- a group of 12.
- the dozens, Slang. a ritualized game typically engaged in by two persons each of whom attempts to outdo the other in insults directed against members of the other's family (usually used in the phrase play the dozens).
Origin of dozen1
- to stun.
Origin of dozen2
Examples from the Web for dozens
Within hours, the Indonesian navy said dozens of bodies were being seen.Wreckage, Bodies of AirAsia Crash Found
December 30, 2014
Dozens of tearful family members huddled at the Surabaya and Singapore airports, anxiously awaiting news of loved ones.The Presumed Crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Is Nothing Like MH370
December 29, 2014
Justin gazed out from the dim interior as more than 300 police motorcycles from dozens of jurisdictions rumbled past.Choking Back Tears, Thousands of Cops Honor Fallen Officer Ramos
December 28, 2014
So the following year dozens of Santas, in full red and white trim, boarded a plane to Portland.Before the Bros, SantaCon Was as an Anti-Corporate Protest
December 12, 2014
Emory is also one of dozens of higher education institutions with open Title IX sexual violence investigations.Fraternities in a Post-UVA World
December 12, 2014
Centipedes and millipedes in dozens came too, and were not welcome.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
There were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of them; I am not deaf.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
Now, there are dozens of catacombs; the environs of Rome are honeycombed with them.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
And yet there were dozens of other points where an attack in force was possible.
That stranger fully meant to send her off, too; he said so dozens of times.Cy Whittaker's Place
Joseph C. Lincoln
- (usually foll by of) informal a lotI've got dozens of things to do
- (preceded by a or a numeral)
- twelve or a group of twelvea dozen eggs; two dozen oranges
- (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)give me a dozen; there are at least a dozen who haven't arrived yet
- by the dozen in large quantities
- See baker's dozen
- talk nineteen to the dozen to talk without stopping
Word Origin and History for dozens
c.1300, from Old French dozaine "a dozen," from doze (12c.) "twelve," from Latin duodecim "twelve," from duo "two" + decem "ten" (see ten).
The Old French fem. suffix -aine is characteristically added to cardinals to form collectives in a precise sense ("exactly 12," not "about 12"). The dozens "invective contest" (1928) originated in slave culture, the custom probably African, the word probably from bulldoze (q.v.) in its original sense of "a whipping, a thrashing."