: to attend to the wants and needs of : take care of
: to bring about the death or ruin of
He will be done for.
: to have sexual intercourse
: to act justly
: to treat fairly or adequately
The portrait doesn't do justice to her beauty.
: to show due appreciation for
: to acquit in a way worthy of one's abilities
: to give cause for pride or gratification
she did herself proud
do the trick
: to produce a desired result
: to make good use of : benefit by
could do with a cup of coffee
: necessary to be done
I've done my best and all's to do again—A. E. Housman
Did you know?
Feasible and Doable
Feasible comes from faire, the French verb meaning “to do.” Doable and feasible therefore originally meant literally the same thing: “capable of being done.” Indeed, doable was formed with -able, the Latin-derived French ending meaning “capable of” combined, in this instance, with do, a word with roots in Old English and one of the most basic and useful of our verbs. Though their respective etymological meanings may overlap, doable and feasible exist more in parallel with each other than as true synonyms. As with most such pairs of words, the Latin-derived term is used when describing more abstract notions. The words most commonly modified by feasible include:
These are words that describe what has yet to be decided or what will be carefully considered. By contrast, doable modifies more concrete terms:
Feasible is used when an element of abstraction, distance, and technical specificity is needed. The more earthy doable is rarely used in formal writing, and is not found in the works of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, or any of the founding documents of the United States.
This abstract use of feasible also accounts for the word that expresses a putative, conceptual, or hypothetical state: feasibility. Indeed, we frequently encounter “feasibility study” but not “doability study” (although doability is a word that is sometimes used, it hasn’t yet been added to most dictionaries). As long as something is just an idea, it’s feasible. When it’s time for action, we need to find out if it’s doable.
We should do something special to celebrate your birthday.
This crime was done deliberately.
I have to do some chores this afternoon.
Tell me what to do and I'll do it.
I'm obliged to do my duty.
He does his work without complaining.
He did a lot for us.
What have I done to you to make you so angry?
“What are you doing this weekend?” “I'm just relaxing at home.”
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Recent Examples on the Web
During the meeting, representatives from TranSystems shared photos taken inside the prison and offered three possible options for solutions, with the main one being that the prison yards should be fully enclosed with roofing so that detainees cannot climb out of the yard as Cavalcante did.—Jared Kofsky, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023 Brown, upon filing a complaint with the police department, was told that the officers had done nothing wrong, the lawsuit alleged.—Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2023 But those experiments are being done according to established scientific conventions.—Time, 20 Sep. 2023 But most players don’t believe that, and neither does Frazier.—Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 20 Sep. 2023 Pinterest did the best on the score card with 12 points.—David Ingram, NBC News, 20 Sep. 2023 Whatever the cause, knowing what to do if your child develops an allergic reaction is good.—Stacey Colino, Parents, 20 Sep. 2023 Speaking of staying hydrated, this CamelBak bag was designed to do just that.—Alexandra Domrongchai, Travel + Leisure, 16 Sep. 2023 The artist did his work for free — and cherished every moment.—Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'do.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Verb and Noun (1)
Middle English don, from Old English dōn; akin to Old High German tuon to do, Latin -dere to put, facere to make, do, Greek tithenai to place, set