Definitions

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

  • n. A set of 12.
  • n. An indefinite, large number: dozens of errands to run.
  • adj. Twelve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A set of twelve.
  • n. A large, unspecified number of, comfortably estimated in small multiples of twelve, thus generally implied to be significantly more than ten or twelve, but less than perhaps one or two hundred; many.
  • n. An old English measure of ore containing 12 hundredweight.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A collection of twelve objects; a tale or set of twelve; with or without of before the substantive which follows.
  • n. An indefinite small number.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make up into bundles of twelve, as certain kinds of dressed hides.
  • n. A collection of twelve things; twelve units: used with or without of: as, a dozen eggs, or a dozen of eggs; twelve dozen pairs of gloves.
  • n. In old English law, a municipal district consisting originally of twelve families or householders. Compare tithing, riding, hundred.

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

  • n. the cardinal number that is the sum of eleven and one
  • adj. denoting a quantity consisting of 12 items or units

Etymologies

Middle English dozeine, from Old French dozaine, from doze, twelve, ultimately from Latin duodecim : duo, two; see dwo- in Indo-European roots + decem, ten; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French douzaine ("a group of twelve"), from douze ("twelve") + -aine ("-ish"), from Latin duodecim ("twelve") (from duo ("two") + decem ("ten")) + -ana ("-ish") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel, and looked up at each other for the last time."
    — Jack Kerouac.

    December 9, 2007