Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To plunge into liquid; immerse. See Synonyms at dip.
  • transitive v. To wet thoroughly; drench.
  • transitive v. To put out (a light or fire); extinguish.
  • intransitive v. To become thoroughly wet.
  • n. A thorough drenching.
  • v. Variant of dowse1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To strike.
  • v. To strike or lower in haste; to slacken suddenly; as, douse the topsail.
  • n. A blow; stroke.
  • v. To plunge suddenly into water; to duck; to immerse.
  • v. To fall suddenly into water.
  • v. To put out; to extinguish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To fall suddenly into water.
  • transitive v. To plunge suddenly into water; to duck; to immerse; to dowse.
  • transitive v. To strike or lower in haste; to slacken suddenly.
  • transitive v. To put out; to extinguish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To thrust or plunge into a fluid; immerse; dip; also, to drench or flood with a fluid.
  • To fall or be plunged suddenly into a fluid.
  • To search for deposits of ore, for lodes, or for water, by the aid of the dousing- or divining-rod (which see).
  • To strike.
  • Nautical, to strike or lower in haste; slacken suddenly: as, douse the topsail.
  • To put out; extinguish.
  • n. A blow; a stroke.

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

  • v. cover with liquid; pour liquid onto
  • v. put out, as of a candle or a light
  • v. dip into a liquid
  • v. immerse briefly into a liquid so as to wet, coat, or saturate
  • v. wet thoroughly
  • v. lower quickly
  • v. slacken

Etymologies

From obsolete douse, to strike.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably of North Germanic origin, related to Swedish dunsa ("to plumb down, fall clumsily"), Danish dunse ("to thump"). Compare Old English dwǣscan ("to extinguish") and douse below. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English duschen, dusshen ("to rush, fall"), related to Norwegian dusa ("to break, cast down from"), Old Dutch doesen ("to beat, strike"), German dialectal tusen, dusen ("to strike, run against, collide"), Eastern Frisian dössen ("to strike"). Compare doss, dust. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thanks for "douse" which reminds me of a reflexive verb that I had wanted to include in the story: "se tartiner".

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  • And, one day, a first person account of what it's actually like to "douse" Mer Whit "with ... champagne."

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  • Just grate orange peel into a mason jar, pierce the skin of the pepper, douse in vodka, seal, wait three days and then filter out the pepper and orange.

    2010 June archive at

  • What I do know is that people in both México and the U.S. are going to have to get over their fears and work together to douse the fires that are spreading in both houses.

    Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

  • Crude oil prices alone could douse this euphoria soon.

    A Crude Reality For India's Budget

  • Because the insurance companies that provided the fire departments that would only douse the fires of individual policy holders?

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  • WASHINGTON--Amid a growing air of desperation, world financial leaders on Saturday said they are scrambling to douse the European debt crisis that threatens to spark another global financial meltdown.

    Leaders Press Europe on Debt

  • The reactor boasts a concrete basin designed to trap and douse the reactor core in the event of a meltdown.

    Areva High-Tech Reactor Hits New Snag

  • Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, apparently concerned over the impact on Thailand's huge tourism industry, tried to douse safety fears Monday, telling reporters that the situation in Bangkok was normal.

    Thai Police Seize Materials, Charge Terror-Plot Suspect

  • He added that Malaysia's gross domestic product expansion should slow to around 3.8% this year as global debt problems douse demand in Europe and the U.S. He said he believes Indonesia's economy will remain resilient, while neighboring Singapore could slip into a recession as export demand wanes, though he believes growth will pick up toward year-end.

    Malaysia's CIMB Bank Optimistic About Indonesian Banking

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