Meaning of DO in English

I. (|)dü, _də or +V _dəw verb

( past first & third singular did (|)did, _dəd ; or nonstandard done |dən ; second singular did or nonstandard done or archaic didst (|)di]dzt, _də], ]dst, ]tst ; plural did or nonstandard done past part done present part do·ing |düiŋ ; present first singular do second singular do or archaic do·est |düə̇st ; or archaic dost (|)dəst ; third singular does (|)dəz ; or now chiefly nonstandard do or archaic do·eth ˈdüə̇th ; or archaic doth (|)dəth ; plural do )

Etymology: Middle English don, from Old English dōn; akin to Old Frisian duā, duān to do, Old Saxon dūan, Old High German tuon to do, Latin -dere to put, facere to make, do, Greek tithenai to place, set, Sanskrit dadhāti he puts, places, sets, Old Slavic děti to lay; basic meaning: setting, placing

transitive verb

1. archaic : cause , make — used with an infinitive following the object

do me not before my time to die — Edmund Spenser

2. : to bring to pass : carry out

it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence … and if I can learn what it is I will do it — Abraham Lincoln

3. : put

he did the diadem on — Philemon Holland

— now usually used in the phrase do to death

had been hounded down and done to death as heretics — Stringfellow Barr

4. : to perform (as an action) by oneself or before another : execute

you're bound to do much more walking … than you're accustomed to — Richard Joseph

watched the natives do a sacred dance


a. : to be the cause of : bring about as a result : effect

his vacation did him a great deal of good

the portrait … does him great injustice — Mary R. Mitford

b. : to give freely : render , pay

have not sought the honor you have done me — A.E.Stevenson b.1900

pilgrims having done their homage to the tomb — Virginia Woolf

6. : to bring to an end : complete , finish

when she had done washing, it was a soft white silky fleece — Seumas O'Kelly

work waiting for them back on the … prairies when the fun was done — F.B.Gipson

7. : to put forth in achieving an end : exert

treason has done his worst — Shakespeare

he did his best to win the race

a place where there are men doing thinking — Woodrow Wilson

8. : to wear out especially by physical exertion : exhaust , tire

men and horses … were pretty well done by the time we got in — C.A.Murray

9. : to bring (as a work of art) into existence especially through the exercise of thought or imagination

he's going to do an article on you — Barnaby Conrad

the … paintings were done under the immediate influence of his academic masters — Herbert Read

the commission to do a work for the … Music Festival — Ross Parmenter


a. : to play the part of (as a character in a play)

did the leading lady in several comedies

b. : to act in or serve as producer of

told one of the directors … that she would have done my play — Thomas Wolfe

they were doing a purely musical program — Jack Gould

11. : to take advantage of : treat unfairly

a great bookseller who … charges very high prices, he has done me many a time — H.J.Laski

especially : cheat

had played the dirty trick on the farmer and done him out of his woodland — Dorothy C. Fisher

they did him out of his share of the fortune

12. : to convert from one language or literary form to another — usually used with into

do a book from Latin into English

a prose essay done into rhyming couplets

13. : to treat or deal with in any way typically with the sense of preparation or with that of care or attention: as


(1) : to put in order : clean

was doing the parlor when the phone rang

(2) : to make ready for use : wash

did the dishes right after supper


(1) : to make ready for cooking or serving

do the beets with vinegar

(2) : cook

likes his steak well done

c. : set , arrange

her hair is done in that ugly pompadour of the period — J.P.Marquand

d. : to apply cosmetics to

she had done her face and fixed her … hair — Hamilton Basso

e. : decorate , furbish

did the front bedroom in blue

did the dining room over


a. : to be occupied with or employed in : work at especially as a vocation

wanted to go on doing chemistry all his life — J.B.S.Haldane

hardly knows what he wants to do when he finishes college

b. : to prepare or work out especially by studying

did his lessons faithfully


a. : to pass over (as distance) : cover , traverse

did 300 miles on the second day of their trip

the car did 18 miles to the gallon of gasoline

b. : to travel at a speed of

two cars doing 80 on the turnpike

16. : to visit and explore as or as if a sightseer : tour

tried to do England in a month

spent all afternoon doing one wing of the museum

17. : to satisfy the needs of : serve , suffice

our coats would do us for the goalposts — Mary Purcell

18. : to serve (as a term of imprisonment) under restraint : undergo

was doing five years for forgery

19. : to approve especially by custom, opinion, or propriety — usually used in the passive voice and with a negative

you oughtn't to say a thing like that … it's not done — Dorothy Sayers

20. : to provide especially for the physical comfort of — usually used with well

the largish restaurant was full of lunchers all doing themselves exceedingly well — Arnold Bennett

21. — used as a substitute verb to avoid repetition of a verb

I … chose my wife as she did her wedding gown — Oliver Goldsmith

often in a conclusion to a condition

if you have anything more to say, do it now

intransitive verb

1. : to conduct oneself : act , behave

never knew him to do like this before — J.M.MacDonald

do as I say


a. : to get along : fare

men who wish to do well in the world — R.M.Weaver

how are your crops doing?

the airlines were doing pretty well — Richard Witkin

b. : to be as regards health : feel

how do you do

3. : to take place : go on : happen

should get to know more about … Africa and what's doing there — Emory Ross

4. : to carry on business or affairs : manage

how shall we do for money for these wars — Shakespeare

5. : to come to or make an end : finish

worked busily for a few minutes and when he had done, the stretcher was a rectangle — Norman Mailer

he had done with speech for that evening and gave us no reply — Arnold Bennett

6. : to exert oneself : be active : work

let us then be up and doing — H.W.Longfellow

7. obsolete : to continue with an action that one is already performing : proceed with an action that one has prepared to perform : go ahead — used in the imperative to express encouragement or incitement


a. : to be adequate or sufficient : answer the purpose : serve

said this country would do for dairy farming — Ellen Glasgow

an ordinary trout rod of about five ounces … will do nicely — Pete Barrett

will not do as a translation — R.A.Fowkes

b. : to be fitting or appropriate : conform to custom or propriety

it would never do to neglect official obligations — Morgan

9. — used as a substitute verb to avoid repetition of a verb

when beauty lived and died as flowers do now — Shakespeare

often in a reply to a question

did you go to the movies? I did

10. — used in the imperative after an imperative verb to add emphasis

be quiet, do

verbal auxiliary


a. archaic — used with the infinitive without to to form periphrastic present and past tenses virtually interchangeable with the corresponding simple tenses; now used in biblical or ecclesiastical language

I do set my bow in the cloud — Gen 9:13(Authorized Version)

or in legal or parliamentary language

the motion for adjournment, in order to supersede a question, must be simply that the House do now adjourn — T.E.May

or in poetry

so offers he to give what she did crave — Shakespeare

or in British dialect

ye do be always with the hounds — Charles Lever

— not used with be in American English or in standard British English, nor with have in the literal sense of “possess” in standard British English

b. — used with the infinitive without to to form periphrastic present and past tenses now more generally current and acceptable than the corresponding simple tenses in declarative sentences with inverted word order

fervently do we pray — Abraham Lincoln

or in interrogative sentences

did you hear that

or in negative sentences

we do not know

don't you see

— not used with be in American English or in standard British English, nor with have in the literal sense of “possess” in standard British English

c. — used with full stress with the infinitive without to to form periphrastic present and past tenses expressing greater emphasis than the corresponding simple tenses

just as I expected, you did forget my birthday

— not used with be in American English or in standard British English, nor with have in the literal sense of “possess” in standard British English


a. — used with full stress with the infinitive without to to form a periphrastic imperative expressing greater emphasis than the simple imperative

do be careful

b. — used with the infinitive without to to form a periphrastic imperative now used to the exclusion of the simple imperative in negative sentences

please do not enter

don't be foolish

- do by

- do one's block

- do proud

- do withal

- to do

II. ˈdü noun

( plural dos or do's ˈdüz)

1. now chiefly dialect : fuss and commotion : ado

a great deal of do and a great deal of trouble — Sir Walter Scott

2. archaic : deed , duty — used especially in the phrase to do one's do

3. chiefly Britain

a. : a festive get-together : affair , party

it is fashionable to support the public school system with an annual do — A.C.Spectorsky

b. : a military engagement : show

he was at Dieppe for the big do — Robert Trout

4. : a command or entreaty to do something

the basic dos and don'ts of mental health — Peg Bradner

5. Australia : go , success

looks a bit of a gamble to me but if you think you can make a do of it — Vance Palmer

III. noun

also doh ˈdō

( plural dos or do's ˈdōz)

Etymology: Italian do

1. : the first tone of the diatonic scale in solmization : tonic

2. : the tone C in the fixed-do system of solmization

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Japanese dō

: any of numerous regions or large districts each containing several provinces into which Japan was formerly divided

V. abbreviation


VI. transitive verb

1. : to attack physically : beat ; also : kill

2. : mimic ; also : to behave like

do a Houdini and disappear

3. : to consume or take regularly : use

doesn't do cocaine

4. : to have sexual intercourse with

5. : to partake of : eat

do lunch

- do a number on

VII. ˈdü noun

( -s )

Etymology: by shortening

: hairdo

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.