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SOS

SOS, code letters of the international distress signal. The signal is expressed in International Morse code as … — — — … (three dots, three dashes, three dots). This combination was established by the International Radiotelegraphic Convention at Berlin in 1906. The letters (SOS) do not refer to any words but were selected because they are easy to transmit. The use of Morse code for sending distress calls is now superseded by automated systems using satellite relay; the U.S. Coast Guard no longer monitors Morse code transmissions. The distress code by radiotelephony is MAY DAY, which corresponds to the French "m'aider." The signal NC, not followed by a message, also has the same meaning.

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SOS

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

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

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