General English

  • verb used with other verbs to make questions
  • verb used to make a verb stronger
  • verb used in place of another verb in short answers to questions using the word ‘do’
  • verb used in place of another verb at the end of a question or statement
  • verb telling someone not to do something
  • verb to work at something, to arrange something or to clean something
  • verb to succeed, to continue
  • verb to finish cooking something
  • verb used when greeting someone


  • verb (of the ball) to move in the air or off the pitch to the specified extent (in phrases like ‘do something’, ‘do a bit’, etc)
    Citation ‘The best inswinger will start about middle-and-off and “do” enough to hit leg’ (Arlott 1983)
    Citation ‘Tavaré succeeded in getting out to him only by trying to steer through third man a ball that did nothing’ (Scyld Berry, Observer 12 June 1983)
  • verb (of the wicket) to be conducive to movement off the pitch
    Citation ‘His [Rhodes’] fine length must always command respect, but unless the wicket does something he should not be dangerous’ (Melbourne Argus 12 December 1903)

Information & Library Science

  • abbreviation in Internet addresses, the top-level domain for Dominican Republic


  • noun a hairstyle. This shortened form of hairdo originated in black slang. It is now also heard among younger British speakers.
  • noun excrement. A nursery word used all over the English-speaking world, although in Britain the plural form dos is probably more common. The word in this sense is probably pre-World War II and derives from the Victorian notion of doing or performing one’s bodily functions dutifully.
  • verb to have sex with. More a shorthand vulgarism than an evasive euphemism, the term was widely used in the USA from the late 1960s and since the 1990s has been popular among adolescents in Britain.
  • verb to kill. A term used by criminals and street-gang members and their fictional counterparts.


  • acronym fordissolved oxygen
    (written as DO)


  • acronym forDenominación de Origen
    (written as DO)
  • acronym forDenominación de Origen
    (written as DO)

General Science

  • noun the amount of gaseous oxygen present in water, expressed as either its presence in a volume of water (in milligrams per litre) or its percentage in saturated water.

Origin & History of “do”

Not surprisingly, do is a verb of great antiquity. It goes back to the Indo-European base *dhē- (source also of English deed and doom), which signified ‘place, put’. this sense remains uppermost in descendants such as Sanskrit dhā- and Greek títhēmi (related to English theme), but a progression to ‘make, do’ shows itself in Latin facere (source of English fact and a host of other words) and west Germanic *dōn. ‘Make’ is now the central signification of English do, although traces of the earlier ‘put, place’ survive in such fossilized forms as don and doff, and ‘do someone to death’. Other Germanic relatives include German tun and Dutch doen, but the Scandinavian languages have not adopted the verb, preferring instead for ‘do’ one which originally meant ‘make ready’ (Danish gøre, Swedish gåra) and which is related to English gear.