Definition of doss in English:


Line breaks: doss
Pronunciation: /dɒs
British informal


[no object]
1Sleep in rough accommodation or on an improvised bed: he dossed down on a friend’s floor
More example sentences
  • She had her own bedroom while the girls slept in bunks in the living room and the young men dossed down in an outbuilding.
  • He actually dossed down in my luxury apartment for most of the season, moving out when we got relegated.
  • I got loose, tied a blanket and a counterpane together, fastened it to the bedstead, and let myself out of the window, and did not go home that night, but met my two pals and dossed in a haystack.
2Spend time idly: all I’ve seen her do so far is doss around
More example sentences
  • And he, despite the fact he's there to ensure I'm fully empowered and actively jobhunting, acted as though I was going to doss around for four weeks.
  • Firstly, it improves productivity by prevent staff dossing or e-mailing pals in Boston all afternoon.
  • It was like dossing off school, but without the fear of getting caught.


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1An instance of sleeping in rough accommodation or on an improvised bed.
More example sentences
  • Tents were a luxury that most couldn't afford in those pre-wars days, preferring a doss in a cave or on the floor of a roadman's hut.
1.1 archaic A bed in a cheap lodging house.
More example sentences
  • He made a doss for me on the veranda where I could lie during the day and stare into the still garden.
2A situation giving the opportunity for being extremely idle: they thought being a student was a great doss
More example sentences
  • Some students might enrol on the course under the false perception that it is a doss year.
  • It is generally perceived to be a bit of a doss job and well paid to boot.
  • As most of us saw art class as a doss lesson, we ignored any advice given by our harassed art teacher.


late 18th century: perhaps based on Latin dorsum 'back'.

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