do 1 (d)
v. did (dĭd), done (dŭn), do·ing, does (dŭz)
a. To perform or execute; carry out: do one's assigned task; do a series of business deals.
b. To fulfill the requirements of: did my duty at all times.
c. To perform the tasks or behaviors typically associated with (something), especially as part of one's character or normal duties: That talk show host just doesn't do subtle.
d. To participate in (a meal or an activity) with another person: Let's do brunch on Sunday.
a. To produce, especially by creative effort: do a play on Broadway.
b. To play the part or role of in a creative production: did Elizabeth I in the film.
c. To mimic: "doing the Southern voice, improvising it inventively as he goes along" (William H. Pritchard).
a. To bring about; effect: Crying won't do any good now.
b. To render; give: do equal justice to the opposing sides; do honor to one's family.
4. To put forth; exert: Do the best you can.
a. To attend to in such a way as to take care of or put in order: did the bedrooms before the guests arrived.
b. To prepare for further use especially by washing: did the dishes.
a. To set or style (the hair).
b. To apply cosmetics to: did her face.
7. To have as an occupation or profession: Have you decided what you will do after college?
8. To work out by studying: do a homework assignment.
9. Used as a substitute for an antecedent verb or verb phrase: He can play the piano, and I can do that, too.
a. To travel (a specified distance): did a mile in four minutes.
b. To go (a specified rate): did 80 mph on the highway.
c. To make a tour of; visit: "[He] did 15 countries of Western Europe in only a few days" (R.W. Apple, Jr.)
a. To be sufficient in meeting the needs of; serve: This room will do us very nicely.
b. Informal To serve (a prison term): did time in jail; did five years for tax fraud.
12. Slang To cheat; swindle: do a relative out of an inheritance.
13. Slang To take (drugs) illegally: "If you do drugs you are going to be in continual trouble" (Jimmy Breslin).
14. Slang To kill; murder.
15. Vulgar Slang To have sex with or bring to orgasm.
1. To behave or conduct oneself; act: Do as I say and you won't get into trouble.
a. To get along; fare: students who do well at school.
b. To carry on; manage: I could do without your interference.
c. To make good use of something because of need: I could do with a hot bath.
a. To serve a specified purpose: This coat will do for another season.
b. To be proper or fitting: Such behavior just won't do.
4. To take place; happen: What's doing in London this time of year?
5. Used as a substitute for an antecedent verb: worked as hard as everyone else did.
6. Used after another verb for emphasis: Run quickly, do!
1. Used with the infinitive without to in questions, negative statements, and inverted phrases: Do you understand? I did not sleep well. Little did we know what was in store for us.
2. Used as a means of emphasis: I do want to be sure.
n. pl. dos or do'sPhrasal Verbs:
1. A statement of what should be done: a list of the dos and don'ts of management.
2. Informal An entertainment; a party: attended a big do at the embassy.
3. A commotion.
4. A hairdo.
5. Chiefly British Slang A swindle; a cheat.
6. Slang Fecal matter; excrement.
To behave with respect to; deal with: The children have done well by their aged parents.
To care or provide for; take care of.
do in Slang
1. To tire completely; exhaust: The marathon did me in.
2. To kill.
3. To ruin utterly: Huge losses on the stock market did many investors in.
1. To adorn or dress lavishly: The children were all done up in matching outfits.
2. To wrap and tie (a package).
3. To fasten: do up the buttons on a dress.
To manage despite the absence of: We had to do without a telephone on the island.
can/could do without
To prefer not to experience or deal with: I could do without their complaints.
do a disappearing act Informal
do away with
1. To make an end of; eliminate.
2. To destroy; kill.
do it Vulgar Slang
To engage in sexual intercourse.
do (one) proud
To act or perform in a way that gives cause for pride.
do (one's) bit
To make an individual contribution toward an overall effort.
do (one's) business
Slang To defecate. Used especially of a pet.
do (one's) own thing Slang
To do what one does best or finds most enjoyable: "I get paid to try cases and to do my thing on trial" (Bruce Cutler).
[Middle English don, from Old English dōn; see dhē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.