[ doo; unstressed doo, duh ]
See synonyms for do on
verb (used with object),present singular 1st person do,2nd do or (Archaic) do·est or dost,3rd does or (Archaic) do·eth or doth,present plural do;past singular 1st person did,2nd did or (Archaic) didst,3rd did,past plural did;past participle done;present participle do·ing.
  1. to perform (an act, duty, role, etc.): Do nothing until you hear the bell.

  2. to execute (a piece or amount of work): to do a hauling job.

  1. to accomplish; finish; complete: He has already done his homework.

  2. to put forth; exert: Do your best.

  3. to be the cause of (good, harm, credit, etc.); bring about; effect.

  4. to render, give, or pay (homage, justice, etc.).

  5. to deal with, fix, clean, arrange, move, etc., (anything) as the case may require: to do the dishes.

  6. to travel; traverse: We did 30 miles today.

  7. to serve; suffice for: This will do us for the present.

  8. to condone or approve, as by custom or practice: That sort of thing simply isn't done.

  9. to travel at the rate of (a specified speed): He was doing 80 when they arrested him.

  10. to make or prepare: I'll do the salad.

  11. to serve (a term of time) in prison, or, sometimes, in office.

  12. to create, form, or bring into being: She does wonderful oil portraits.

  13. to translate into or change the form or language of: MGM did the book into a movie.

  14. to study or work at or in the field of: I have to do my math tonight.

  15. to explore or travel through as a sightseer: They did Greece in three weeks.

  16. (used with a pronoun, as it or that, or with a general noun, as thing, that refers to a previously mentioned action): You were supposed to write thank-you letters; do it before tomorrow, please.

  17. Informal. to wear out; exhaust; tire: That last set of tennis did me.

  18. Informal. to cheat, trick, or take advantage of: That crooked dealer did him for $500 at poker.

  19. Informal. to attend or participate in: Let's do lunch next week.

  20. Slang. to use (a drug or drugs), especially habitually: The police report said he was doing cocaine.

  21. Slang. to rob; steal from: The law got him for doing a lot of banks.

  22. Slang: Vulgar. to have sex with.

  23. Informal. (usually in the negative) to act in accordance with expectations associated with (something specified): Just ignore her insults—she doesn’t do polite.

verb (used without object),present singular 1st person do,2nd do or (Archaic) do·est or dost,3rd does or (Archaic) do·eth or doth,present plural do;past singular 1st person did,2nd did or (Archaic) didst,3rd did,past plural did;past participle done;present participle do·ing.
  1. to act or conduct oneself; be in action; behave.

  2. to proceed: to do wisely.

  1. to get along; fare; manage: to do without an automobile.

  2. to be in health, as specified: Mother and child are doing fine.

  3. to serve or be satisfactory, as for the purpose; be enough; suffice: Will this do?

  4. to finish or be finished.

  5. to happen; take place; transpire: What's doing at the office?

  6. (used as a substitute to avoid repetition of a verb or full verb expression): I think as you do.

auxiliary verb,present singular 1st person do,2nd do or (Archaic) do·est or dost,3rd does or (Archaic) do·eth or doth,present plural do;past singular 1st person did,2nd did or (Archaic) didst,3rd did,past plural did;past participle done;present participle do·ing.
  1. (used in interrogative, negative, and inverted constructions): Do you like music? I don't care. Seldom do we witness such catastrophes.

  2. Archaic. (used in imperatives with you or thou expressed; and occasionally as a metric filler in verse): Do thou hasten to the king's side. The wind did blow, the rain did fall.

  1. (used to lend emphasis to a principal verb): Do visit us!

noun,plural dos, do's.
  1. Informal. a burst of frenzied activity; action; commotion.

  2. Informal. a hairdo or hair styling.

  1. British Slang. a swindle; hoax.

  2. Informal. a festive social gathering; party.

Verb Phrases
  1. do by, to deal with; treat: He had always done well by his family.

  2. do for,

    • to cause the defeat, ruin, or death of.

    • Chiefly British. to cook and keep house for; manage or provide for.

  1. do in, Informal.

    • to kill, especially to murder.

    • to injure gravely or exhaust; wear out; ruin: The tropical climate did them in.

    • to cheat or swindle: He was done in by an unscrupulous broker.

  2. do over, to redecorate.

  3. do up, Informal.

    • to wrap and tie up.

    • to pin up or arrange (the hair).

    • to renovate; launder; clean.

    • to wear out; tire.

    • to fasten: Do up your coat.

    • to dress: The children were all done up in funny costumes.

  4. do with, to gain advantage or benefit from; make use of: I could do with more leisure time.

  5. do without,

    • to forgo; dispense with.

    • to dispense with the thing mentioned: The store doesn't have any, so you'll have to do without.

Idioms about do

  1. do a number on (someone). number (def. 38).

  2. do away with,

    • to put an end to; abolish.

    • to kill.

  1. do one proud. proud (def. 11).

  2. do one's number. number (def. 39).

  3. do one's (own) thing. thing1 (def. 22).

  4. do or die, to make a supreme effort.

  5. do out of, Informal. to swindle; cheat: A furniture store did me out of several hundred dollars.

  6. dos and don'ts, customs, rules, or regulations: The dos and don'ts of polite manners are easy to learn.

  7. do time, Informal. to serve a term in prison: It's hard to get a decent job once you've done time.

  8. do to death. death (def. 16).

  9. have to do with. have (def. 37).

  10. make do, to get along with what is at hand, despite its inadequacy: I can't afford a new coat so I have to make do with this one.

Origin of do

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English dōn; cognate with Dutch doen, German tun; akin to Latin -dere “to put,” facere “to make, do,” Greek tithénai “to set, put,” Sanskrit dadhāti “(he) puts”

synonym study For do

3. Do, accomplish, achieve mean to bring some action to a conclusion. Do is the general word: He did a great deal of hard work. Accomplish and achieve both connote successful completion of an undertaking. Accomplish emphasizes attaining a desired goal through effort, skill, and perseverance: to accomplish what one has hoped for. Achieve emphasizes accomplishing something important, excellent, or great: to achieve a major breakthrough.

Other words for do

Words that may be confused with do

Other definitions for do (2 of 5)

[ doh ]

noun,plural dos.Music.
  1. the syllable used for the first tone or keynote of a diatonic scale.

  2. (in the fixed system of solmization) the tone C.: Compare sol-fa (def. 1), ut.

Origin of do

First recorded in 1745–55; from Italian, inverted variant of ut;see origin at gamut

Other definitions for do. (3 of 5)


  1. ditto.

Other definitions for D/O (4 of 5)


  1. delivery order.

Other definitions for D.O. (5 of 5)


  1. direct object. : Also d.o.

  2. Doctor of Optometry.

  1. Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use do in a sentence

  • “C O U R D O R O Y,” he said, saying each letter and then proudly declaring the word.

    All Kids Want a Head Start | Eleanor Clift | February 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • "D-o-o-ll," shrieked Maggie, in the ear of her patient pupil, with no better success on his part.

    Bessie and Her Friends | Joanna H. (Joanna Hooe) Mathews
  • When I had played with it a little while, Miss Sullivan slowly spelled into my hand the word "d-o-l-l."

    Story of My Life | Helen Keller
  • I spelled "d-o-l-l" slowly in her hand and pointed to the doll and nodded my head, which seems to be her sign for possession.

    Story of My Life | Helen Keller
  • I shook my head and spelled "d-o-l-l" more emphatically, and opened the door for her; but she obstinately refused to obey.

    Story of My Life | Helen Keller
  • Perhaps you would like to stay and play with Rose, and Willy, and the d-o-ll, instead of coming out to cricket.'

British Dictionary definitions for do (1 of 6)


/ (duː, unstressed , ) /

verbdoes, doing, did or done
  1. to perform or complete (a deed or action): to do a portrait; the work is done

  2. (often intr; foll by for) to serve the needs of; be suitable for (a person, situation, etc); suffice: there isn't much food, but it'll do for the two of us

  1. (tr) to arrange or fix: you should do the garden now

  2. (tr) to prepare or provide; serve: this restaurant doesn't do lunch on Sundays

  3. (tr) to make tidy, elegant, ready, etc, as by arranging or adorning: to do one's hair

  4. (tr) to improve (esp in the phrase do something to or for)

  5. (tr) to find an answer to (a problem or puzzle)

  6. (tr) to translate or adapt the form or language of: the book was done into a play

  7. (intr) to conduct oneself: do as you please

  8. (intr) to fare or manage: how are you doing these days?

  9. (tr) to cause or produce: complaints do nothing to help

  10. (tr) to give or render: your portrait doesn't do you justice; do me a favour

  11. (tr) to work at, esp as a course of study or a profession: he is doing chemistry; what do you do for a living?

  12. (tr) to perform (a play, etc); act: they are doing ``Hamlet'' next week

  13. (tr) to travel at a specified speed, esp as a maximum: this car will do 120 mph

  14. (tr) to travel or traverse (a distance): we did 15 miles on our walk

  15. (takes an infinitive without to) used as an auxiliary before the subject of an interrogative sentence as a way of forming a question: do you agree?; when did John go out?

  16. (takes an infinitive without to) used as an auxiliary to intensify positive statements and commands: I do like your new house; do hurry!

  17. (takes an infinitive without to) used as an auxiliary before a negative adverb to form negative statements or commands: he does not like cheese; do not leave me here alone!

  18. (takes an infinitive without to) used as an auxiliary in inverted constructions: little did he realize that; only rarely does he come in before ten o'clock

  19. used as an auxiliary to replace an earlier verb or verb phrase to avoid repetition: he likes you as much as I do

  20. (tr) informal to visit or explore as a sightseer or tourist: to do Westminster Abbey

  21. (tr) to wear out; exhaust

  22. (intr) to happen (esp in the phrase nothing doing)

  23. (tr) slang to serve (a period of time) as a prison sentence: he's doing three years for burglary; he's doing time

  24. (tr) informal to cheat or swindle

  25. (tr) slang to rob: they did three shops last night

  26. (tr) slang

    • to arrest

    • to convict of a crime

  27. (tr) Australian informal to lose or spend (money) completely

  28. (tr) slang, mainly British to treat violently; assault

  29. (tr) slang to take or use (a drug)

  30. (tr) taboo, slang (of a male) to have sexual intercourse with

  31. (tr) to partake in (a meal): let's do lunch

  32. do or do a informal to act like; imitate: he's a good mimic – he can do all his friends well

  33. do or die to make a final or supreme effort

  34. how do you do? a conventional formula when being introduced

  35. make do to manage with whatever is available

nounplural dos or do's
  1. slang an act or instance of cheating or swindling

  2. informal, mainly British and NZ a formal or festive gathering; party

  1. do's and don'ts informal those things that should or should not be done; rules

Origin of do

Old English dōn; related to Old Frisian duān, Old High German tuon, Latin abdere to put away, Greek tithenai to place; see deed, doom

British Dictionary definitions for do (2 of 6)


/ (dəʊ) /

nounplural dos
  1. a variant spelling of doh 1

British Dictionary definitions for do (3 of 6)


the internet domain name for
  1. Dominican Republic

British Dictionary definitions for DO (4 of 6)


abbreviation for
  1. Doctor of Optometry

  2. Doctor of Osteopathy

British Dictionary definitions for do. (5 of 6)


abbreviation for
  1. ditto

British Dictionary definitions for D/O (6 of 6)



/ commerce /

abbreviation for
  1. delivery order

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