- twice as large, heavy, strong, etc.; twofold in size, amount, number, extent, etc.: a double portion; a new house double the size of the old one.
- composed of two like parts or members; twofold in form; paired: double doors; a double sink.
- of, relating to, or suitable for two persons: a double room.
- twofold in character, meaning, or conduct; dual or ambiguous: a double interpretation.
- deceitful; hypocritical; insincere.
- (of musical instruments) producing a tone an octave lower than the notes indicate.
- duple, as time or rhythm.
- folded in two; having one half folded over the other.
- (of a bed or bedclothes) full-size: a double blanket.
- Botany. (of flowers) having many more than the normal number of petals: double petunias; double hollyhocks.
- anything that is twofold in size or amount or twice the usual size, quantity, strength, etc.
- a duplicate or counterpart; something exactly or closely resembling another: This dress is the double of that. He is the double of his cousin.
- Also called double room. a type of hotel accommodation with two beds, or sometimes a double bed, for occupancy by two persons.Compare twin1(def 4).
- a fold or plait.
- an alcoholic drink containing twice the usual amount of alcohol.
- a sudden backward turn or bend, as of a fox on the run in fox hunting; reversal.
- a trick or artifice, as of argument in a formal debate.
- a substitute actor or singer ready to take another's place, especially onstage; understudy.
- Movies, Television.
- a substitute who performs feats or actions too hazardous or difficult for a star.
- body double.
- Baseball. two-base hit.
- Military. double time.
- doubles, (used with a singular verb) a game or match in which there are two players on each side, as in tennis.
- (in bridge or other card games)
- a challenge by an opponent that the declarer cannot fulfill the designated contract, increasing the points to be won or lost.
- a hand that warrants such a challenge.
- Bridge. a conventional bid informing one's partner that a player's hand is of a certain strength.
- Bowling. two strikes in succession: He needed a double in the tenth frame to win.
- daily double.
- any of certain feasts in the Roman Catholic Church, marked by a doubled antiphon and taking precedence over lesser feasts.
- Music Rare. a variation.
- a former coin of France, the sixth part of a sol, issued in silver in the 14th century, later made of copper.
- to make double or twice as great; to add an equal amount to: The baby doubled its weight in a year.
- to bend or fold with or as with one part over another (often followed by over, up, back, etc.): Double the edge over before sewing.
- to clench: He doubled his fists.
- to be or have twice as much as: Income doubled expenditure.
- to sail around (a projecting area of land): to double Cape Horn.
- to add a new layer of planking or ceiling to (an old wooden hull).
- to pair; couple: The players were doubled for the tournament.
- Music. to reduplicate by means of a tone in another part, either at the unison or at an octave above or below.
- (in bridge and other card games)
- to challenge (the bid of an opponent) by making a call that increases the value of tricks to be won or lost.
- to challenge the bid of (an opponent): He doubled me into game.
- to cause the advance of (a base runner) by a two-base hit: He doubled him to third.
- to cause (a run) to be scored by a two-base hit (often followed by in): He doubled in the winning run.
- to put out (a base runner) as the second out of a double play (often followed by up).
- to become double: My money doubled in three years.
- to bend or fold (often followed by up or over): to double over with pain.
- to turn back on a course or reverse direction (often followed by back): He doubled back by another road and surprised us.
- Military. to march at the double-time pace.
- to serve in two capacities or in an additional capacity: She doubles as producer and director.
- to act as a double in a play, motion picture, or the like.
- Music. to play an instrument besides one's regular instrument (usually followed by on): The saxophonist doubles on drums.
- (in bridge and other card games) to double the bid of an opponent.
- Baseball. to make a two-base hit.
- to double-date.
- to twice the amount, number, extent, etc.; twofold; doubly.
- two together: There are only a few beds, so some of the children will have to sleep double for the night.
- double down,
- (in blackjack) to double an initial bet, on the condition that one can be dealt only one more card: Will you double down and beat the dealer?
- to increase one’s efforts or hold to a position or opinion, especially when vulnerable or taking a risk: He has continued to defend his controversial interpretation of the document, doubling down on what he sees as the truth.
- double up,
- to share quarters planned for only one person or family: Because of the room shortage, we had to double up.
- to bend over, as from pain: He doubled up in agony.
- at the double, British Informal. on the double.
- double in brass, Informal. to serve in two capacities; be able to do work different from one's own: It is a small firm, and everyone doubles in brass when emergencies arise.
- double or nothing, a bet having as its outcome either the doubling of a previous loss or debt or the canceling of that loss or debt.Also double or quits.
- on the double, Informal.
- without delay; rapidly: The fire engines came on the double.
- in double time, as marching troops.
Origin of double
- (intr, adverb) to go back in the opposite direction (esp in the phrase double back on one's tracks)
- as much again in size, strength, number, etca double portion
- composed of two equal or similar parts; in a pair; twofolda double egg cup
- designed for two usersa double room
- folded in two; composed of two layersdouble paper
- stooping; bent over
- having two aspects or existing in two different ways; ambiguousa double meaning
- false, deceitful, or hypocriticala double life
- (of flowers) having more than the normal number of petals
- (of a root) being one of two equal roots of a polynomial equation
- (of an integral) having an integrand containing two independent variables requiring two integrations, in each of which one variable is kept constant
- (of an instrument) sounding an octave lower than the pitch indicated by the notationa double bass
- (of time) duple, usually accompanied by the direction alla breve
- twice over; twofold
- two together; two at a time (esp in the phrase see double)
- twice the number, amount, size, etc
- a double measure of spirits, such as whisky or brandy
- a duplicate or counterpart, esp a person who closely resembles another; understudy
- a wraith or ghostly apparition that is the exact counterpart of a living person; doppelgänger
- a sharp turn, esp a return on one's own tracks
- an evasive shift or artifice; trick
- an actor who plays two parts in one play
- bridge a call that increases certain scoring points if the last preceding bid becomes the contract
- billiards snooker a strike in which the object ball is struck so as to make it rebound against the cushion to an opposite pocket
- a bet on two horses in different races in which any winnings from the horse in the first race are placed on the horse in the later race
- (often capital) mainly RC Church one of the higher-ranking feasts on which the antiphons are recited both before and after the psalms
- music an ornamented variation in 16th and 17th century music
- Also called: double time a pace of twice the normal marching speed
- tennis See double fault
- the narrow outermost ring on a dartboard
- a hit on this ring
- at the double or on the double
- at twice normal marching speed
- quickly or immediately
- to make or become twice as much
- to bend or fold (material, a bandage, etc)
- (tr sometimes foll by up) to clench (a fist)
- (tr; often foll by together or up) to join or couplehe doubled up the team
- (tr) to repeat exactly; copy
- (intr) to play two parts or serve two roles
- (intr) to turn sharply; follow a winding course
- nautical to sail around (a headland or other point)
- to duplicate (a voice or instrumental part) either in unison or at the octave above or below it
- (intr usually foll by on)to be capable of performing (upon an instrument additional to one's normal one)the third trumpeter doubles on cornet
- bridge to make a call that will double certain scoring points if the preceding bid becomes the contract
- billiards snooker to cause (a ball) to rebound or (of a ball) to rebound from a cushion across or up or down the table
- to cause two pawns of the same colour to be on the same file
- to place both rooks of the same colour on the same rank or the same file
- (intr foll by for) to act as substitute (for an actor or actress)
- (intr) to go or march at twice the normal speed
Word Origin for double
late 13c., "make double," from Old French dobler, from Latin duplare, from duplus (see double (adj.)). Meaning "to work as, in addition to one's regular job" is c.1920, circus slang, from performers who also played in the band. Related: Doubled; doubling. To double up bodily is from 1814.
A blow on the stomach "doubles up" the boxer, and occasions that gasping and crowing which sufficiently indicate the cause of the injury .... [Donald Walker, "Defensive Exercises," 1840]
mid-14c., "amount twice as great," also "duplicate copy," from double (adj.).
Reverse one's course, go back the way one has come. For example, The officer lost the suspect, who had doubled back on him. This term, at first put simply as to double, is used largely to describe a way of evading pursuit. [Late 1500s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with double
- double back
- double bill
- double cross
- double date
- double Dutch
- double duty
- double feature
- double in brass
- double life
- double standard
- double take, do a
- double talk
- double up
- lead a double life
- on the double
- see double