dozen

1
[duhz-uh n]
noun, plural doz·ens, (as after a numeral) doz·en.
  1. a group of 12.
  2. the dozens, Slang. a ritualized game typically engaged in by two persons each of whom attempts to outdo the other in insults directed against members of the other's family (usually used in the phrase play the dozens).
adjective
  1. twelve.

Origin of dozen

1
1250–1300; Middle English dozeine < Old French do(u)zaine, equivalent to do(u)ze (< Latin duodecim) + -aine (< Latin -āna) -an

dozen

2
[doh-zuh n]
verb (used with object) Scot.
  1. to stun.

Origin of dozen

2
1325–75; Middle English (Scots); see doze1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dozens

twelve

Examples from the Web for dozens

Contemporary Examples of dozens

Historical Examples of dozens


British Dictionary definitions for dozens

dozens

pl n
  1. (usually foll by of) informal a lotI've got dozens of things to do

dozen

determiner
  1. (preceded by a or a numeral)
    1. twelve or a group of twelvea dozen eggs; two dozen oranges
    2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)give me a dozen; there are at least a dozen who haven't arrived yet
noun plural dozens or dozen
  1. by the dozen in large quantities
  2. See baker's dozen
  3. talk nineteen to the dozen to talk without stopping
See also dozens
Derived Formsdozenth, adjective

Word Origin for dozen

C13: from Old French douzaine, from douze twelve, from Latin duodecim, from duo two + decem ten
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 dozens

dozen

n.

c.1300, from Old French dozaine "a dozen," from doze (12c.) "twelve," from Latin duodecim "twelve," from duo "two" + decem "ten" (see ten).

The Old French fem. suffix -aine is characteristically added to cardinals to form collectives in a precise sense ("exactly 12," not "about 12"). The dozens "invective contest" (1928) originated in slave culture, the custom probably African, the word probably from bulldoze (q.v.) in its original sense of "a whipping, a thrashing."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dozens

dozen

see baker's dozen; by the dozen; daily dozen; dime a dozen; six of one, half dozen of the other.

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