dozen

noun

doz·​en ˈdə-zᵊn How to pronounce dozen (audio)
plural dozens or dozen
1
: a group of 12
2
: an indefinitely large number
dozens of times
3
the dozens plural in form but singular in construction : a ritualized African American word game that consists of exchanging insults usually about the members of an opponent's family
dozen adjective
dozenth adjective

Examples of dozen in a Sentence

dozens of new songs were auditioned and rejected
Recent Examples on the Web The investigations come amid concerns about the safety of thousands of U.S. bridges and days after more than two dozen river barges broke loose and struck a closed span in Pittsburgh. Eric Tucker, arkansasonline.com, 16 Apr. 2024 Its wings are offered with a choice of nearly two dozen sauces. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 16 Apr. 2024 The agents hurried to the store and saw a man walk out with more than a dozen AK-47 style rifles, load them into a car, and drive off. Ieva Jusionyte, Rolling Stone, 16 Apr. 2024 Enjoy the gyoza à la carte or in bento boxes, and with nearly a dozen dipping sauces such as cilantro chile, yuzu kosho and ponzu. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2024 Paramedics rushed through the park toward a tent, one of dozens illegally erected by the town’s hundreds of homeless people, then play resumed as though nothing had happened. Claire Rush, Fortune, 15 Apr. 2024 The Salemi Kim’s never became fully operational, however, and, after languishing in boxes for a dozen years, the collection made its way back to New York. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 The hit is felt by dozens of workers and companies who depended on SDC for work. Cary Spivak, Journal Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2024 The cookies are sold individually or in packs of two or six, or by the dozen. Chyna Blackmon, Charlotte Observer, 4 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dozen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English dozeine, from Anglo-French duzeine, dozeyne, from duze twelve, from Latin duodecim, from duo two + decem ten — more at two, ten

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dozen was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near dozen

Cite this Entry

“Dozen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dozen. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

dozen

noun
doz·​en ˈdəz-ᵊn How to pronounce dozen (audio)
plural dozens or dozen
: a group of twelve
dozen adjective
dozenth adjective
Etymology

Middle English dozeine "dozen," from early French dozeyne (same meaning), derived from Latin duodecim "twelve," from duo "two" and decem "ten" — related to decimal, dime, dual

More from Merriam-Webster on dozen

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