don't

contraction
\ ˈdōnt How to pronounce don't (audio) \

Definition of don't

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : do not
2 : does not

don't

noun

Definition of don't (Entry 2 of 2)

: a command or entreaty not to do something a list of dos and don'ts

Usage of Don't

Contraction

Don't is the earliest attested contraction of does not and until about 1900 was the standard spoken form in the U.S. (it survived as spoken standard longer in British English). Dialect surveys find it more common in the speech of the less educated than in that of the educated; in those places (such as the Midland and southern Atlantic seaboard regions) where it has lasted in educated speech, it is most common with older informants. Surveys of attitudes toward usage show it more widely disapproved in 1971 than it had been 40 years earlier. Its chief use in edited prose is in fiction for purposes of characterization. It is sometimes used consciously, like ain't, to gain an informal effect.

Examples of don't in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The three drive modes—Normal, Sport, and Individual—don't really transform the Si. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 12 May 2022 While fans of the show wait for news of Bridgerton season three—don't worry, Kate and Anthony will be returning—showrunner Chris Van Dusen is revealing new insight about season two. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 22 Apr. 2022 Biden's don't-trust-but-verify approach reflects deep American skepticism at Russian President Vladimir Putin's motives amid his monthlong invasion of Ukraine. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 29 Mar. 2022 Be yourself and be unique—don't ever let anyone put you in a box. Lisa Kocay, Forbes, 25 Mar. 2022 The raunchy, don't-try-this-at-home franchise began as a television series on MTV in 2000, spawning a big-screen iteration in 2002. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 4 Feb. 2022 The raunchy, don't-try-this-at-home franchise began as a television series on MTV in 2000, spawning a big-screen iteration in 2002. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 4 Feb. 2022 The raunchy, don't-try-this-at-home franchise began as a television series on MTV in 2000, spawning a big-screen iteration in 2002. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 4 Feb. 2022 From his heart to your souls…don't ever stop rocking! Jeff Nelson, PEOPLE.com, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'don't.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of don't

Contraction

1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1894, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries Near don't

Don

don't

don't ask

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Statistics for don't

Cite this Entry

“Don't.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/don%27t. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for don't

don't

\ ˈdōnt How to pronounce don't (audio) \

Kids Definition of don't

: do not

More from Merriam-Webster on don't

Nglish: Translation of don't for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of don't for Arabic Speakers

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