Definition of douse in English:

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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.
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.

Words that rhyme with douse

dowse, Gauss, grouse, house, Klaus, louse, Manaus, mouse, nous, Rouse, souse, spouse, Strauss

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: douse

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