Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To sleep lightly and intermittently.
  • transitive v. To spend (time) dozing or as if dozing: dozed the summer away.
  • n. A short, light sleep.
  • doze off To fall into a light sleep.
  • transitive v. To use a bulldozer; bulldoze.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to sleep lightly or briefly; to nap
  • n. a light, short sleep or nap

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A light sleep; a drowse.
  • intransitive v. To slumber; to sleep lightly; to be in a dull or stupefied condition, as if half asleep; to be drowsy.
  • transitive v. To pass or spend in drowsiness.
  • transitive v. To make dull; to stupefy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sleep lightly or fitfully; especially, to fall into a light sleep unintentionally.
  • To be in a state of drowsiness; be dull or half asleep: as, to doze over a book.
  • Synonyms Drowse, Slumber, etc. See sleep.
  • To pass or spend in drowsiness: as, to doze away one's time.
  • To make dull; overcome as with drowsiness.
  • n. A light sleep; a fitful slumber.

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

  • v. sleep lightly or for a short period of time
  • n. a light fitful sleep

Etymologies

Probably of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English *dosen, from Old Norse dúsa ("to doze, rest, remain quiet"), from Proto-Germanic *dusēnan (“to be dizzy”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewes-, *dʰews- (“to fly, whirl”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰew- (“to fly, shake, reek, steam, smolder”). Cognate with Icelandic dúsa ("to doze"), Swedish dialectal dusa ("to doze, slumber"), Danish døse ("to doze"), Old English dysiġ ("foolish, stupid"), Scots dosnit ("stunned, stupefied"), Icelandic dúra ("to nap, slumber"). More at dizzy. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Then I fell into a light doze -- not exactly sleep, but a sort of _doze_ -- I can find no other word for it.

    Frenzied Fiction

  • Call it rather a sort of beggarly day-dreaming, during which the mind of the dreamer furnishes for itself nothing but laziness, and a little mawkish sensibility; while the whole materiel and imagery of the doze is supplied ab extra by a sort of mental camera obscura manufactured at the printing office, which pro tempore fixes, reflects, and transmits the moving phantasms of one mans delirium, so as to people the barrenness of a hundred other brains afflicted with the same trance or suspension of all common sense and all definite purpose.

    Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, III footnote 1 « Unknowing

  • Coleridge's attack on the "beggarly daydreaming" of romance reading noted that "the whole material and imagery of the doze is supplied ab extra by a sort of mental camera obscura manufactured at the printing office, which pro tempore fixes, reflects and transmits the moving fantasms of one man's delirium, so as to people the barrenness of an hundred other brains afflicted with the same trance or suspension of all common sense and all definite purpose" (1975, 28).

    Reading Machines

  • Call it rather a sort of beggarly day-dreaming, during which the mind of the dreamer furnishes for itself nothing but laziness and a little mawkish sensibility; while the whole materiel [sic] and imagery of the doze is supplied ab extra by a sort of mental camera obscura manufactured at the printing office, which pro tempore fixes, reflects and transmits the moving phantasms of one man's delirium, so as to people the barrenness of an hundred other brains afflicted with the same trance or suspension of all common sense and all definite purpose.

    Gothic Visions, Romantic Acoustics

  • Of course this sort of doze is not a prolonged slumber, but it is the invariable effect of any attempt at reading, so that I really get exceedingly little profit from my literary studies, be they what they may, in spite of which tendency to somnolence, I am contriving between my naps and while my maid is brushing my hair, to read the "Life and Letters of Charles Kingsley," with which I am profoundly interested and touched.

    Further Records, 1848-1883: A Series of Letters

  • Granny, who had been in a semi-coma, called a doze, roused herself on the big, soft couch and put her cap straight.

    The Virgin and the Gypsy

  • After a few days of self-discipline, the man who resolves not to doze, that is, not to allow some sleepy part of his body to keep him in bed after his brain has once awakened, will find himself, without knowing why, an early riser.

    Hygienic Physiology : with Special Reference to the Use of Alcoholic Drinks and Narcotics

  • ‘A wretched – looking woman, the man’s wife, met me on the stairs, and, telling me that he had just fallen into a kind of doze, led me softly in, and placed a chair for me at the bedside.

    The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

  • I am, therefore, decidedly of opinion, gentlemen, that my uncle fell into a kind of doze, without having thought about anything at all.

    The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

  • Barnaby, quite unable to think, or to speculate on what would be done with him, had been lulled into a kind of doze by his regular pace; but his stopping roused him; and then he became aware that two men were in conversation under the colonnade, and very near the door of his cell.

    Barnaby Rudge

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  • Twelve winks?

    June 7, 2009