a. Of this kind: a single parent, one of many such people in the neighborhood.
b. Of a kind specified or implied: a boy such as yourself.
a. Of a degree or quality indicated: Their anxiety was such that they could not sleep.
b. Of so extreme a degree or quality: never dreamed of such wealth.
1. To so extreme a degree; so: such beautiful flowers; such a funny character.
2. Very; especially: She has been in such poor health lately.
a. Such a person or persons or thing or things: was the mayor and as such presided over the council; expected difficulties, and such occurred.
b. Itself alone or within itself: Money as such will seldom bring total happiness.
2. Someone or something implied or indicated: Such are the fortunes of war.
3. Similar things or people; the like: pins, needles, and such.
For example: rodents such as field mice and voles.
[Middle English, from Old English swylc; see swo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The adjective such is often followed by that when such is used to mean "of a degree or quality indicated," as in the sentence The demand for Feinberg's specialized services is such that he commands around $200,000 a month when he gets involved in a case. This example was acceptable to 86 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2011 survey. · The Panel does not, however, find the phrase such that to be an acceptable replacement for so that or in such a way that. A mere 22 percent approved of this usage in the sentence The products are packaged such that users can pick the components they need and add capabilities over time. · The phrase as such is often used to emphasize the kind or category that has just been mentioned or to note that a term is being used in a narrow or exact sense: "Prisoners of war did not exist as such in antiquity; generally, defeated combatants were slaughtered or enslaved" (Lawrence Malkin). Sometimes as such occurs at the beginning of a sentence and is used as a connector to the previous sentence when there is no noun in that sentence serving as an antecedent for the word such: Rousseau articulated what he called the general will, which supposedly reflects the true will of all the people. As such, Rousseau is a great defender of democracy. The Usage Panel has little enthusiasm for this construction. In our 2005 survey, 75 percent of the Panel rejected this example, and percentages as great or greater rejected three similar examples.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.