souped her dogs once a day.
    • 2008, C Mark Chapoton, A Tale of Two Iditarods, page 34:
      I souped the dogs, and went in for a bite. I ended up going back out and making my pups a full meal, then went back in and pigged out myself.
  2. (photography) To develop (film) in a (chemical) developing solution.
    • 1970 December, in The Rotarian, volume 117, number 6, page 31:
      That girl Vivienne, by the way, once worked as a secretary in the workshop of The Rotarian, began "souping" her own snapshots at home, went from there to top rank as a New York color photographer specializing in small children []
    • 1991, Ruth Jean Dale, Society Page:
      "Then perhaps it won't surprise you to learn Annie's taking over the Sunday social column," Roz said. "You photo-guys'll be souping her film."
    • 1998, Edward Gorman, Cold Blue Midnight:
      And her camera position had been completely out of his sight. Satisfied that she'd gotten everything she'd needed - much more, in fact - she went back inside and got to work. Jill had souped her first photographs while she'd been on []
    • 2005, Jock Lauterer, Community Journalism: A Personal Approach, page 242:
      By 6 pm Beau and I are back at the paper, souping the film, when Woody rushes into the room.
  3. (obsolete) To proselytize by feeding the impoverished as long as they listen to one's preaching.
    • 1855, William Le Poer Trench, A Digest of the Evidence, Taken Before the Select Committee of the House of Lords, page 280:
      Was the priest who denounced those books of the National Board as "souping books" the patron of a national school?
    • 1864, Irish Diamonds, Or, A Chronicle of Peterstown:
      "Souping" in Peterstown came to an end, and Una had enough to do with her full school and ignorant scholars to deaden the sting of her grief for the time.
    • 1871, ‎Thomas Curson Hansard, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, page 1751:
      It was suggested that the briefs should be distributed generally; but they could not be spread as they were at Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds, where briefs where "souped" out.
    • 1877, Mary Hartley, The Hon. Miss Ferrard, page 101:
      Yes, and it was all done in pure charity, no souping swaddling mixture whatever. The Fitz-Ffoulkes had none of that about them .
    • 1887 January, “November in Kerry”, in Time: A Monthly Magazine, volume 5, page 36:
      Before long we passed a Scripture-reader (such the driver said he was), reading a book as a priest does his breviary. I though him not out of place; for anything madder than the whole system of "souping" it is hard to imagine. In Kerry you see signs of it here and there, as you do in Connemara.
    • 1891, ‎Thomas Curson Hansard, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, page 838:
      I ask, Sir, what right has the hon. Member to call any Protestant minister a souping parson?.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English soupen, from Old English sūpan (to sup, sip), from Proto-Germanic *sūpaną. More at sup.


soup (third-person singular simple present soups, present participle souping, simple past and past participle souped)

  1. Alternative form of sup
    • 1848, John Parker Lawson, History of the Abbey and Palace of Holyroodhouse, page 107:
      I said that I had already souped.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English soupe, from Old English sūpe (sup; draught).


soup (plural soups)

  1. Alternative form of sup

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English swopen, from Old English swāpan (to sweep), from Proto-Germanic *swaipaną (to sweep). More at sweep.

Alternative forms[edit]


soup (third-person singular simple present soups, present participle souping, simple past and past participle souped)

  1. (obsolete) To sweep.
    • 1597, Joseph Hall, Virgidemiarum:
      He vaunts his voice upon an hired stage, With high-set steps and princely carriage, Now souping in side robes of royalty.
    • 1598, John Marston, The Scourge of Villanie:
      Methinks I hear swart Martius cry, Souping along in war's fein'd maskerie, By Lais starrie front he'll forthwith die.
    • 1808, Joseph Hall, ‎Josiah Pratt, “Quo Vadis? A Censure of Travel”, in Miscellaneous works, page 238:
      We can tell of those cheap-dieted men, that live about the head of Ganges, without meat, without mouths, feeding only upon air at their nostrils; or of those headless eastern people, that have their eyes in their breast; a mis-conceit arising from their fashion of attire, which I have sometimes seen; or those Coromandae, of whom Pliny speaks, that cover their whole body with their ears; or of the persecutors of St. Thomas of Canterbury, whose posterity, if we believe the confident writings of Degrassalius, are born with long and hairy tails, souping after them; which, I imagine, gave occasion to that proverbial jest, wherewith our mirth uses to upgraid the Kentish; or of Amazons; or Pigmies; or Satyrs;