SOS

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SOS an international code signal of extreme distress, used especially by ships at sea. The letters were chosen as being easily transmitted and recognized in Morse code; by folk etymology they are taken as an abbreviation of save our souls. The earlier and original distress call for shipping (as used by the Titanic) was CQD.

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SOS • n. (pl. SOSs) an international code signal of extreme distress, used esp. by ships at sea. ∎  an urgent appeal for help.