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[dohs] /doʊs/
a quantity of medicine prescribed to be taken at one time.
a substance, situation, or quantity of anything analogous to medicine, especially of something disagreeable:
Failing the exam was a hard dose to swallow.
an amount of sugar added in the production of champagne.
  1. Also called absorbed dose. the quantity of ionizing radiation absorbed by a unit mass of matter, especially living tissue: measured in gray or rad.
  2. exposure dose.
Slang. a case of gonorrhea or syphilis.
verb (used with object), dosed, dosing.
to administer in or apportion for doses.
to give a dose of medicine to.
to add sugar to (champagne) during production.
verb (used without object), dosed, dosing.
to take a dose of medicine.
Origin of dose
1590-1600; earlier dos < Late Latin dosis < Greek dósis a giving
Related forms
doser, noun
superdose, noun
underdose, noun
underdose, verb (used with object), underdosed, underdosing.
well-dosed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dose
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ill give him a dose; Ill put my mark on him—one that milk and water, or soap, cannot remove.

    The Funny Side of Physic A. D. Crabtre
  • Let us by all means give them instead a dose of positive philosophy.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • Miss Armitage gave her patient the second dose of her medicine and she closed her eyes.

    A Modern Cinderella Amanda M. Douglas
  • She could not tell the exact time, because, in spite of her efforts, she had ended by falling into a dose.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • In about half an hour he again awoke, when a second dose of the strong infusion was administered to him.

British Dictionary definitions for dose


(med) a specific quantity of a therapeutic drug or agent taken at any one time or at specified intervals
(informal) something unpleasant to experience: a dose of influenza
Also called dosage. the total energy of ionizing radiation absorbed by unit mass of material, esp of living tissue; usually measured in grays (SI unit) or rads
Also called dosage. a small amount of syrup added to wine, esp sparkling wine, when the sediment is removed and the bottle is corked
(slang) a venereal infection, esp gonorrhoea
like a dose of salts, very quickly indeed
verb (transitive)
to administer a dose or doses to (someone)
(med) to give (a therapeutic drug or agent) in appropriate quantities
(often foll by up) to give (someone, esp oneself) drugs, medicine, etc, esp in large quantities
to add syrup to (wine) during bottling
Derived Forms
doser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from French, from Late Latin dosis, from Greek: a giving, from didonai to give
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dose

c.1600, from Middle French dose (15c.), from Late Latin dosis, from Greek dosis "a portion prescribed," literally "a giving," used by Galen and other Greek physicians to mean an amount of medicine, from stem of didonai "to give" (see date (n.1)). Slang meaning "venereal disease" is from 1914.


1650s, from dose (n.). Related: Dosed; dosing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dose in Medicine

dose (dōs)
Abbr. D.

  1. A specified quantity of a therapeutic agent, such as a drug, prescribed to be taken at one time or at stated intervals.

  2. The amount of radiation administered as therapy to a given site.

v. dosed, dos·ing, dos·es
  1. To give or prescribe something, such as medicine, in specified amounts.

  2. To give someone a dose, as of medicine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for dose



To infect with a venereal disease, esp gonorrhea: What's going to happen is that you'll get dosed (1914+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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