Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Sleep; rest.
  • n. A crude or makeshift bed.
  • intransitive v. To go to bed, especially in a crude or makeshift bed; sleep.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To avoid work, shirk, etc.
  • v. To sleep in the open or in a derelict building because one is homeless
  • n. Work avoidance.
  • n. Easy piece of work
  • adj. Describes a useless or lazy person. Generally combined with expletive noun, especially cunt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A place to sleep in; a bed; hence, sleep.
  • intransitive v. to sleep in a convenient place.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To attack with the horns; toss.
  • To pay: as, to doss down money.
  • n. A hassock.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. sleep in a convenient place

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of dorse, back, from Latin dorsum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • I had read about doss-houses (they are never called doss-houses, by the way), and I supposed that one could get a bed for fourpence or thereabouts.

    Down and Out in Paris and London

  • Such, sir, are you by general confession; such are the things achieved by you, the greatest and most glorious of our countrymen, the director of our public councils, the leader of unconquered armies, the father of your country; for by that title doss every good man hail you with sincere and voluntary praise. "

    Lives of the English Poets : Waller, Milton, Cowley

  • And he would; right now his doss was a stable garret, cheap enough and cool enough even by day, now it was summer, but boring.

    Take A Thief

  • An Unfortunate could not get out of the weather and find a bit of food unless she could convince a man to take her in or give her small change so she could rent a bed for the night in a common lodging house called a doss-house.

    Portrait of a Killer

  • Name, age, occupation, place of birth, condition of destitution, and the previous night's "doss," were taken with lightning-like rapidity by the superintendent; and as I turned I was startled by a man's thrusting into my hand something that felt like

    THE SPIKE

  • As an instance of their despatch, they will take your bedding ashore in the morning, and by tea-time you will receive it ready for turning in, the blanket washed and dried, the hair teazed and made so soft that you would scarcely fancy it was the same old "doss" again.

    In Eastern Seas Or, the Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83

  • For myself, I had not been in a bed for so long that I positively felt restless, and almost rolled out of bed so as to have a comfortable "doss" on the ground (it seemed like a case of the pig returning to its wallowing).

    A Yeoman's Letters Third Edition

  • To pound one's wife to a jelly and break a few of her ribs is a trivial offence compared with sleeping out under the naked stars because one has not the price of a doss.

    PROPERTY VERSUS PERSON

  • I believe Gadget wrote about the tendency of many “Police Officers” to do the bare minimum at the front line before trying to find a comfy doss job.

    If Carlsberg Made Justice Secretaries………… « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • Embankment; but things looked brighter for next week, and he might possibly get in a few days 'work and have a bed in some doss-house.

    CORONATION DAY

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Comments

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  • ". . .a monkish cot to doss down on with torn pillows and a quilt fully of scummy stains. . ." Gilbert Adair translation of Georges Perec's La Disparition

    August 11, 2010

  • Groan! Was it a very bad cold that kept her awake?

    The root is more commonly seen personified (dosser, not to be confused with tosser) or rendered in bricks (dosshouse).

    December 25, 2008

  • She dossed and durned all night.

    December 25, 2008