verb (used without object), dozed, doz·ing.

to sleep lightly or fitfully.
to fall into a light sleep unintentionally (often followed by off): He dozed off during the sermon.
to sleep for a short time; nap.
to be dull or half asleep.

verb (used with object), dozed, doz·ing.

to pass or spend (time) in drowsiness (often followed by away): He dozed away the afternoon.


a light or fitful sleep; nap.

Origin of doze

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

Synonyms for doze Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for doze off

catnap, doze, nod, snooze, drowse

British Dictionary definitions for doze off


verb (intr)

to sleep lightly or intermittently
(often foll by off) to fall into a light sleep


a short sleep
Derived Formsdozer, noun

Word Origin for doze

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 off



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with doze off

doze off

Fall into a light sleep, as in Watching the ballet always made her doze off. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.