douse

or dowse

[dous]

verb (used with object), doused, dous·ing.

verb (used without object), doused, dous·ing.

to plunge or be plunged into a liquid.

noun

British Dialect. a stroke or blow.

Origin of douse

First recorded in 1590–1600; origin uncertain
Can be confuseddouse dowse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for douse


British Dictionary definitions for douse

douse

1

dowse

verb

to plunge or be plunged into water or some other liquid; duck
(tr) to drench with water, esp in order to wash or clean
(tr) to put out (a light, candle, etc)

noun

an immersion
Derived Formsdouser or dowser, noun

Word Origin for douse

C16: perhaps related to obsolete douse to strike, of obscure origin

douse

2

verb (tr)

nautical to lower (sail) quickly
archaic to strike or beat

noun

archaic a blow

Word Origin for douse

C16: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to douse 1
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 douse
v.

1550s, "to strike, punch," which is perhaps from Middle Dutch dossen "beat forcefully" or a similar Low German word.

Meaning "to strike a sail in haste" is recorded from 1620s; that of "to extinguish (a light)" is from 1785; perhaps influenced by dout (1520s), an obsolete contraction of do out (cf. doff, don). OED regards the meaning "to plunge into water, to throw water over" (c.1600) as a separate word, of unknown origin, though admitting there may be a connection of some sort. Related: Doused; dousing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper