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


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)


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