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



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

Informal. to clear or level with a bulldozer.

Origin of doze

First recorded in 1940–45; shortened form of bulldoze Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dozed

snooze, slumber, catnap, nap, siesta, drowse, sleep, shut-eye

Examples from the Web for dozed

Contemporary Examples of dozed

Historical Examples of dozed

  • The effort of continuous talking wearied him, and presently he dozed off.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Pierre, unwilling to quit his brother, dozed off upon a sofa.

  • Old Mr. Longworth dozed most of his time in his steamer chair.

  • He started to get up, then looked back to his mate again, and settled down and dozed.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • When he dozed despite himself, the whimpering and snarling of the dogs aroused him.

    White Fang

    Jack London

British Dictionary definitions for dozed



mainly Irish (of timber or rubber) rotten or decayed

Word Origin for dozed

C18: probably from doze


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 dozed



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