Definition of doss in English:

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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.


1An instance of sleeping in rough accommodation or on an improvised bed.
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.
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'.

Words that rhyme with doss

across, boss, Bros, cos, cross, crosse, dross, emboss, en brosse, floss, fosse, gloss, Goss, joss, Kos, lacrosse, loss, moss, MS-DOS, Ross

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: doss

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