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[tuh-doo] /təˈdu/
noun, plural to-dos. Informal.
bustle; fuss:
They made a great to-do over the dinner.
Origin of to-do
before 900; Middle English, Old English; noun use of infinitive phrase; see to, do1, ado
Synonym Study
See ado. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for to-do
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If she gits a premium for puttin' up gardin-sass, I'll warrant there'll be a to-do.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Emma Torrance flings open the door grandly, and we learn what all the to-do is about.

    Echoes of the War J. M. Barrie
  • And I must laugh to see my neighbours making a to-do about a mercantile bargain.

    Gilian The Dreamer Neil Munro
  • But on leaving we were met by the farmer, who made a to-do, charging us with trespassing.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • Wal, there was an awful row and a to-do about it, you may be sure.

    Oldtown Fireside Stories Harriet Beecher Stowe
British Dictionary definitions for to-do


noun (pl) -dos
a commotion, fuss, or quarrel
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 to-do

1570s, from the verb phrase to do, from Old English to don "proper or necessary to be done" (see to). Meaning "disturbance, fuss" is first recorded 1827.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for to-do



A disturbance; fuss; flap: What's all the to-do? (1827+)

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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