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[doh-boi] /ˈdoʊˌbɔɪ/
Informal. an American infantryman, especially in World War I.
a rounded mass of dough, boiled or steamed as a dumpling or deep-fried and served as a hot bread.
Origin of doughboy
1675-85; dough + boy; sense “infantryman,” from mid-1860s, is obscurely derived; two plausible, but unsubstantiated claims: doughboy orig. referred to the globular brass buttons on infantry uniforms, likened to the pastry; dough referred to a clay used to clean the white uniform belts Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for doughboy
Historical Examples
  • This story was from the lips of a doughboy whose home was in Philadelphia.

    The Fight for the Argonne

    William Benjamin West
  • But if a doughboy could not or would not pay, no questions were asked.

    With the Doughboy in France

    Edward Hungerford
  • "Yes, sir, we certainly did see some aeroplanes," said a doughboy.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • The doughboy was afraid it was going to be some more nurses and doctors.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • I was in a base hospital one day when a doughboy came in all gory about the head.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • Many of them were singing the national anthem of the doughboy, Hail!

    Average Americans Theodore Roosevelt
  • The amazing part of the "show," however, was the American doughboy.

  • Jimmie strolled in, and there was a doughboy with whom he had had some chat on the transport.

    Jimmie Higgins Upton Sinclair
  • I'd rather be a "doughboy" though—anything but an artilleryman, for I hate shells and solid shot.

  • However, he was compelled to leg it at the point of an American bayonet in the hands of an American doughboy.

    The War Romance of the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth and Grace Livingston Hill
British Dictionary definitions for doughboy


(US, informal) an infantryman, esp in World War I
dough that is boiled or steamed as a dumpling
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for doughboy
noun's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for doughboy

"U.S. soldier," 1864, American English, said to have been in oral use from 1854, or from the Mexican-American War (1847), it is perhaps from resemblance of big buttons on old uniforms to a sort of biscuit of that name (1680s), but there are various other conjectures.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for doughboy



An infantry soldier; grunt, paddlefoot

[1867+; origin unknown; perhaps fr a resemblance between the buttons of the infantry uniform and doughboys, ''suet dumplings boiled in seawater,'' a term fr the British merchant marine]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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