verb (1)
\ˈdau̇s also ˈdau̇z \
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


noun (1)
\ˈdau̇s also ˈdau̇z \

Definition of douse (Entry 2 of 4)

: a heavy drenching a douse of cold water


noun (2)
\ˈdüs, ˈdau̇s \

Definition of douse (Entry 3 of 4)



verb (2)
\ˈdau̇s \
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

Other Words from douse

Verb (1)

douser or less commonly dowser noun

First Known Use of douse

Verb (1)

1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1881, 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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Dictionary Entries near douse





dousing chock



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Time Traveler for douse

The first known use of douse was in 1600

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More Definitions for douse


\ˈdau̇s \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on douse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with douse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for douse

Spanish Central: Translation of douse

Nglish: Translation of douse for Spanish Speakers

Comments on douse

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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