or dowse

[ dous ]
See synonyms for: dousedoused on

verb (used with object),doused, dous·ing.
  1. to plunge into water or the like; drench: She doused the clothes in soapy water.

  2. to splash or throw water or other liquid on: The children doused each other with the hose.

  1. to extinguish: She quickly doused the candle's flame with her fingertips.

  2. Informal. to remove; doff.

  3. Nautical.

    • to lower or take in (a sail, mast, or the like) suddenly.

    • to slacken (a line) suddenly.

    • to stow quickly.

verb (used without object),doused, dous·ing.
  1. to plunge or be plunged into a liquid.

  1. British Dialect. a stroke or blow.

Origin of douse

First recorded in 1590–1600; origin uncertain

Words that may be confused with douse

Words Nearby douse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use douse in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for douse (1 of 2)



/ (daʊs) /

  1. to plunge or be plunged into water or some other liquid; duck

  2. (tr) to drench with water, esp in order to wash or clean

  1. (tr) to put out (a light, candle, etc)

  1. an immersion

Origin of douse

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

Derived forms of douse

  • douser or dowser, noun

British Dictionary definitions for douse (2 of 2)


/ (daʊs) /

  1. nautical to lower (sail) quickly

  2. archaic to strike or beat

  1. archaic a blow

Origin of 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