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

Start with doughnuts from the farmers’ market—be there by 9:30 to grab a spot on the opposite grassy knoll, where the locals hang with their takeaway coffees. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Sydney: The Black Book," 5 July 2018 Restaurant columnist Michael Klein may have found Philly’s ultimate ice cream sandwich, made with a Beiler’s doughnut. Patricia Madej,, "Pools, frozen treats and the Shore: Guide to coping with Philly's heat and humidity," 19 June 2018 Like the downtown San Diego location, Donut Bar franchises will incorporate wine and craft beer offerings on weekend nights, along with fresh-baked doughnuts. Lori Weisberg,, "Donut Bar is multiplying — to 10 new cities," 11 June 2018 And since nothing goes with doughnuts like coffee, there will be coffee vendors and hands-on home-brewing workshops. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Best Free Things to Do in L.A. This June," 1 June 2018 That doesn’t mean that somebody doesn’t show up with doughnuts occasionally on a plane ride. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Brad Stevens won't talk about his coaching talent, but his Indiana friends are happy to," 14 May 2018 Her post went viral, spreading rapidly online among both right- and left-leaning groups, who then descended on the farm's Facebook page to give either one- or five-star reviews that had nothing to do with kettle corn or apple-cider doughnuts. The Washington Post,, "'Resist White Supremacy': A sign, a farm, and the fury that followed," 19 Feb. 2018 Zach Carothers, the bassist, went first, and seemed relieved when he was done posing with doughnuts placed over each finger like rings. Katherine Rosman, New York Times, "15 Minutes of Fame Is Too Much. Try 6 Seconds.," 12 Feb. 2018 Sandwich included steak, onions, peppers and Monterey Jack cheese atop a beef patty with deep fried doughnuts acting as the bun. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Alligator burgers, Hot Brown tater tots top new Kentucky State Fair foods," 10 Aug. 2017

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

6 Oct 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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