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dowse1

[dous] /daʊs/
verb (used with or without object), dowsed, dowsing, noun
1.

dowse2

[douz] /daʊz/
verb (used without object), dowsed, dowsing.
1.
to search for underground supplies of water, metal, etc., by the use of a divining rod.
verb (used with object), dowsed, dowsing.
2.
to search for (as water) by or as if by dowsing.
Origin of dowse2
1685-1695
1685-95; orig. dial. (SW England); origin obscure
Can be confused
douse, dowse.

douse

or dowse

[dous] /daʊs/
verb (used with object), doused, dousing.
1.
to plunge into water or the like; drench:
She doused the clothes in soapy water.
2.
to splash or throw water or other liquid on:
The children doused each other with the hose.
3.
to extinguish:
She quickly doused the candle's flame with her fingertips.
4.
Informal. to remove; doff.
5.
Nautical.
  1. to lower or take in (a sail, mast, or the like) suddenly.
  2. to slacken (a line) suddenly.
  3. to stow quickly.
verb (used without object), doused, dousing.
6.
to plunge or be plunged into a liquid.
noun
7.
British Dialect. a stroke or blow.
Origin
1590-1600; origin uncertain
Can be confused
douse, dowse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dowsing
Historical Examples
  • The divining, or "dowsing," rod of Dousterswivel still keeps its place in mining superstition and in the search for wells.

    The Antiquary, Complete Sir Walter Scott
  • It has been humorously conjectured, that from this ruthless devastator originated the phrase to give a dowsing.

  • The entrance door is medival, probably removed from elsewhere to replace the doorway defaced by dowsing.

    Cambridge and its Story Charles William Stubbs
  • It is remarkable that these should have escaped the specially thorough "purification" which dowsing here describes.

  • The dowsing satisfied me that the ground was full of water: the geological survey suggested the best place to collect it.

  • No serious inquirer into the mysteries of occultism should neglect to study the peculiar human faculty locally known as dowsing.

    Occultism and Common-Sense Beckles Willson
  • The neighbouring village of Stetchworth (or Stretchworth) also suffered in dowsing's visitation.

  • Stone on to stone, I skipped across a brook, dowsing one leg to the thigh in its bubbling water.

    Memoirs of a Midget Walter de la Mare
  • Another phase of psychic activity is that illustrated in "dowsing" or water-finding by means of the hazel fork.

    Second Sight Sepharial
  • Water-divining, or dowsing, is accepted in many parts of the world and used as a practical method of locating underground water.

British Dictionary definitions for dowsing

douse1

/daʊs/
verb
1.
to plunge or be plunged into water or some other liquid; duck
2.
(transitive) to drench with water, esp in order to wash or clean
3.
(transitive) to put out (a light, candle, etc)
noun
4.
an immersion
Derived Forms
douser, dowser, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps related to obsolete douse to strike, of obscure origin

douse2

/daʊs/
verb (transitive)
1.
(nautical) to lower (sail) quickly
2.
(archaic) to strike or beat
noun
3.
(archaic) a blow
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to douse1

dowse1

/daʊs/
verb, noun
1.
a variant spelling of douse1
Derived Forms
dowser, noun

dowse2

/daʊz/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to search for underground water, minerals, etc, using a divining rod; divine
Derived Forms
dowser, noun
Word Origin
C17: of unknown origin
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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Word Origin and History for dowsing

douse

v.

1550s, "to strike, punch," which is perhaps from Middle Dutch dossen "beat forcefully" or a similar Low German word.

Meaning "to strike a sail in haste" is recorded from 1620s; that of "to extinguish (a light)" is from 1785; perhaps influenced by dout (1520s), an obsolete contraction of do out (cf. doff, don). OED regards the meaning "to plunge into water, to throw water over" (c.1600) as a separate word, of unknown origin, though admitting there may be a connection of some sort. Related: Doused; dousing.

dowse

v.

1690s, a south England dialect word, of uncertain origin, said to have been introduced to Devon by German miners in Elizabethan times. Related: Dowsed; dowsing.

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

douse

verb

To extinguish a light, lamp, candle, etc

[1807+; specialized fr an earlier sense, ''hit'']

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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Word Value for dowsing

12
14
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