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[doh-boi] /ˈdoʊˌbɔɪ/
Informal. an American infantryman, especially in World War I.
a rounded mass of dough, boiled or steamed as a dumpling or deep-fried and served as a hot bread.
Origin of doughboy
1675-85; dough + boy; sense “infantryman,” from mid-1860s, is obscurely derived; two plausible, but unsubstantiated claims: doughboy orig. referred to the globular brass buttons on infantry uniforms, likened to the pastry; dough referred to a clay used to clean the white uniform belts Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for doughboy
Historical Examples
  • When the doughboy wanted eggs, for instance, he wanted them badly, and that was all there was to it.

    Average Americans Theodore Roosevelt
  • This story was from the lips of a doughboy whose home was in Philadelphia.

    The Fight for the Argonne William Benjamin West
  • With all the panegyrics on the American doughboy during and since the war, not enough has been said or can ever be said about him.

    A Jewish Chaplain in France Lee J. Levinger
  • The doughboy was afraid it was going to be some more nurses and doctors.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • I saw a doughboy sitting in front of the Caf de la Paix one bright afternoon.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • I was in a base hospital one day when a doughboy came in all gory about the head.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • He had gone a few yards when a doughboy jumped up out of a listening post and began to signal to him.

    Pieces of Hate Heywood Broun
  • Many of them were singing the national anthem of the doughboy, Hail!

    Average Americans Theodore Roosevelt
  • I do not believe there is a doughboy anywhere who does not speak of it with enthusiasm and affection.

    The War Romance of the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth and Grace Livingston Hill
  • Jimmie strolled in, and there was a doughboy with whom he had had some chat on the transport.

    Jimmie Higgins Upton Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for doughboy


(US, informal) an infantryman, esp in World War I
dough that is boiled or steamed as a dumpling
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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Contemporary definitions for doughboy
noun's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for doughboy

"U.S. soldier," 1864, American English, said to have been in oral use from 1854, or from the Mexican-American War (1847), it is perhaps from resemblance of big buttons on old uniforms to a sort of biscuit of that name (1680s), but there are various other conjectures.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for doughboy



An infantry soldier; grunt, paddlefoot

[1867+; origin unknown; perhaps fr a resemblance between the buttons of the infantry uniform and doughboys, ''suet dumplings boiled in seawater,'' a term fr the British merchant marine]

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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