Definition of douse in English:


Syllabification: douse
Pronunciation: /dous
(also dowse)


[with object]
  • 1Pour a liquid over; drench: he doused the car with gasoline and set it on fire
    More example sentences
    • Her t-shirt was doused in some liquid most likely liquor.
    • Water passes through vents with each flush and is doused with fragrant liquid.
    • Cupping my hands of the cool liquid, I doused my face in it, staring up at my wet faced reflection in the mirror blankly.
    drench, soak, saturate, wet, splash, slosh
  • 1.1Extinguish (a fire or light): stewards appeared and the fire was doused figurative nothing could douse her sudden euphoria
    More example sentences
    • At the airfield, chaos reigned as rescue crews equipped with fire extinguishers doused the flames emanating from the downed fighter.
    • He sprung into action, grabbing the lab's fire blanket and dousing the flames that were playing across the workbench.
    • It was only as the fire brigade doused the final embers in my gutted home that I wondered if perhaps the invite had been a subtle Valentine's message after all.
  • 1.2 Sailing Lower (a sail) quickly.
    More example sentences
    • Genoas were doused and mainsails on both boats slatted idly in still air as they passed through the Gap on the quiet high tide.
    • Some shielded their eyes from the intense lights as others began to douse the ship's sails, accepting the fact that their voyage had come to an early end.
    • My older brothers would clunk along the deck above, hauling on lines, and shouting to each other in the wind as they struggled to douse the flapping sails.


early 17th century: perhaps imitative, influenced by souse, or perhaps from dialect douse 'strike, beat', from Middle Dutch and Low German dossen.

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a small amount; a little