Definition of dose in English:

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Pronunciation: /dōs/


1A quantity of a medicine or drug taken or recommended to be taken at a particular time: he took a dose of cough medicine
More example sentences
  • If you miss a dose of this medicine, and you remember it within 12 hours, take it as soon as you remember.
  • After taking a dose of this medicine you may get a headache that lasts for a short time.
  • Therefore, doctors are always trying to find a way to use as low a dose of these drugs as possible in order to minimize these side effects.
measure, measurement, portion, dosage, shot
informal hit, fix
1.1An amount of ionizing radiation received or absorbed at one time or over a specified period: a dose of radiation exceeding safety limits
More example sentences
  • Irradiation exposes food to a dose of ionizing radiation to kill bacteria.
  • Thus, clustered damages are presumably produced by low doses of ionizing radiation such as those to which human populations may be exposed.
  • It can be totally dehydrated and can take huge doses of ionizing radiation in the dehydrated state.
1.2 informal A venereal infection.
1.3 informal A quantity of something regarded as analogous to medicine in being necessary but unpleasant: I wanted to give you a dose of the hell you put me through
More example sentences
  • Excuse me for being slightly cynical, but going to a film doesn't necessarily imply a dose of culture.
  • For most people a dose of winter flu is unpleasant.
  • Because I try to grow a high yield on a relatively small area (the raised beds), a good dose of compost is necessary.


[with object]
1Administer a dose to (a person or animal): he dosed himself with vitamins
More example sentences
  • Orthodox doctors dosed him up with more and more painkillers, without being able to sort out the underlying problem, he says.
  • Every day you are in excruciating pain and every day the doctors come along and dose you up to the eyeballs in morphine, so much so that you don't know what is going on around you.
  • Women were dosed one hour before anesthesia was administered.
1.1Adulterate or blend (a substance) with another substance: the champagne was dosed with sugar
More example sentences
  • At the blending station, process and dilution water is dosed with pure lime.
  • Staple foods, such as bread or cereal, should be dosed with folic acid.
  • Agency experts believe dosing the water with chemicals could reduce the smell.


in small doses

informal When experienced or engaged in a little at a time: computer games are great in small doses
More example sentences
  • I'm learning that paradise on earth exists in small doses - part of experiencing it is the ability to leave it behind and keep going in the faith that you have been there and that days like these come around if you let them.
  • Something unpalatable may be acceptable in small doses, but not in a big dose.
  • The fourth album is like an incredibly rich chocolate cake - utterly indulgent, strikingly intense in small doses, quickly sating the appetite.


Late Middle English: from French, via late Latin from Greek dosis 'gift', from didonai 'give'.

  • The Greek physician Galen, who lived between 129 and 99 bc, used dosis, the Greek word for ‘a gift’, for ‘a portion of medicine’. In like a dose of salts, ‘very quickly and efficiently’, the salts referred to are Epsom salts or magnesium sulphate. They have had a variety of medicinal uses since the 18th century, most notably as a very effective and fast-acting laxative. The name Epsom salts comes from the town of Epsom in Surrey, where the crystals were first found.

Words that rhyme with dose

adiós, chausses, Close, Davos, engross, gross, Grosz, jocose, morose, Rhos, verbose

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dose

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