douse

verb (1)
\ ˈdau̇s How to pronounce douse (audio) also ˈdau̇z How to pronounce douse (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
doused also dowsed; dousing also dowsing

Definition of douse

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to plunge into water Blanch the green beans then douse them in a bath of ice water.
2a : to throw a liquid on : drench The books were doused in gasoline and set ablaze. doused herself in perfume
b : slosh
3 [originally in argot use (douse the glim meaning "extinguish the light") and perhaps of distinct origin] : extinguish douse the lights douse the blaze

intransitive verb

: to fall or become plunged into water

douse

noun (1)
\ ˈdau̇s How to pronounce douse (audio) also ˈdau̇z How to pronounce douse (audio) \

Definition of douse (Entry 2 of 4)

: a heavy drenching a douse of cold water

douse

noun (2)
\ ˈdüs How to pronounce douse (audio) , ˈdau̇s How to pronounce douse (audio) \

Definition of douse (Entry 3 of 4)

British

douse

verb (2)
\ ˈdau̇s How to pronounce douse (audio) \
doused; dousing

Definition of douse (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1 nautical
a : to take in : lower, strike douse a sail
b : slacken douse a rope
2 : take off, doff doused his hat

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Other Words from douse

Verb (1)

douser or less commonly dowser noun

First Known Use of douse

Verb (1)

1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1835, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1625, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for douse

Verb (1)

of obscure origin

Note: 16th-century douse "to strike, inflict a blow on" — see douse entry 3 may be related but is remote in sense

Noun (1)

noun derivative of douse entry 1

Noun (2)

noun derivative of earlier douse "to strike, inflict a blow on," akin by borrowing or descent to Middle Dutch dossen "to strike, shove," Early Modern Dutch doesen, German dialect dusen, tusen, tausen

Verb (2)

perhaps sense extensions of earlier douse "to strike, inflict a blow on" — more at douse entry 3

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Cite this Entry

“Douse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/douse. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for douse

douse

verb
\ ˈdau̇s How to pronounce douse (audio) \
doused; dousing

Kids Definition of douse

1 : to stick into water He doused his head in the stream.
2 : to throw a liquid on The chef doused the shrimp in sauce.
3 : to put out : extinguish douse a light

More from Merriam-Webster on douse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for douse

Nglish: Translation of douse for Spanish Speakers

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