\ ˈdü How to pronounce do (audio) \
did\ ˈdid How to pronounce do (audio) , dəd \; done\ ˈdən How to pronounce do (audio) \; doing\ ˈdü-​iŋ How to pronounce do (audio) \; does\ ˈdəz How to pronounce do (audio) \

Definition of do

 (Entry 1 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to bring to pass : carry out do another's wishes it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence … and if I can learn what it is I will do it— Abraham Lincoln
2 : put used chiefly in do to death had been hounded down and done to death as heretics— Stringfellow Barr
3a : perform, execute do some work did his duty
b : commit crimes done deliberately
4a : bring about, effect trying to do good do violence
b : to give freely : pay do honor to her memory
5 : to bring to an end : finish used in the past participle the job is finally done
6 : to put forth : exert did her best to win the race
7a : to wear out especially by physical exertion : exhaust at the end of the race they were pretty well done
b : to attack physically : beat also : kill
8 : to bring into existence : produce do a biography on the general has done some beautiful landscapes
9 used as a substitute verb especially to avoid repetition if you must make such a racket, do it somewhere else
10a : to play the role or character of He did Hamlet on Broadway.
b : mimic also : to behave like do a Houdini and disappear
c : to perform in or serve as producer of do a play
11 : to treat unfairly especially : cheat did him out of his inheritance
12 : to treat or deal with in any way typically with the sense of preparation or with that of care or attention:
a(1) : to put in order : clean was doing the kitchen
(2) : wash did the dishes after supper
b : to prepare for use or consumption especially : cook like my steak done rare
c : set, arrange had her hair done
d : to apply cosmetics to wanted to do her face before the party
e : decorate, furnish did the living room in Early American do over the kitchen
13 : to be engaged in the study or practice of do science especially : to work at as a vocation what to do after college
14a : to pass over : traverse did 20 miles yesterday
b : to travel at a speed of doing 55 on the turnpike
15 : tour doing 12 countries in 30 days
16a : to spend (time) in prison has been doing time in a federal penitentiary
b : to serve out (a period of imprisonment) did ten years for armed robbery
17 : to serve the needs of : suit, suffice worms will do us for bait
18 : to approve especially by custom, opinion, or propriety you oughtn't to say a thing like that … it's not done— Dorothy Sayers
19 : to treat with respect to physical comforts did themselves well
20 : use sense 4 doesn't do drugs
21 : to have sexual intercourse with I'd do him.
22 : to partake of Let's do lunch.

intransitive verb

1 : act, behave do as I say
2a : get along, fare do well in school
b : to carry on business or affairs : manage we can do without your help
3 : to take place : happen what's doing across the street
4 : to come to or make an end : finish used in the past participle he had done with speech for that evening and gave us no reply— Arnold Bennett
5 : to be active or busy let us then be up and doing— H. W. Longfellow
6 : to be adequate or sufficient : serve half of that will do
7 : to be fitting : conform to custom or propriety won't do to be late
8 used as a substitute verb to avoid repetition wanted to run and play as children do used especially in British English following a modal auxiliary or perfective have a great many people had died, or would do— Bruce Chatwin
9 used in the imperative after an imperative to add emphasis be quiet do

auxiliary verb

1a used with the infinitive without to to form present and past tenses in legal and parliamentary language do hereby bequeath and in poetry give what she did crave— Shakespeare
b used with the infinitive without to to form present and past tenses in declarative sentences with inverted word order fervently do we pray— Abraham Lincoln , in interrogative sentences did you hear that? , and in negative sentences we don't knowdon't go
2 used with the infinitive without to to form present and past tenses expressing emphasis I do saydo be careful
do a number on
: to defeat or confound thoroughly especially by indirect or deceptive means The scandal did a number on his career.
do away with
1 : to put an end to : abolish chose to do away with a number of positions doing away with formalities
2 : to put to death : kill
do by
: to deal with : treat They did pretty well by me when I retired.
do for
chiefly British
1 : to attend to the wants and needs of : take care of
2 : to bring about the death or ruin of He will be done for.
do it
: to have sexual intercourse
do justice
1a : to act justly
b : to treat fairly or adequately The portrait doesn't do justice to her beauty.
c : to show due appreciation for
2 : to acquit in a way worthy of one's abilities
do proud
: to give cause for pride or gratification she did herself proud
do the trick
: to produce a desired result
do with
: to make good use of : benefit by could do with a cup of coffee
to do
: necessary to be done I've done my best and all's to do again— A. E. Housman

— see also doable

\ ˈdü How to pronounce do (audio) \
plural dos or do's\ ˈdüz How to pronounce do (audio) \

Definition of do (Entry 2 of 5)

1 chiefly dialectal : fuss, ado
2 archaic : deed, duty
3a : a festive get-together : affair, party an annual do
b chiefly British : battle
4 : a command or entreaty to do something a list of dos and don'ts
5 British : cheat, swindle
6 : hairdo The wind messed up his do.
\ ˈdō How to pronounce do (audio) \

Definition of do (Entry 3 of 5)

music : the first tone of the major scale in solfège

Definition of do (Entry 4 of 5)

1 ditto
2 double occupancy

Definition of DO (Entry 5 of 5)

1 defense order
2 doctor of osteopathic medicine; doctor of osteopathy

Other Words from do


doable \ ˈdü-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce DO (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for do

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun (1)

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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.

Examples of do in a Sentence

Verb 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.” What is the stock market doing now: rising or falling? See More

First Known Use of do


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1754, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for do

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

Noun (2)


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Time Traveler for do

Time Traveler

The first known use of do was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near do




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Statistics for do

Cite this Entry

“Do.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for do


\ How to pronounce do (audio) \
did\ did \; done\ ˈdən \; doing\ ˈdü-​iŋ \; does\ ˈdəz \

Kids Definition of do

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cause (as an act or action) to happen : perform Tell me what to do. Do me a favor.
2 : act entry 2 sense 2, behave Do as I say, not as I do.
3 : to make progress : succeed He is doing well in school.
4 : to finish working on used in the past participle My project is almost done.
5 : to put forth : exert Just do your best.
6 : to work on, prepare, produce, or put in order Do your homework. This artist does beautiful landscapes.
7 : to work at as a paying job What does she do for a living?
8 : to serve the purpose : suit This will do very well.
9 : to have an effect A vacation would do you some good.
10 : to travel at a speed of doing 50 miles per hour
11 used as a helping verb (1) before the subject in a question Do you work? , (2) in a negative statement I do not know. , (3) for emphasis I think you do know. , and (4) as a substitute for a predicate that has already been stated You work harder than I do.
do away with
1 : to get rid of


\ ˈdō How to pronounce do (audio) \

Kids Definition of do (Entry 2 of 2)

: the first note of the musical scale



Medical Definition of DO

1 doctor of optometry
2 doctor of osteopathic medicine; doctor of osteopathy


did; done; doing; does

Legal Definition of do

transitive verb

2 : commit did this act of cruelty

verbal auxiliary

used with the infinitive without to to form present and past tenses in legal and parliamentary language do hereby bequeath
do business
: to be engaged in business activities (as soliciting sales) specifically : to engage in activities sufficient to subject a foreign company to the personal jurisdiction of a state was sufficient to constitute doing business in the state International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945) — see also doing business statute

More from Merriam-Webster on do

Nglish: Translation of do for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of do for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about do


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