dough·​nut | \ˈdō-(ˌ)nət \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of doughnut 

1 : a small usually ring-shaped piece of sweet fried dough

2 : something (such as a mathematical torus) that has a round shape like a doughnut

3 : a controlled skid that sends an automobile into a tight circle of at least 360 degrees usually used in the phrase do doughnuts Doing doughnuts? You haven't heard about this? This is what they steal the cars for. Top speed, they slam on the brakes, yank the emergency brake, twist the steering wheel, and the car starts spinning. Wheeling the car in circles at tremendous speeds.— Philip Roth

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Other Words from doughnut

doughnutlike \-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of doughnut in a Sentence

drawing doughnuts in the sand

Recent Examples on the Web

The legislation called for moving retirees to Medicare Part D by July 2019 to coincide with the federal government’s plan to close what is known as the doughnut hole — a gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Maryland government retirees in an uproar over looming change to prescription drug coverage," 21 June 2018 Her baklava is an alternative Georgian version, paglava, that resembles a babka wrapped in crisp pastry, and her oozing chocolate doughnut holes are Middle Eastern only in the hint of rosewater. Jonathan Gold,, "At Middle Eastern restaurants, it all starts with hummus. Jonathan Gold says Bavel's is magnificent," 15 June 2018 Customers also can order a doughnut sundae with Breyers ice cream and a drizzle. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "New to Leawood: Donut shop where you can top doughnuts with bacon, ice cream, more," 29 June 2018 Your coffee mug morphs into a doughnut, as if made of putty that’s been pinched and pulled. Devin Powell, Discover Magazine, "Shape Shifters," 28 Sep. 2018 People who live on cream cheese–filled doughnuts, swimming in their sepulcher vans surrounded by garden gnomes, tea wades, and packs of baseball cards with stale sticks of gum from who knows what year. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Living Yard Sale to Yard Sale With My Mother, a Well Dressed Antique Dealer," 30 Aug. 2018 Yet Malone had something of a time-to-make-the-doughnuts look on his fuzzy face as each of these guys went about his business — another perk of the job that was beginning to feel like a concession. Mikael Wood,, "Post Malone was hip-hop's saddest champion at the Hollywood Bowl," 28 June 2018 Meanwhile, James’ wife, Savannah, shared this photo of her husband floating in a doughnut. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Lakers fans hoping to see LeBron waited at a Blaze Pizza for hours (he didn't show up)," 10 July 2018 So Woods began working on building a better doughnut. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Donut Monster coming at you (pop-ups first, a store later)," 3 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of doughnut

circa 1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for doughnut

dough + nut entry 1 (in sense "rounded cake or biscuit," as in ginger nut, spice nut)

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Statistics for doughnut

Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for doughnut

The first known use of doughnut was circa 1809

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More Definitions for doughnut



English Language Learners Definition of doughnut

: a piece of sweet fried dough that is often shaped like a ring

: something that has a round shape like a doughnut


dough·​nut | \ˈdō-ˌnət\

Kids Definition of doughnut

: a small ring of sweet dough fried in fat

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More from Merriam-Webster on doughnut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doughnut

Spanish Central: Translation of doughnut

Nglish: Translation of doughnut for Spanish Speakers

Comments on doughnut

What made you want to look up doughnut? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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