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douse

[dous] /daʊs/
verb (used with object), doused, dousing.
1.
to plunge into water or the like; drench:
She doused the clothes in soapy water.
2.
to splash or throw water or other liquid on:
The children doused each other with the hose.
3.
to extinguish:
She quickly doused the candle's flame with her fingertips.
4.
Informal. to remove; doff.
5.
Nautical.
  1. to lower or take in (a sail, mast, or the like) suddenly.
  2. to slacken (a line) suddenly.
  3. to stow quickly.
verb (used without object), doused, dousing.
6.
to plunge or be plunged into a liquid.
noun
7.
British Dialect. a stroke or blow.
Also, dowse.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; origin uncertain
Can be confused
douse, dowse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dousing
  • The rain continued for two hours, dousing the flames.
  • Semiconductor manufacturers are giving their products a dousing in the name of faster, smaller, cheaper.
  • The flavor developed by a long cook over dry wood is subtler and truer than a dousing in a steam cloud.
  • They're defying the firefighting establishment with a precision method of dousing flames.
  • At this point, the specimen can be shattered by dousing it with sterilized warm saline.
  • They are also handy around the campfire for dousing small embers or fire control.
  • The bomb squad took care of the fireworks, which one supposes must have been impervious to dousing by a regular police officer.
  • The country's forestry minister admitted this week that the government was having little success in dousing the flames.
  • For mice already inside, health officials recommended trapping, then dousing the corpses with virus-killing disinfectant.
  • dousing themselves in mustard is the last step to immortality.
British Dictionary definitions for dousing

douse1

/daʊs/
verb
1.
to plunge or be plunged into water or some other liquid; duck
2.
(transitive) to drench with water, esp in order to wash or clean
3.
(transitive) to put out (a light, candle, etc)
noun
4.
an immersion
Derived Forms
douser, dowser, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps related to obsolete douse to strike, of obscure origin

douse2

/daʊs/
verb (transitive)
1.
(nautical) to lower (sail) quickly
2.
(archaic) to strike or beat
noun
3.
(archaic) a blow
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to douse1
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 dousing

douse

v.

1550s, "to strike, punch," which is perhaps from Middle Dutch dossen "beat forcefully" or a similar Low German word.

Meaning "to strike a sail in haste" is recorded from 1620s; that of "to extinguish (a light)" is from 1785; perhaps influenced by dout (1520s), an obsolete contraction of do out (cf. doff, don). OED regards the meaning "to plunge into water, to throw water over" (c.1600) as a separate word, of unknown origin, though admitting there may be a connection of some sort. Related: Doused; dousing.

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

douse

verb

To extinguish a light, lamp, candle, etc

[1807+; specialized fr an earlier sense, ''hit'']


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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