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Denotation vs. Connotation

dowse1

[dous] /daʊs/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), dowsed, dowsing, noun
1.

dowse2

[douz] /daʊz/
verb (used without object), dowsed, dowsing.
1.
to search for underground supplies of water, metal, etc., by the use of a divining rod.
verb (used with object), dowsed, dowsing.
2.
to search for (as water) by or as if by dowsing.
Origin of dowse2
1685-1695
1685-95; orig. dial. (SW England); origin obscure
Can be confused
douse, dowse.

douse

or dowse

[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.
Origin
1590-1600; origin uncertain
Can be confused
douse, dowse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dowse
Historical Examples
  • And there's a pail of water and soap there by the doorway; it will do you no harm to dowse with it.

    The Pioneers Katharine Susannah Prichard
  • Mr. Butt, please convey to Mr. dowse my grateful and sincere thanks.

  • In the rooms of that society is preserved the dowse Library.

  • To lower down a sail, or to pull down a colour, is to dowse it; and so of many other things.

  • Miss dowse was fifteen, and she called her uncle's clerk Jamie; so she elevated her look when she came to our Mercedes.

    Pirate Gold Frederic Jesup Stimson
  • dowse's other cases are not at all conclusive in their clinical histories; even the diagnosis was not established by autopsy.

  • Sing out when you're in bed, and I'll come and dowse the lights.

    Shining Ferry Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Soon a hurried order to “dowse top-gallant-sails and reef top-sails” made me slide down rather hastily from my elevated position.

    Hudson Bay R.M. Ballantyne
  • "dowse that, Billy, and bear a hand and be quiet," said Crennell.

    The Deemster Hall Caine
  • Miss dowse had rejected the proffered stick of candy, and Mercedes sought a chance to give hers away, one end unsucked.

    Pirate Gold Frederic Jesup Stimson
British Dictionary definitions for dowse

dowse1

/daʊs/
verb, noun
1.
a variant spelling of douse1
Derived Forms
dowser, noun

dowse2

/daʊz/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to search for underground water, minerals, etc, using a divining rod; divine
Derived Forms
dowser, noun
Word Origin
C17: of unknown origin

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 dowse
v.

1690s, a south England dialect word, of uncertain origin, said to have been introduced to Devon by German miners in Elizabethan times. Related: Dowsed; dowsing.

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 dowse

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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9
9
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