AskDefine | Define sic

Dictionary Definition

sic adv : intentionally so written (used after a printed word or phrase) v : urge a dog to attack someone [syn: set] [also: sicking, sicked]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /sɪk/, /sIk/
    Rhymes with: -ɪk


Etymology 1

From sic.


  1. thus; thus written
Usage notes
  • The term sic is most often used in quoted material (usually in square brackets, and sometimes italicized) to indicate that the preceding segment of the quote was copied faithfully, in spite of a mistake or seeming mistake; that is, that the mistake or seeming mistake was in the original text, and not due to misquoting on the part of the present writer.
  • It is also sometimes used outside of quoted material to emphasize that the preceding segment of text was intentionally written as is; that is, that a seeming mistake in the text is not, in fact, a mistake (or if it is, that it's an intentional mistake).

Related terms

Etymology 2

Variant of seek.


  1. To incite an attack by, especially a dog or dogs.
    He sicced his dog on me!
incite an attack by



  1. thus, so, or just like that

Extensive Definition

other uses SIC
Sic is a Latin word meaning "thus", "so", "as such", or "just as that". In writing, it is placed within square brackets and usually italicized—[sic]—to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, punctuation, and/or other preceding quoted material has been reproduced verbatim from the quoted original and is not a transcription error.
It had a long vowel in Latin (sīc), meaning that it was pronounced like the English word "seek"; however, it is normally anglicised to /'sɪk/ (like the English word, "sick").


The word sic may be used either to show that an uncommon or archaic usage is reported faithfully: for instance, quoting the U.S. Constitution:
The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic] their Speaker...
or to highlight an error, sometimes for the purpose of ridicule or irony, as in these examples:
Warehouse has been around for 30 years and has 263 stores, suggesting a large fan base. The chain sums up its appeal thus: “styley [sic], confident, sexy, glamorous, edgy, clean and individual, with it's [sic] finger on the fashion pulse.”
It is also sometimes used for comic effect:
The Daily Mail was the first newspaper [sic] …
If text containing a quote is itself quoted in a third text, it may not be possible for a reader to tell whether any "[sic]" in the inner quote was added by the writer of the second text or the writer of the third text, or whether the anomaly highlighted was introduced by the first writer or the second.
The expression "[sic]" is also used by physicians to communicate to pharmacists that a prescription is to be filled "just so," i.e. precisely as described, for example when the dosage or volume is atypical or when the pharmacist should not substitute one brand for another even when the active ingredient is the same.
The word sic is sometimes erroneously thought to be an acronym from any of a vast number of phrases such as "spelling is correct", "same in copy", "spelling intentionally conserved", "said in context", or "sans intention comique" (French: without comic intent). These "backronyms" are all false etymologies.


In the Italo-Western Romance languages it was the basis for their word for "yes": sí (Spanish), sim (Portuguese), sì (Italian), si (French for "yes, on the contrary"). Medieval Latin sometimes used sic as "yes", reflecting the Romance usage.


sic in Breton: Sic
sic in Catalan: Sic
sic in Czech: Sic
sic in German: Sic
sic in Modern Greek (1453-): Sic
sic in Spanish: Sic
sic in Esperanto: Sic
sic in Basque: Sic
sic in French: Sic
sic in Indonesian: Sic
sic in Icelandic: Sic
sic in Italian: Sic
sic in Dutch: Sic (Latijn)
sic in Japanese: ママ (引用)
sic in Norwegian: Sic
sic in Norwegian Nynorsk: Sic
sic in Polish: Sic
sic in Portuguese: Sic
sic in Romanian: Sic
sic in Russian: Sic
sic in Finnish: Sic
sic in Swedish: Sic

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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