verb (used without object), dot·ed, dot·ing. Also doat.

to bestow or express excessive love or fondness habitually (usually followed by on or upon): They dote on their youngest daughter.
to show a decline of mental faculties, especially associated with old age.


decay of wood.

Origin of dote

1175–1225; Middle English doten to behave foolishly, become feeble-minded; cognate with Middle Dutch doten.
Related formsdot·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dotes

Historical Examples of dotes

  • It would break my heart and kill your mother, who dotes upon you.

    Rabbi and Priest

    Milton Goldsmith

  • The third is the love that “dotes yet doubts,” that doubts but never dies—no never.

    The War Trail

    Mayne Reid

  • He seems to have plenty of common-sense, although he dotes on her.

    Lover or Friend

    Rosa Nouchette Carey

  • His wife abhors him, and does not conceal it; and still slavishly he dotes on her.

    My Novel, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • This idea comes from an art student in Paris, who dotes on her window desk.

    Social Life

    Maud C. Cooke

British Dictionary definitions for dotes


now rarely doat

verb (intr)

(foll by on or upon) to love to an excessive or foolish degree
to be foolish or weak-minded, esp as a result of old age
Derived Formsdoter or now rarely doater, noun

Word Origin for dote

C13: related to Middle Dutch doten to be silly, Norwegian dudra to shake
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 dotes



c.1200, "to be feeble-minded from age," from Middle Low German doten "be foolish," of unknown origin. Meaning "to be infatuated" is from late 15c. Related: Doted; dotes; doting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper