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verb (used without object), dozed, doz·ing.
  1. to sleep lightly or fitfully.
  2. to fall into a light sleep unintentionally (often followed by off): He dozed off during the sermon.
  3. to sleep for a short time; nap.
  4. to be dull or half asleep.
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verb (used with object), dozed, doz·ing.
  1. to pass or spend (time) in drowsiness (often followed by away): He dozed away the afternoon.
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  1. a light or fitful sleep; nap.
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Origin of doze1

1640–50; orig. (now obsolete) to stupefy, make drowsy; compare Scots, N England dialect dozened, Middle English (Scots) dosnyt, dosinnit stupefied, dazed; akin to Old Norse dūsa rest, Swedish dialect dusa doze, slumber, Middle Low German dusen to be thoughtless; cf. daze


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verb (used with or without object), dozed, doz·ing.
  1. Informal. to clear or level with a bulldozer.
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Origin of doze2

First recorded in 1940–45; shortened form of bulldoze
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for doze


verb (intr)
  1. to sleep lightly or intermittently
  2. (often foll by off) to fall into a light sleep
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  1. a short sleep
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Derived Formsdozer, noun

Word Origin

C17: probably from Old Norse dūs lull; related to Danish döse to drowse, Swedish dialect dusa slumber
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 doze


1640s, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse dusa "to doze," Danish døse "to make dull," Swedish dialectal dusa "to sleep"); related to Old English dysig "foolish" (see dizzy). May have existed in dialect earlier than attested date. Related: Dozed; dozing. As a noun, from 1731.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper