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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sough \Sough\, n. A sow. [Obs.]


Sough \Sough\, n. [Etymol. uncertain.] A small drain; an adit. [Prov. Eng.]
--W. M. Buchanan.


Sough \Sough\ (?; 277), n. [Cf. Icel. s?gr (in comp.) a rushing sound, or OE. swough, swogh, a sound, AS. sw?gan to rustle. Cf. Surf, Swoon, v. i.]

  1. The sound produced by soughing; a hollow murmur or roaring.

    The whispering leaves or solemn sough of the forest.
    --W. Howitt.

  2. Hence, a vague rumor or flying report. [Scot.]

  3. A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying. [Scot.]


Sough \Sough\, v. i. To whistle or sigh, as the wind.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"to make a moaning or murmuring sound," Old English swogan "to sound, roar, howl, rustle, whistle," from Proto-Germanic *swoganan (cognates: Old Saxon swogan "to rustle," Gothic gaswogjan "to sigh"), from PIE imitative root *(s)wagh- (cognates: Greek echo, Latin vagire "to cry, roar, sound"). The noun is late 14c., from the verb.


Etymology 1 n. 1 A murmuring sound; rushing, rustling, or whistling sound. 2 A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath. 3 A (deep) sigh. 4 (context Scotland obsolete English) A vague rumour. 5 (context Scotland obsolete English) A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying. vb. To make a soft rustling or murmuring sound. Etymology 2

n. A small drain; an adit.

  1. v. place (seeds) in or on the ground for future growth; "She sowed sunflower seeds" [syn: sow, seed]

  2. indicate pain, discomfort, or displeasure; "The students groaned when the professor got out the exam booklets"; "The ancient door soughed when opened" [syn: groan, moan]

  3. introduce into an environment; "sow suspicion or beliefs" [syn: sow]


A sough is an underground channel for draining water out of a mine. Its ability to drain a mine depends on the bottom of the mine being higher than a neighbouring valley. If the mine sump is lower, water must be pumped up to the sough.

Usage examples of "sough".

After that, whenever dark masses of clouds began to roll up in the sky and the wind commenced to sough mournfully through the willows, no power on earth could prevent the darkey from pulling in shore and staying there until the storm had passed.

Nothing more natural than that a cold draught should have soughed from the pent interior of the temple, or that the air-liner, slowly turning as she hung above the Haram, should with her vast planes have for a moment thrown her shadow over the square.

He bent over and pressed his feverish lips to hers, hard enough that he could feel her bared teeth, the life soughing out of her with each beat of her heart.

The world he awoke to each morning was like smoke, a dream through which he drifted, always aware of the dead, of their dark eyes, of their breath soughing through the trees of his garden.

It was an eerie kind of sound, like the midnight wind soughing through a graveyard, but curiously not an unpleasant one for all that.

They listened to the soughing of the wind, but there was scant comfort in the sound.

They ascended the alloy ladder, back to the soughing forest that seemed light-years from the throbbing machinery below.

A sound from deep inside him, he was certain, familiar as the soughing breath of his father kept in an adjacent place in his memory.

Besides the shifting of feet and the occasional protest of a horse held on too tight a rein, there was no sound except for a soughing whisper that might be the surf.

Over the loud soughing of his own breath and the howl of the wind, he picked up another sound.

Through the absolute silence around there came the sound as of a gentle flutter, the current of cold air, mayhap, sighing through the ill-fitting shutters, or the soft, weird soughing made by unseen things.

The silence became all the more marked after a while, because the rain ceased its monotonous pattering and the soughing of the wind was stilled.

She could hear nothing but the pulse of her own blood soughing in her ears.

Galen made the name sound like the soughing of a soft breeze in the forest.

Shaking his head to clear it of confusion, he looked around, trying to find the reason, any reason, any explanation, for it all, but only the soft soughing of the wind and the miserable sound of a mourning dove answered his silent questions.