From Middle English so that, so þat, sa þat, swo þat, swa þat, from Old English swā þæt, equivalent to so + that. Cognate with Saterland Frisian sodät, West Frisian sadat, Dutch zodat, German sodaß, sodass.
- Indicates purpose; in order that, with the result that.
- He must die so that others might live.
- Indicates purpose; in such a way that, with the intent that.
- He tied a complex knot so that others would find it hard to undo.
- 1920, Mary Roberts Rinehart; Avery Hopwood, chapter I, in The Bat: A Novel from the Play (Dell Book; 241), New York, N.Y.: Dell Publishing Company, OCLC 20230794, page 01:
- The Bat—they called him the Bat. […]. He'd never been in stir, the bulls had never mugged him, he didn't run with a mob, he played a lone hand, and fenced his stuff so that even the fence couldn't swear he knew his face.
- “So that” prefaces a subordinate clause to show purpose or to give an explanation. It demonstrates a correlation between an antecedent action and an intended consequent. In a clause 1 “so that” clause2 format, the first clause represents an antecedent proposition and the second clause constitutes a consequence/effect. In a “So that” clause 1 [comma], clause 2 format, the first clause is the intended consequent and the second clause is the antecedent proposition.
in order to
- so that at OneLook Dictionary Search
- so that in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.