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verb (used with object), dodged, dodg·ing.
  1. to elude or evade by a sudden shift of position or by strategy: to dodge a blow; to dodge a question.
  2. Also hold back. Photography. (in printing) to shade (an area of a print) from exposure for a period, while exposing the remainder of the print in order to lighten or eliminate the area (sometimes followed by out).Compare burn1(def 45).
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verb (used without object), dodged, dodg·ing.
  1. to move aside or change position suddenly, as to avoid a blow or get behind something.
  2. to use evasive methods; prevaricate: When asked a direct question, he dodges.
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  1. a quick, evasive movement, as a sudden jump away to avoid a blow or the like.
  2. an ingenious expedient or contrivance; shifty trick.
  3. Slang. a business, profession, or occupation.
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Origin of dodge

First recorded in 1560–70; of obscure origin
Related formsout·dodge, verb (used with object), out·dodged, out·dodg·ing.un·dodged, adjective


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  1. Mary Elizabeth,1831–1905, U.S. editor and author of children's books.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

duck, shuffle, sidestep, evade, elude, escape, ditch, skirt, stratagem, ruse, plot, machination, ploy, strategy, contrivance, subterfuge, device, wile, scheme, method

Examples from the Web for dodge

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I dodge discrimination, and characterize them en masse by negations.

  • Then they may change their idea and be up to some dodge that we can't fathom.

  • He does not shuffle or prevaricate, dodge or skulk; but is honest, upright, and straightforward.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Mr. Dodge, now is the time to show that your name and nature are not identical.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • It was Mr. Dodge, begging to be admitted on a matter of business.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for dodge


  1. to avoid or attempt to avoid (a blow, discovery, etc), as by moving suddenly
  2. to evade (questions, etc) by cleverness or trickery
  3. (intr) bell-ringing to make a bell change places with its neighbour when sounding in successive changes
  4. (tr) photog to lighten or darken (selected areas on a print) by manipulating the light from an enlarger
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  1. a plan or expedient contrived to deceive
  2. a sudden evasive or hiding movement
  3. a clever contrivance
  4. bell-ringing the act of dodging
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Word Origin

C16: 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

Word Origin and History for dodge


"to move to and fro" (especially in an effort to avoid something), 1560s, origin and sense evolution obscure, perhaps akin to Scottish dodd "to jog." Common from early 18c. in figurative sense of "to swindle, to play shifting tricks." Related: Dodged; dodging.

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"person's way of making a living," 1842, slang, from dodge (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper