Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To wet thoroughly; drench.
  • transitive verb To put out (a light or fire); extinguish.
  • noun A thorough drenching.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To put out; extinguish.
  • To strike.
  • Nautical, to strike or lower in haste; slacken suddenly: as, douse the topsail.
  • 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).
  • noun A blow; a stroke.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[From obsolete douse, to strike.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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