1

don't

play
\ˈdōnt\

Definition of don't

  1. 1 :  do not

  2. 2 :  does not

Usage of don't

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.

1639

First Known Use of don't

1639


2

don't

play
noun \ˈdōnt\

Definition of don't

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

1894

First Known Use of don't

1894


DON'T Defined for English Language Learners


2

don't

play
noun \ˈdōnt\

Definition of don't for English Language Learners

  • : something that a person should not do


DON'T Defined for Kids

don't

play
\ˈdōnt\

Definition of don't for Students

  1. :  do not


Learn More about don't


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up don't? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

capable of being altered or controlled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!