From the second edition (1989):
do, v.
(duː) Forms and inflexions: see below. [A common WGer. strong vb. (wanting in Gothic and Norse): OE. dón = OFris. dua, OS. dôn, duon, dôan, duan (MDu. & Du. doen, MLG. & LG. dôn, duon), OHG. tôn, tôan, tuon, tuoan, tuen (MHG. tuon, Ger. thun, tun); pa. tense, OE. dyde, pl. dédon, dǽdon, dydon = OFris. dede, pl. dêden, OS. deda, pl. dâdun, dêdun (MDu. dede, Du. deed, pl. deden, MLG. & LG. dêde, pl. dêden), OHG. teta, pl. tâtum (MHG. tete, tâte, pl. tâten, Ger. that, tat, pl. thaten, taten); Pa. pple., OE. edón, edén = OFris. dên, OS. gidôn, -dôen, -duan, ODu. dân, (MDu. gedân, Du. gedaan), OHG. (ge)tân, Ger. gethan, getan; OTeut. types dôn, deda, dæ̂no-: dôno-, from verbal stem dæ̂-: dô- (appearing also in deed, doom, -dom), the Germanic representative of the Aryan verb stem dhē-: dhō-, to place, put, set, lay, in Skr. dhā-, OPers. dā-, Gr. θη- (pres. τίθηµι, deriv. n. θωή a penalty imposed), L. -dĕre in abdĕre to put away, condĕre to put together, dēdĕre to lay down, OSlav. dête, dêyati, Lith. dėti, Lett. dêt to put, lay.
The vocalization of the Germanic vb., esp. the present stem dō- beside the Gr. θη- and Slav.-Lith. dê-, has been variously explained (see e.g. Streitberg Urgerm. Gramm. 329). The pret. deda is generally held to be a reduplicated form corresponding to Skr. dadhāu:—orig. *dhedhō. The 1st p. sing. pres. indic. had originally the m of primitive verbs in -mi, Skr. -mi, Gr. -µι, L. -m: viz. OE. dóm (later ), OS. dôm (dôn), OHG. tôm, tuom (later tuon). This verb is considered by many philologists to be the source of the formative suffix of the pa. tense of weak verbs in the Germanic languages, including Norse and Gothic; in the latter the plural endings -dêdum, -dêduþ, -dêdun, are the forms which the pl. of the pret. deda would have in Gothic.


OE. deviates from the other WGer. langs. in the past dyde, for OS. deda, OHG. teta; the y is now generally explained as a special OE. representation of an Indo-germanic weak vowel. Thence the pl. dydon; the plural corresp. to OS. dâdun, modG. thaten, was Anglian dédon (also dǽdon, in Cædmon, etc.). In ME. dyde, dydon were represented by dude, -en (ü), midl. & north. diden, dide, now did; but dēden (with a sing. dēde derived from it like modG. that from pl. thaten) came down in some dialects to 15th c. In the pres. ind., the 2nd and 3rd pers. sing. in OE. had umlaut, dœ́st, dœ́ð, dést, deð, and these forms survived in s.w. till the 15th c.; but ONorthumbrian had, without umlaut, dóas, dóæð, dóas, and in ME. the forms dōst, dōth (dōs) are found in north. & midl. from the 12th c. The pa. pple. in OE. is known only with the prefix e-, which in ME. remained in the south as y-, i-. (Forms with e- are found also in the pa. tense, and occasionally other parts, which, however, are more properly referred to a derivative vb. OE. edón, ME. ido, ydo). The final -n of the pple. was generally dropped in the south in ME., esp. in the forms ydo, ido, whence the ado (əˈduː) of modern s.w. dialects.]


A. Inflexional Forms.


1. inf. a. simple inf., do (duː, dʊ). Forms: 1 dón (north. dóan, dóa, doe); 2–5 don (4–5 doon, 4 doyne, doun, 4–6 done, 5 doone); 2– do (4–7 doo, 6–7 dooe, doe, Sc. 6 du, dw, 9 dui, dee).

Beowulf 2349 (Th.) Swa sceal man don. c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Mark x. 17 Huæd sceal ic doa? Ibid. xiv. 7 Gie maon him wæl doe. 1131 O.E. Chron., Swa swa hi scoldon don. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 73 Ne mei na man do þing þet beo god iqueme. 1297 R. Glouc. (1724) 47 Gret wrong þou woldest don vs. 13‥ Guy Warw. (A.) 1309, I schal him in mi prisoun do. c1374 Chaucer Boeth. i. pr. ii. 9 Þat he may so done. 1411 Rolls of Parlt. III. 651/1 The same‥schall so doon to hem. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. V (an. 10) 78b, We might lawfully so dooe. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 46 In what sort shall he best doo it. 1594 Spenser Amoretti xlii, Let her‥doe me not‥to dy. 1653 H. Cogan tr. Pinto's Trav. x. 31 What he would have me do. Mod. Who saw him do it?


b. dat. inf. (with to) to do (tʊ duː); in OE. to dónne (dóanne, dóenne), ME. to donne, to done, to don (to donde, to doinde).

c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. xii. 12 Hyt ys alyfed on restedaum wel to donne [Lindisf. G. wel doa; Rushw. god to doanne]. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1137 Alse he ment to don. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 109 Ȝif he seolf nule don swa swa he heom techeð to donne. a1200 Moral Ode 19 Arȝe we beoþ to done god. c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 139 He was send‥ to donde þrefolde wike. Ibid. 219 He ne turnde‥to doinde‥nan þer þinge. c1305 St. Kath. 82 in E.E.P. (1862) 92 Þan we hire‥makede to do sacrefise. c1374 Chaucer Boeth. iii. pr. xii. 102, I haue lytel more to done. 1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) I. 87 (Mätz.) More redy for to doo than for to speke. c1420 Metr. Life St. Kath. (Halliw.) 3 To dethe hyt for to doone! 1534 Tindale Mark v. 7 What haue I to do [1611 to doe] with the? 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. V, (an. 8) 71b, Men that enforce theim for to doen or to ymagine wronges. 1556 Aurelio & Isab. (1608) Kvij, So am I constrainede to doo it. 1644 Milton Areop. (Arb.) 32 Which if I now should begin to doe. Mod. What are you going to do?


2. pres. ind. a. 1st pers. sing. do. Forms: 1 dóm (dóam), (dóa); 2– do (4–6 doo, 6–7 doe).

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. xxvii. 22 Hwæt ðonne dóm ic of ðæm hælend? [c975 Rushw. G. ibid., Hwæt dom ic þanne be hælend? c1000 Ags. G. ibid., Hwæt do ic?] a950 Lindisf. Gosp. John xiv. 14 Ðis ic doam vel ic uyrco. [c975 Rushw. G. ibid., Ðis dom ic.] c1000 Ælfric Gram. xxxiii. (Z.) 210 Ic do oððe wyrce. 1388 Wyclif John xiii. 7 What Y do thou wost not now. c1400 Melayne 361, I doo yowe wole to wytt. 1535 Coverdale 1 Sam. iii. 11 Beholde I do a thinge. 1610 Shakes. Temp. i. ii. 52 That I doe not.


b. 2nd pers. sing. doest (ˈduːɪst), dost (dʌst).


Forms: 1 dœ́st, dést (North. dóas, dóæs, dóes), 2–4 dest, 2– dost (3–7 dust, 4–5 doist, 7 doost; 3–4 north. dos, 4 dose, duse, 5 doyse), 6– doest (6 doeste, doiste, 7 do'st). In late use, the form doest is confined to the principal verb, dost is usually auxiliary.

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. vi. 2 Ðonne ðu doas ælmessa. Ibid. John vi. 30 Þæt ðu doæs. c975 Rushw. G. ibid., Hwæt ðu does. c1000 Ælfric Gen. xii. 18 Hwi dest þu wið me swa? c1160 Hatton G. John vi. 30 Hwæt dest þu? c1175 Lamb. Hom. 23 Þa dedbote þe þu dest. Ibid. 67 Ȝef þu þus dost. c1200 Ormin 15587 Þu‥þatt dost tuss þise dedess. 1297 R. Glouc. (1724) 428 Þou ne dust noȝt as þe wyse. c1300 Havelok 2390 Wat dos þu here? 1375 Cantic. de Creatione 230 Þou vs dest so mochel wo. c1385 Chaucer L.G.W. 315 What dostow here? c1460 Towneley Myst. (Surtees) 3 So thynke me that thou doyse. 1534 Tindale John vii. 3 Thy workes that thou doest [so all 16–17th c. vv., Wyclif doist]. Ibid. ix. 34 And dost thou teache vs? [so 1539 Cranm.; but 1557 Geneva, 1582 Rhem., 1611 have ‘doest’]. 1610 Shakes. Temp. i. ii. 78 Do'st thou attend me? 1611 Bible 1 Kings xix. 9 What doest thou here, Eliiah? —— John xiii. 27 That thou doest [Tindale dost], doe quickly. 1653 Holcroft Procopius iv. 153 Doest thou run after thine owne Master? Mod. poetic. Why dost thou weep?


c. 3rd pers. sing. does (dʌz); arch. doth (dʌθ), doeth (ˈduːɪθ).


Forms: α1 (dœ́ð, dóæð), déð, 2–5 deþ (2 deaþ, dieþ, 3 deeþ, 5–6 dethe), 3–5 doþ (4 doith, 5–6 dooth), 5– doth, 6–7 doeth (6 dothe). β1 north. dóas, dóes, 3–4 north. dos, dus, (4 dotz, 5 duse, doys), 5–6 dois, dose (6 doose), 6– does. γ. 6– do (doe). The orig. northern form does superseded doth, doeth, in 16–17th c. in general use; the latter being now liturgical and poetic. The form he do is now s.w. dial., and he don't is vulgar.

α c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. v. 19 Se þe hit deð [c950 Lindisf. G. doeð]. a1175 Cott. Hom. 233 Hwat deð sí moder hire bearn?‥hi hit‥dieð under hire arme. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 51 Al swa me deað bi þe deade. c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 53 He doð alse holie write seið. c1320 Cast. Love 1468 Vnwrestlyche he deeþ. 1340 Ayenb. 68 In al þet god deþ. c1340 Cursor M. 11838 (Trin.) Þis caitif‥Dooþ [v.r. dos] him leches for to seke. 1382 Wyclif John iii. 21 Ech man that doith yuele. c1500 Melusine lxii. 371 Yf a man dooth as wel as he can. 1559 Primer in Priv. Prayers (1851) 35 God‥Which doth all in order due. 1569 Golding Heminges Post. 27 The thing that Christ dothe here, is that he dothe Peter to understand. 1587 Golding De Mornay xi. (1617) 166 He doeth thee to onderstand. 1588 Shakes. L.L.L. i. ii. 50 It doth amount to one more then two. 1721 St. German's Doctor & Stud. 21 He that doth against them, doth against justice. 1819 Shelley Cenci iv. iv. 4, I must speak with Count Cenci; doth he sleep?
β c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. vi. 3 Nyta winstra ðin huæt wyrcas vel doas suiðra ðin. Ibid. vii. 24 Se ðe‥does ða ilco. Ibid. viii. 9 Ic cueðo‥ðeua minum, do ðis, and [he] does [Rushw. he doeþ]. a1300 Cursor M. 5208 He dus [v.r. dos] nakins þing. c1340 Ibid. 2908 (Fairf.) Hit dose [v.r. dos] mony in syn to fal. a1375 Joseph Arim. 233 He dos as he bad. c1450 St. Cuthbert (Surtees) 7291 Wha so dose agayne þe saynte. 1555 Abp. Parker Ps. xxii, My hart‥doth melt and pyne, as waxe by fier dose. 1596 Shakes. 1 Hen. IV, iii. i. 172 Faith he does. 1601 —— All's Well iv. iii. 236 Our Interpreter do's it well. Ibid. 317 Why do's he aske? 1661 Marvell Corr. xxi. Wks. 1872–5 II. 54 Longer then your business usually dos. 1662 Stillingfl. Orig. Sacr. ii. iii. §2 The person that does them.
γ 1547 Bale Sel. Wks. (1849) 234 No goodly institution, nor ordinance‥do this faithful woman contemn. a1553 Philpot Exam. & Writ. (1842) 333 He‥do confess himself to speak of this third kind. 1559 W. Cuningham Cosmogr. Glasse 6 Geographie doe deliniat, and set out the universal earth. 1660 Pepys Diary (1875) I. 62 Sir Arthur Haselrigge do not yet appear in the House. 1670 in Coll. Rhode Isl. Hist. Soc. (1902) X. 102 Evidence of‥River being more than 11 Miles Long but how Much More dont say. 1741 Richardson Pamela I. 65 He don't know you. 1774 P. V. Fithian Jrnl. (1900) 202 A Sunday in Virginia dont seem to wear the same Dress as our Sundays to the Northward. 1813 J. K. Paulding John Bull & Br. Jon. ii. 9 The old saying that a man don't know when he is well off. 1831 Fonblanque Eng. under 7 Administ. (1837) II. 100 God don't suffer them now. 1835 R. M. Bird Hawks of Hawk-Hollow I. xi. 143, I wonder she don't sing; for a speaking voice, she has the richest soprano. 1862 O. W. Norton Army Lett. (1903) 120 It don't take ten thousand acres here to support one family. a1897 Mod. s.w. dial. He du zay. That he du. 1918 A. Huxley Let. 28 June (1969) 157, I only hope that this letter will reach you, though your loss will not be very great if it dont. 1946 K. Tennant Lost Haven (1947) i. 15 A man what don't profit from all a woman's telling and hiding the bottles ain't worth the trouble.


d. pl.; do.


Forms: α. 1 dóð, (we, etc.), (dóað, dóeð), 2–4 doþ. β. 3–4 don, (4–5 done), 6– do (5–6 doo, 6–7 doe, dooe, 7– interrog. d'ye). γ. north. 1 dóas, dóes, 3–6 dos, 4 dose, dus, 4–5 duse, 6 dois.

α c975 Rushw. Gosp. Matt. v. 46 Ah gæfel-eroefe þæt ne doeþ. Ibid. 47 Hwæt doaþ e marae? c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. v. 47 Gyf e ðæt doþ. Ibid., Hwæt do e mare? c1175 Lamb. Hom. 9 Bet‥þene we doþ. 1340 Ayenb. 69 Hi doþ‥þe contrarye.
β c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 19 Þese two þing don alle heðen men. 1382 Wyclif Mark vii. 8 Manye oþere thingis lyke to þes ȝe don [1388 doon; 1534 Tindale—1611 ye do; 1582 Rhem. you doe]. 1426 Audelay Poems 12 Thai done hym deme. 1576 Fleming Panopl. Epist. 89 What you doe, and what other do. 1584 Peele Arraignm. Paris i. iii, As done these fields and groves. 1660 Jer. Taylor Worthy Commun. i. §2. 39 We do it also, and doe it much more. 1730 A. Gordon Maffei's Amphith. 108 Why don't they consider? a1832 Bentham Mem. Wks. 1843 X. 246 How d'ye do?
γ c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. v. 46 Bær-suinnigo ðis doas. Ibid. 47 Gie doas vel wyrcas. c1340 Hampole Pr. Consc. 4146 Swilk men‥þat mykel dus [v.r. dose] ogayns Goddes lawe. c1400 Duse [see 24d]. 1533 Dois [ibid.]. Mod. north. dial. Them that does it.


3. pa. ind. a. 1st and 3rd pers. sing. did.


Forms: 1–2 dyde, 2–5 dide, dude (y), dede, 5 dode, 4–6 dyde, dyd, 4– did (4 dud, 4–5 didd, 5–6 didde).

a1000 Cædmon's Gen. 2691 (Gr.) Ne dyde ic for facne. a1131 O.E. Chron. an. 1123 Þis he dyde. Ibid. an. 1127 Se king hit dide. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 95 He dude þet heo weren birnende. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 762 Quer abram is bigging dede. c1330 R. Brunne Chron. (1810) 221 Sir Rauf‥did þer his endyng. 13‥ Cursor M. 1608 He to pin him-selfen did [G. didd, Tr. didde]. c1340 Ibid. 6270 (Trin.) Þe brode watir he dud him ynne [earlier MSS. did, dide]. 1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) I. 215 Þerynne Romulus dede his owne ymage. c1420 Chron. Vilod. 501 He dude also. Ibid. 936 To his mowthe þo his hond he dode. c1430 Syr Tryam. 495 He dyd hym faste away. 1461 Cl. Paston in Paston Lett. No. 367 I. 540, I dede‥Hauswan goo to my Lord. 1590 Spenser F.Q. ii. i. 33 All I did, I did but as I ought.


b. 2nd pers. sing. didst.


Forms: α1 dydes(t, 2–5 dides(t, dudest, 5 dydest, 6–7 diddest, 6– didst. β. 3–4 dides-(tou), dedes-, dudes-; γ. north. 4 did.

a1000 Andreas 929 (Gr.) Ðu ondsæc dydest. a1225 Ancr. R. 306 Þis þu dudest þer. c1230 Hali Meid. 9 Þat tu eauer dides te into swuch þeowdom. 13‥ Cursor M. 10484 Als þou did [v.rr. diddist, dudest] quilum dame sarra. Ibid. 12626 Qui did þu þus? [Trin. didestou þus]. 1382 Wyclif 2 Sam. xii. 12 Þou didist hidyngli. c1450 Merlin 41 Thow dedist their brother to be slain. 1545 Primer Hen. VIII, Litany, The noble workes that thou diddest in their daies. 1611 Bible 2 Sam. xii. 12 Thou diddest it secretly. Ibid. Ps. xliv. 1 What worke thou didst in their dayes. 1819 Shelley Julian & M. 459 Thou‥didst speak thus and thus.


c. pl. did.


Forms: 1 dydon (-un), poet. Angl. dédon (W.S. dǽdon), 2 didon, 2–5 diden, duden, deden (2 dedeun, 4 didyn, diddyn), 2–6 dide, 3–5 dude, dede (4–6 didde), 4– did (4 dud, 5–6 dyd).

a1000 Cædmon's Gen. 722 (Gr.) Þæt hie to mete dædon ofet unfæle. Ibid. 1944 He ne cuðe hwæt þa cynn dydon. c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. xxvi. 19 And dedon ða ðenas suæ bibeod him ðe hælend. Ibid. xxviii. 15 Hia‥dedon suæ weron elæred [Rushw. dydun, Ags. G. dydon, Hatt. dyden]. a1132 O.E. Chron. an. 1129 Swa swa hi ear didon. 1154 Ibid. an. 1137 Sume hi diden in crucethus‥and dide scearpe stanes þer inne. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 91 Heo‥swa duden. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 1059 He so deden als he hem bad. c1330 R. Brunne Chron. (1810) 201 Alle þat did þat dome. c1340 Cursor M. 17411 (Trin.) Ȝe duden him vndir lok & sele. c1380 Wyclif Sel. Wks. III. 109 More‥Þan þey dude. 1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) IV. 353 Þey dede [v.rr. dude, dide] hym in to þe see. c1400 Mandeville (Roxb.) xi. 42 Þai did Criste to deed. Ibid. xv. 67 Him didd þe Iews on þe crosse. c1400 Destr. Troy 1381 Dydden all to the dethe. Ibid. 11960 Dyden. 1426 Audelay Poems 10 Thus we dydon myschyvysly. 1530 Compend. Treat. (1863) 59 So diden ye apostles. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. V (an. 8) 72b, Why did thei take it? 1659 Baxter Key Cath. xxxv. 252 The rest‥did what they did.


d. colloq., dial., and U.S. done.

1847 in D. Drake Pioneer Life Kentucky (1870) iii. 63 The weavil‥‘done’ great injury to that grain. 1848, etc. [see E.D.D.]. 1849 N. Kingsley Diary (1914) 56 Anna done the fair thing last night. 1850 Ibid. 117 [We] worked in the old place and done middling well. 1873 ‘Mark Twain’ & Warner Gilded Age xxxiii. 307, I think it done him good. 1924 W. M. Raine Troubled Waters xxi. 226 The little boss done right not to take that Cheyenne bid for the doggies. 1969 Listener 4 Sept. 312/3 After what they've done to me, I never could forgive them. And I never done anybody any harm.


4. pres. subj. a. sing. do. Forms: 1 , (dóe, dóa), 2– do (5–7 doo, doe).

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Mark x. 35 Þætte‥ðu doe us. c975 Rushw. Gosp. Matt. vi. 3 Nyte se winstrae hond þin hwæt þin sio swiþre doa. c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) lxxv. 6 Ðæt he do ealle hale. a1225 St. Marher. 20 Ich bidde‥þæt tu do baldeliche. 13‥ Cursor M. 23904 Þar-of‥scho do hir will. c1400 Mandeville (1839) iv. 32 Ȝif ony man do thereinne ony maner metalle. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 15b, That he doo not thinke himselfe wyser then his maister. 1581 Savile Tacitus Hist. i. vii. (1591) 5 Doe he wel doe he ill, al is ill taken. Mod. If he do anything unexpected.


b. pl. do. Forms: 1 dón (dóen, dóan, dóe), 2–5 don, 4–5 doon, 3– do (5–7 doo, doe).

a1000 Father's Instr. (Cod. Ex.) 70 Ðeah hi wom dón. 13‥ Cursor M. 23760 (Fairf.) If we bleþeli after him do. c1385 Chaucer L.G.W. 1988 Ariadne, That we doon the gayler‥To come. Mod. What if we do?


5. pa. subj. did.


Forms: sing. 1 dyde (déde); 2– (as Indicative). pl. 1 dyden, dyde; 2– (as Indic.).

a900 Martyrol. in O.E.T. 178/36 Ða fræn se‥for hwon he suæ dede. c950 Lindisf. Gosp. John xv. 24 Gif ic ne dyde. Ibid. Matt. xii. 16 Dedon vel dydon [Rushw. dydun]. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. xi. 21 Hi dydun dæd-bote [Lindisf., Rushw. dydon, Hatt. hyo deden]. 1556 Aurelio & Isab. (1608) Kvij, If I didde it not. Mod. If you did that, you would be blamed.


6. imp. do. a. sing. Forms: 1 (dóa, dóe), 2– do (5–7 doo, doe, dooe).

a1000 Cædmon's Gen. 2225 (Gr.) Do swa ic ðe bidde. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Luke x. 37 Ga and do eall-swa [Lindisf. gaa and ðu dóo onelic]. a1300 Cursor M. 15306 Fra mi fete do þin hand. c1400 Melayne 308 To dedis of armes hym doo. 1611 Bible Jer. xliv. 4 Oh doe not this abominable thing. Mod. Do your best.


b. pl.. Forms: α1 dóð (dóeð, -æð, -að, dóas), 2–3 doþ, 4 dothe, 4–5 dooth. β4– do (5–7 doo, doe). γnorth. 3–4 dos (dus), 4–5 dose.

α c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. iii. 3 Doþ his siðas rihte. c1340 Cursor M. 16281 (Laud) Dothe hym on rode. c1350 Will. Palerne 3807 Doþ your dede to-day. c1400 A. Davy Dreams 154 Dooþ me into prison.
β c1340 Cursor M. 4893 (Fairf.) Do folow ham. 1611 Bible Matt. vii. 12 Doe [earlier 16th c. vv. do] ye even so to them. 1682 Norris Hierocles, Golden Verses 32 That doe.
γ c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. iii. 2 Hreonisse doas vel wyrcas. Ibid. John vi. 10 Does þætte ða menn esitta. a1300 Cursor M. 2792 Tas and dos [Fairf. take an and do] your will wit þaa. c1300 Havelok 2592 Dos me als ich wile you lere. c1340 Cursor M. 5090 (Fairf.) Make you redy‥and dose you hame.


7. pres. pple. doing (ˈduːɪŋ).


Forms: α1 dónde (dóende), 2–3 donde, 4 doinde, 4–6 doinge, doynge, 6– doing. βnorth. 3–5 doande, 4–6 doand.

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. John, Cont. x, Efne elic hine‥doende gode. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. xxiv. 46 Hys hlafurd hyne emet þus dondne [Lind. doende, Rushw. dónde, Hatt. doende]. c1275 Lay. 5872 Her solle þe wel donde euere worþe riche. c1300 Beket 277 Evere doinge he was. Mod. What was he found doing?


8. pa. pple. done (dʌn).


Forms: α1 edón (-dœ́n, -dén, -dóen, -dóan), 2–3 idon, 3–5 ydon, ido, ydo (5 ydoo, edoone). β3–7 don, 4– done (4 doun, dun(e, 5 doon, north. doyne, 5–6 doone, doen, 6 dooen, downe, Sc. 6– dune). γ. 4–6 do, 5 doo, doe.

α 1123 O.E. Chron., Swa mycel hearm þær wæs edon. c1305 St. Edward 19 in E.E.P. (1862) 107 Þulke ring is ȝut‥for relik ido. c1420 Chron. Vilod. 377 Had y don meyte in a dysshe. Ibid. 580 Hit was þo y do. 1440 J. Shirley Dethe K. James (1818) 26 That edoone the hangmane was commandid‥to kut of that hand. c1440 Partonope 6794 How he hadde follyly I do.
β a1131 O.E. Chron. an. 1126, Þæt wæs eall don ðurh his dohtres ræd. a1300 Cursor M. 2996 Qui has þou þusgat don? 13‥ Ibid. 16762 + 22 Til end þis dede is doyn. —— Ibid. 16812 Thingez þat are doyne. —— Ibid. 20065 Crist was doun on þe rode. c1350 Will. Palerne 937 Y~wisse, y am done. c1380 Wyclif Serm. Sel. Wks. I. 271 Bifore alle þingis ben doone. c1420 Pallad. on Husb. i. 4 As sum have doon. c1425 Wyntoun Cron. vi. xii. 28 Þan wes he dwne. 1432–50 tr. Higden (Rolls) I. 193 What scholde be doen. 1535 Fisher Wks. (1876) 380 He hath‥don al this. 1555 Eden Decades 182 After he hath dooen thus. 1558–68 Warde tr. Alexis' Secr. 2a, That doen, take a pound‥of Aloes. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. iv. (1586) 174b, All is dasht, and done. 1594 Plat Jewellho. i. 5 To have been doone by Abimelech. 1674 tr. Scheffer's Lapland 7 Which don, he rises up. 1860–1 F. Nightingale Nursing 24 [To see] that what ought to be done is always done.
γ 13‥ Cursor M. 2413 (Trin.) Sir she seide hit shal be do. c1380 Wyclif Serm. Sel. Wks. I. 337 Ȝif Eve hadde do so. c1449 Pecock Repr. Prol. 1 So that it be do with honeste. 1482 Monk of Evesham (Arb.) 49 Thyngys that y schulde haue doo. 1509 Act 1 Hen. VIII, Pref., The kynge‥hath do to be ordeined. 1522 World & Child in Hazl. Dodsley I. 252 Many a lord have I do lame.


9. vbl. n. doing, q.v.


B. Signification.
General scheme of arrangement—I. Transitive senses (*To put. **To bestow, render. ***To perform, effect). II. Intransitive: To put forth action, to act. III. Causal and Auxiliary uses (*Causal. **Substitute. ***Periphrastic). IV. Special uses of certain parts (Imperative, Infinitive, Pres. pple., Past pple.). V. Special uses with prepositions (e.g. do for). VI. In combination with adverbs (e.g. do off).


I. Transitive senses.


* To put, place. (Cf. the adv. combinations do on, off, in, out, etc. in VI.)


1. To put, place. a. lit. Obs. exc. dial.

c897 K. Ælfred Gregory's Past. xlix. (E.E.T.S.) 383 Ðæt mon his sweord doo ofer his hype. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. ix. 17 Hi doð niwe win on niwe bytta. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1137 Me dide cnotted strenges abuton here hæued. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 85 Þet corn me deð in to gerner. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2586 Euerilc knape child‥ben a-non don ðe flod wið-in. a1300 Cursor M. 13846 (Cott.) Þat he be tan, and don in band. c1300 Ibid. 20112 (Edin.) Amang þe nunnis‥he hir dide. c1400 Sowdone Bab. 1363 Take myn hawberke and do it on the. c1440 Anc. Cookery in Househ. Ord. (1790) 425 Do hom in a pot and seth hom, and do therto gode broth. 1460 J. Capgrave Chron. 43 Ozias‥presumed to do upon him the prestis stole. 1563–87 Foxe A. & M. (1684) II. 440 If I would not tell where I had done him. 1600 W. Vaughan Directions for Health (1633) 117 Take a gallon‥of pure water, and do it into a pot. 1606 Holland Sueton. 120 He tooke of his Ring‥then afterwardes did it uppon his finger againe. 1877 E. Peacock N.W. Lincolns. Gloss. 89/1 Where hes ta done it? I've look'd high an' low for it.


b. fig. Obs.

c1230 Hali Meid. 7 Deð hire in to drecchunge to dihten hus & hinen. a1300 Cursor M. 15235 (Cott.) Þat sal þis ilk night be don‥to mikel pine. c1305 Judas Iscariot 46 in E.E.P. (1862) 108 Þe quene vpe him hire hurte dude. a1325 Prose Psalter xxxix. [xl]. 15 Ne do nouȝt, Lord, þy mercy fer fra me. 1393 Langl. P. Pl. C. xxi. 93 Ich do me in ȝoure grace. c1460 Towneley Myst. (Surtees) 16 And thou thus dos me from thi grace. 1535 Stewart Cron. Scot. (1858) I. 225 He did him in his will. 1598 Mucedorus in Hazl. Dodsley VII. 222 Take him away, and do him to execution straight.


c. to do to death: orig. to put to death; now, often with emphasis on the do, implying a slow or protracted process. arch. (Cf. death n. 12.)

a1175 Cott. Hom. 229 Hu hi michte hine to deaðe ȝedon. a1225 Leg. Kath. 2131 Ichulle‥don þe to deaðe. a1300 Cursor M. 13961 (Cott.) Þe Iues‥soght iesu at do to ded. c1449 Pecock Repr. 564 Men for her trespacis ben doon into her Deeth. 1579–80 North Plutarch (1676) 1004 The putting away and doing his Wife Octavia to death. 1599 Shakes. Much Ado v. iii. 3 Done to death by slanderous tongues. 1868 Freeman Norm. Conq. (1876) II. viii. 302 That brother had been done to death by English traitors.


d. to do of: to put out of, deprive of, rid of, ‘do out’ of. to do of dawe, do adawe: see day n. 17. to do of live: see life. Obs.

c1305 St. Lucy 95 in E.E.P. (1862) 104 Ne mai no womman‥of hire maidenhod beo ido. 13‥ Cursor M. 5944 (Cott.) Drightin sua þam did of all.


2. refl. To put or set oneself; to betake oneself, proceed, go. Obs.

a1225 Ancr. R. 430 Me were leouere uorto don me touward Rome. a1300 Cursor M. 12832 (Cott.) He did him þan to flum iordan. c1300 St. Brandan 33 We dude ous in a schip. 13‥ Guy Warw. (A.) 343 On his knes he him dede Bifor Felice. c1340 Gaw. & Gr. Knt. 1368 Ho dos hir forth at þe dore. c1350 Will. Palerne 2061 He deraied him as a deuel & dede him out a-ȝeine. c1425 Seven Sag. (P.) 2416 He dyde hym anoon to ryde. c1435 Torr. Portugal 1521 Of the valey he did hym swith.


b. intr. To proceed, go. See do way (53). Obs.

a1300 Cursor M. 6140 ‘Dos now forth’, þai said in hi.


3. trans. To apply, employ, lay out, expend. Obs. to do cost: see cost n.2 5.

1411 E.E. Wills (1882) 17 Y wille þat þe surplus be don for my soule. 1434 Ibid. 101 Sell hit, & do hit for the loue of god. 1522 Bury Wills (1850) 117 The mony‥to be don for my sowle and hys.


b. To settle, invest. Obs.

c1330 R. Brunne Chron. (1810) 31 Who felle to haf þe lond, on þam it suld be don.


** To bestow, impart, grant, render, give (a thing to a person); to cause to befall or come.
Orig. with dative of the recipient or person affected, and accusative of that which is imparted or caused: e.g. ‘it did him credit’. But in later use the dative is largely replaced by to and prepositional object, and then changes places with the verbal object: ‘it did credit to his good sense’.


(The primary notion here appears to have been that of putting (or bestowing) something to a person, being closely related to prec. section, in which a person is put to or into something.)


4. To impart to, bring upon (a person, etc.) some affecting quality or condition; to bestow, confer, inflict; to cause by one's action (a person) to have (something). In later use, associated more closely with the notion of performance, as in 6, e.g. to do any one a service = to perform some action that is of service to him.

a1000 Martyrol. 7 May (E.E.T.S.) 78 Se edyde dumbum men spræce. c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) cxlii[i]. 10 Þu me god dydest. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1137 Alle þe pines þe hi diden wrecce men. c1205 Lay. 481 Heo willeð þe freonscipe don. a1225 Ancr. R. 124 Þu dest me god. a1300 Cursor M. 13666 (Cott.) He thoght him do solace. Ibid. 20079 (Cott.) Þai me do þis mikel scham. Ibid. 20274 (Cott.) It dos me god þat i yuu se. c1400 Mandeville (Roxb.) iv 12 Scho duse na man harme. 1523 Ld. Berners Froiss I. ccvii. 244 The which dyd them great trouble. 1535 Coverdale 2 Macc. ix. 7 It brussed his body, & dyd him greate payne. 1675 Wood Life (Oxf. Hist. Soc.) II. 316 It‥did me a great deal of good. 1773 Goldsm. Stoops to Conq. v, Sure he'll do the dear boy no harm. 1819 Southey Lett. (1856) III. 112 The book does him very great credit.


b. To render, administer, pay, extend, exhibit, show to a person (justice, worship, thanks, etc.).

a1000 Cynewulf Christ 1567 Hy to sið doð gæstum helpe. c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) cviii. 21 Do me þine‥mycle mildheortnesse. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1140 Alle diden him manred. c1300 Cursor M. 24058 (Edin.) Vs al to don sucour. c1340 Ibid. 15047 (Trin.) Þat we þe do suche worshepe as we may. c1400 Mandeville (Roxb.) xxiv. 113, I schall do þe an euill turne. c1450 Merlin 5 They moste do hir the lawe. c1477 Caxton Jason 11 To doo her ayde ayenst her ennemyes. 1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. cxxxiii. 161 Than the kyng dyd them that grace, that he suffred them to passe. 1703 Rowe Ulyss. i. i, To do him right He was a Man indeed. 1776 Trial of Nundocomar 73/1 The Gentlemen of the Audawlet would do him justice. 1847 Marryat Childr. N. Forest xiii, I did a gipsy a good turn once.


5. With the indirect object governed by to; thus passing into 6.

a1300 Cursor M. 17288 + 257 (Cott.) A grete honour to wymmen did he in þat cas. c1340 Ibid. 5980 (Fairf.) Þe folk of egipte þat maste to bestes done worshepe. c1385 Chaucer L.G.W. 1601 Hypsip. & Medea, He made hire don to Iason cumpaynye At mete. c1420 Chron. Vilod. 493 Of þe desplesaunce þt ychave do to ȝow. 1509 Hawes Past. Pleas. xxxiii. xxviii, These ladies unto me did great pleasaunce. 1587 Golding De Mornay iii. 36 If due Iustice vnto you were doone. 1660 Pepys Diary (1890) 17 Which‥he did to do a courtesy to the town. 1711 Addison Spect. No. 70 ⁋5 Persons‥which do Honour to their Country. 1878 S. Walpole Hist. Eng. I. 158 A day's sport which would have done credit to these modern days.


*** To put forth (action or effort of any kind); to perform, accomplish, effect. (Now the leading trans. use.)
Since every kind of action may be viewed as a particular form of doing, the uses of the verb are as numerous as the classes of objects which it may govern. Only the general senses can here be exhibited; the phrases formed by the verb with special substantive objects, are treated under the words concerned; e.g. to do honour, the honours of: see honour.


6. To perform, execute, achieve, carry out, effect, bring to pass. (With an object denoting action.) e.g. to do work, a thing, that, it, what? etc.

a1000 Guthlac 61 (32) [Hi] þa weorc ne doð. a1000 Boeth. Metr. xiii. 79 (Gr.) Hio sceal eft don þæt hio ær dyde. 1123 O.E. Chron., Þis he dyde eall for þes biscopes luuen. a1225 Leg. Kath. 748 Heo ne duden nawiht. a1300 Cursor M. 13473 (Cott.) He‥Wist well wat he had to don. 1382 Wyclif John x. 37 If I do not the workis of my fadir, nyle ȝe bileue to me. c1450 St. Cuthbert (Surtees) 4156 Of diuers miracles þat Cuthbert did. 1581 Mulcaster Positions i. (1887) 2 Neither I haue don so much as I might. 1611 Bible Transl. Pref. 2 He did neuer doe a more pleasing deed. 1711 Addison Spect. No. 93 ⁋1 Our Lives‥are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose. 1847 Marryat Childr. N. Forest iv, Humphrey will‥do all the hard work.


b. to do good, do evil, do right, do wrong, etc.

c1000 Ags. Ps. lxi[i]. 9 Ge woh doð. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1140 Ware se he com he dide mare yuel þanne god. c1300 Cursor M. 29167 (Cott. Galba) Þam aw here to do right. 1382 Wyclif Eccl. vii. 21 Ther is not forsothe a riȝtwis man in the erthe, that do good, and not synne. 1513 Douglas Æneis iii. i. 105 Quhat wickitnes or mischeif may be do. 1526–34 Tindale Matt. xxvii. 23 What evyll hath he done? 1847 Marryat Childr. N. Forest xxv, Surely I have done wrong.


c. To commit (sin, crime, etc.); to perpetrate. Obs. or arch.

a1000 Father's Instr. 70 (Cod. Ex. lf. 81a) Ðeah hi wom don. 1297 R. Glouc. (1724) 369 Þulke robberye, þat hym þoȝte he adde ydo. a1300 Cursor M. 5173 (Gött.) Ȝe gabb, and certis, ȝe do gret sin. c1440 Promp. Parv. 126/2 Do mawmentrye, ydolatro. 14‥ Circumcision in Tundale's Vis. (1843) 98 As thow dydest neuer trespace. 1539 Bp. Hilsey Primer 111, Thou shalt do no murder. 1686 in Picton L'pool Munic. Rec. (1883) I. 271 Severall abuses done by such as sell rootes. a1745 Swift Rules conc. Servants Wks. 1745 VIII. 7 When you have done a fault, be pert and insolent.


d. To execute, administer, practise (a function, office, or duty).

c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) cxxxix. 12 Gode deð drihten domas. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1140 He dide god iustise and makede pais. a1300 Cursor M. 9708 (Cott.) Rightwisli to do iustise. Ibid. 27272 Queþer þai þair mister leli do. 1715 Leoni Palladio's Archit. (1742) I. 99 The judges attended to do justice. 1847 Marryat Childr. N. Forest xxvii, As many of your countrymen as you may consider likely to do good service. 1892 Gardiner Stud. Hist. Eng. 21 Justice was done between man and man.


e. With various extensions of the predicate expressing the relation of the action to another person or thing; now esp. with with. Often blending with 5.

c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) lxxxv. 16 Do edefe mid me, Drihten, tacen. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1137 Na god ne dide me for his saule þar of. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 121 Þere muchele mildheortnesse þe he dude on us. a1300 Cursor M. 19325 (Cott.) Þai durst na uiolence to þam do. 1382 Wyclif John xvi. 3 And thei schuln do to ȝou thes thingis, for thei han not knowe the fadir, nether me. c1400 Mandeville (1839) xxx. 300 So riche þat þei wyte not what to done with hire godes. c1480 Crt. Love 46 Love arted me to do my observaunce To his estate. 1535 Coverdale 1 Chron. xx. [xix]. 2, I wil do mercy vpon Hanun the sonne of Nahas. 1644 Milton Areop. (Arb.) 37 Then began to be consider'd‥what was to be don to libellous books. 1719 De Foe Crusoe ii. ii, We knew not what to do with this poor girl. 1820 Edin. Rev. XXXIII. 93 They are so happy that they know not what to do with themselves. 1843 Fraser's Mag. XXVIII. 729 What is to be done with Ireland now? 1858 Lytton (title) What will he do with it? 1890 Sir N. Lindley in Law Times Rep. LXIII. 690/1, I think an injustice has been done to the plaintiff. c1920 D. H. Lawrence Phoenix II (1968) 116 And what are you doing with yourself these days, Mr. Noon?


f. to have done it: to have acted extremely foolishly; to have made a mess of things; that does (or did) it: that is (or was) the last straw. colloq.

1837 Dickens Pickw. xxxv. 391 Well, young man, now you have done it. 1842 S. Lover Handy Andy xlii. 320 By the powers, you have done it this time! 1857 Dickens Dorrit i. viii. 62 ‘You've done it,’ observed Tip; ‘you must be sharper than that, next time.’ 1883 G. M. Hopkins Let. 28 Sept. (1938) 164, I began to fear I had, as people say, ‘done it this time’. 1914 ‘E. Bramah’ M. Carrados 82 ‘Now you've done it,’ commented Mr. Carlyle. 1930 Belloc New Caut. Tales 45 His father made a fearful row. He said ‘By Gum, you've done it now!’ 1946 W. F. Brown Through Windows xiii. 64 Again I did not go and pleaded the same reason. That apparently did it, as they say—she stopped asking me to lunch parties.


g. it is not (freq. isn't) done: it is forbidden by custom, opinion, or propriety; it is bad form. colloq.

1879 E. Gosse in Charteris Life & Lett. (1931) 126 We haven't the originality to think of dying. It's never done here, in our set. 1911 R. W. Chambers Common Law i, ‘You know,’ he said, ‘models are not supposed to come here unless sent for. It isn't done in this building.’ 1926 E. M. Dell Black Knight i. viii, ‘Oh, but you couldn't—you couldn't—live there by yourself!’ protested Joyce. ‘It isn't done, Ermine. It wouldn't be fitting.’ 1928 Observer 29 Jan. 22/1 Undergraduates regard the conduct of the night of December 13 as the sort of thing that ‘isn't done’. 1932 Times Lit. Suppl. 5 May 318/4 A first-class book made up of things which emphatically are ‘not done’. 1963 A. Heron Towards Quaker View of Sex 56 When it is ‘not done’ to discuss sexuality—as in many Western sub-cultures. 1971 P. Worsthorne Socialist Myth viii. 188 That kind of behaviour simply is not done, simply is not cricket.


7. To perform duly, carry out, execute. (With obj. expressing command, duty, etc.)

c825 Vesp Psalter cxlii. 10 Lær mec doan willan ðinne. a1000 Cædmon's Gen. 142 Druon and dydon drihtnes willan. a1300 Cursor M. 3414 (Cott.) Gladli his biding he didd. c1385 Chaucer L.G.W. 1644 Hypsip. & Medea, And doth his oth & goth with hire to bedde. ?a1525 Hickscorner in Hazl. Dodsley I. 177 Do my counsel, brother Pity. 1557 N. T. (Genev.) Matt. vi. 10 Thy wil be done [Tind. fulfilled]. 1653 Holcroft Procopius ii. 50 They did his commands with alacrity. 1712 J. James tr. Le Blond's Gardening 204 Take out the Dirt that hinders the Water from doing its Office. 1872 E. Peacock Mabel Heron I. i. 5 Servants who did his bidding.


b. To perform duly, celebrate (a ceremony, etc.).

a1000 Soul's Compl. 69 Þonne halee menn gode‥lofsong doð. a1300 Cursor M. 28251 (Cott.) In kyrk‥quen goddis seruis was to do. c1400 Destr. Troy 1413 All þere lordes Didyn sacrifice solempne vnto sere goddes. 1463 Bury Wills (Camden) 28 Whan the messe is do on my yeerday. 1483 Caxton Gold. Leg. 219b/2 To don penaunce here for our synnes. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. V (an. 8) 75b, The coronacion of his Quene and spouse‥whiche was doen the daie of S. Mathy. 1583 Rich Phylotus & Em. (1835) 23 The Mariage rites that are to bee doen in the Churche. 1875 Stubbs Const. Hist. III. xviii. 127 She‥submitted to the correction of the bishops, and did penance.


c. To execute, discharge, deliver (a message, etc.). Obs.

1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. lxxvi, 97 They loked among them who shulde do ye message. 1580 Sidney Arcadia (1622) 55 A Gentleman desired leaue to doe a message from his Lord vnto him. 1596 J. Dee in Lett. Lit. Men (Camden) 88 To Mr. Boston‥I wold full fayne have my commendations done. 1678 Bunyan Pilgr. i. 144 We will do him word of this thy behaviour. 1706–7 Farquhar Beaux Strat. iii. ii, Do my bassemains to the gentleman.


8. (In pa. pple. and perf. tenses.) To accomplish, complete, finish, bring to a conclusion. to be done, to be at an end.

a1300 Cursor M. 20319 (Cott.) Mi ioi es don euerilk dele. c1320 R. Brunne Medit. 131 Whan þe soper was do, cryst ros anone. a1450 Knt. de la Tour (1868) 145 Alle the‥seruice is songe & doo. c1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon i. 56 He knewe well that it was doon of [= all up with] hym. 1548–9 (Mar.) Bk. Com. Prayer 127b, When the Clerkes have dooen syngyng. 1568 Grafton Chron. II. 21 Before his funerall obsequy was finished and done. 1697 Dryden Virg. Past. ix. 73 Now the Chime of Poetry is done. a1745 Swift Direct. Servants Wks. (1869) 566/2 When dinner is done. 1887 Rider Haggard Jess xv, By the time that the horses had done their forage.


b. to be done is used of the agent instead of ‘to have done’, in expressing state rather than action. (Chiefly Irish, Sc., U.S., and dial.)

1766 T. Amory Buncle (1770) IV. 119, I was done with love for ever. 1771 T. Jefferson Let. T. Adams in Harper's Mag. No. 482. 206 One farther favor and I am done. 1776 Bentham Wks. (1838–43) X. 77 The rogue is pressing me so, I must be done. 1835 Marryat Jac. Faithf. xiii, One little bit more, and then I am done. 1876 H. B. Smith in Life (1881) 404 After this is done I am done. 1876 Ruskin Fors. Clav. VI. lxvi. 192 Let us be done with the matter. 18‥ Lit. World (Boston) X. 400 The mills of the gods are not yet done grinding. 1883 Century Mag. XXV. 767/1 ‘Going‥at twenty-four thousand dollars! Are you all done?’ He scanned the crowd.


9. To put forth, exert, use (diligence, endeavour, etc.) in effecting something. to do one's best, cure, devoir, diligence, endeavour, might, pain, etc.: see these words.

a1300 Cursor M. 14480 (Cott.) Þai did þair pain þat he and lazar war bath slain. c1330 Assump. Virg. (B.M. MS.) 7 Aungeles donn here myȝt To serue hure boþe day & nyȝt. c1440 Generydes 68 They dede ther besy payne. 1509 Hawes Past. Pleas. i. xvii, To reade their names I did my busy cure. 1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. clxxxii. 216 Shame haue he that dothe nat his power to distroy all. 1611 Bible 2 Tim. iv. 9 Doe thy diligence to come shortly vnto me. 1724 De Foe Mem. Cavalier (1840) 76 They bade the Swedes do their worst. 1843 Fraser's Mag. XXVIII. 328, I shall do my utmost to serve her. 1872 Black Adv. Phaeton vi. 82 The Lieutenant did his best to amuse her.


10. To produce, make, bring into existence by one's action.

1580 Fulke (title), Stapleton and Martiall‥confuted‥Done and directed to all those that love the truth and hate superstitious vanities. 1583 Hollyband Campo di Fior 357 We have done five or six copies in the same paper. 1601 Chester Loves Martyr, etc. 165 [169] Done by the best and chiefest of our moderne writers. 1703 Moxon Mech. Exerc. 239 The Rough or Plain Work, is done with the Grey Kentish Bricks. 1810 Sporting Mag. XXXVI. 73 This method of doing (as it is called) a paper, is disgraceful. 1858 Carlyle Fredk. Gt. (1865) I. ii. viii. 98 Otto IV‥had an actual habit of doing verse. 1860–1 F. Nightingale Nursing 58 The sun is a painter. He does the photograph.


11. To operate upon or deal with (an object) in any way. The most general word expressing transitive action; and so, familiarly substituted for any verb the action of which is of a nature to be readily inferred from the subject or object, or both combined. In slang, employed euphemistically to avoid the use of some verb plainly naming an action. Among the great variety of uses, the following are some of the chief: a. To do work upon or at, repair, prepare, clean, keep in order, etc.; to decorate, furnish. With person as obj. (colloq.) = to operate on, attend to, etc.

c1515 Cocke Lorell's B. (Percy Soc.) 12 Some ye lodysshestone dyd seke, some ye bote dyd. 1691 T. H[ale] Acc. New Invent. p. xxi, If they had done the other nineteen as that twentieth Ship was done [i.e. sheathed]. 1778 F. Burney Evelina xxi, I did my hair on purpose. 1848 J. H. Newman Loss & Gain (1876) 170 A gardener‥whose wife (what is called) did his lodgers. 1881 Grant White Eng. Without & Within xvi. 388 Do is made a word of all work‥Women do their back hair, and do everything that they arrange. ‘I have got these flowers to do’—meaning to arrange in a vase. 1883 Leisure H. 84/1 The Chinaman who usually ‘does’ my room. a1897 Mod. The man who does our garden. The paper-hanger who did this room, has done it very well. 1898 A. E. T. Watson Turf i. 21 Almost all these horses have their own boys, who ride at exercise, and, as the phrase goes, ‘do’ them, that is to say, groom and attend to them in their stables. 1901 Daily Chron. 16 Oct. 5/2 The [vaccinated] man who‥has been ‘done in the leg’. 1902 D. C. Peel How to keep House iv. 42 Do flowers, write menus, do house accounts and see housemaid. 1919 D. Ashford Young Visiters (1951) v. 33 A small but handsome compartment done in dark green lether with crests on the chairs. 1929 P. Guedalla Missing Muse 147 The explorers‥went below and began to do their hair. 1960 C. Day Lewis Buried Day 116 Confirmation was habitually referred to as ‘getting done’. We were ‘done’, according to our age group, in batches—like loaves. 1960 Housewife Apr. 29/2 She has ‘done the flowers’ at innumerable society dinners. 1962 R. Hyman Mod. Dict. Quots. 146 Can I do you now, sir?—Mrs. Mop (Itma, B.B.C. Radio Programme, 1939–1949).


b. To prepare or make ready as food; to cook; to preserve, pickle, etc.

1660 Pepys Diary 2 Mar., We had‥a carp and some other fishes, as well done as ever I eat any. 1796 H. Glasse Cookery xix. 304 Red currants are done the same way. 1822 Lamb Elia Ser. i. Roast Pig, How equably he twirleth round the string. Now he is just done. 1885 Manch. Exam. 16 Sept. 5/2 [She] will have an extra bloater or a mutton chop done to a turn. a1897 Mod. (U.S.) Advertisement, Young woman as dinner or order cook: capable of doing pastry.


c. To work at or out, solve, translate, review, depict, etc.

1780 Johnson Let. to Mrs. Thrale 9 May, My Lives creep on‥I have done Addison, Prior‥and almost Fenton. 1813 Macaulay in Life & Lett. (1880) I. 41, I do Xenophon every day. 1855 Thackeray Newcomes iii, He had done [sketched] me and Hannah too. 1866 Reader 3 Nov. 914 The gentle man who ‘does’ the French books for the Athenæum. 1883 R. Buchanan Love me for ever ii. iii. 92 There Amos often sat and did his accounts. 1887 L. Carroll Game of Logic iv. 96 Not one syllable of lessons do they ever do after their one o'clock dinner. a1897 Mod. A class of boys doing arithmetic while another is doing Euclid. I cannot do this problem. Show me how to do this sum.


d. To enact, act; to play the part of. Also colloq., to act or behave in a manner characteristic of (a specified person, etc.).

1599 Shakes. Much Ado ii. i. 122 You could neuer doe him so ill well, vnlesse you were the very man. 1660 Pepys Diary 11 Oct., To the Cockpitt to see ‘The Moore of Venice’, which was well done. 1709 Steele Tatler No. 4 ⁋4 A great Part of the Performance was done in Italian. 1770 Foote Lame Lover ii. Wks. 1799 II. 80, I shall do Andromache myself. 1830 Fraser's Mag. I. 131 He was too poor to do comet; but he did fire-fly with some brilliancy. 1857 Hughes Tom Brown i. vii, East still doing the cicerone. 1883 Century Mag. XXV. 755/1 He did not seem to do the host. 1934 Tit-Bits 31 Mar. 12/3 ‘To do a Gaynor’ means to smile upwards through eyes swimming with tears, a tribute to Janet Gaynor's ability to switch on the ‘sunshine through the tears’. ‘To do a Garbo’, on the other hand, means to be proud, aloof, and unbending. 1943 N. Balchin Small Back Room 28 We do all the work and then R. B. sails in and does a God Almighty on us. 1960 L. Cooper Accomplices i. vi. 58 He's a fiend about it—not that he does a McCarthy or rants. 1963 Times 20 Apr. 9/4 Already those responsible for premises or institutions under threat of closure and persons haunted by the now inevitable word redundancy are saying ‘They're doing a Beeching on us’.


e. To finish up, exhaust, undo, ruin, ‘do for’. Also colloq. phr. done to the wide or the world: absolutely done for, defeated, etc. Also slang, to beat up; to defeat; to finish up; to kill. Cf. sense 45b below.

c1350 Will. Palerne 937 And but he wiȝtly wite, y-wisse, y am done. a1400–50 Alexander 3713 How we haue done ser Dary & drepid his kniȝtes. 1542 Udall Erasm. Apoph. 364 A man euen with veray age almoste clene dooen. 1666 Dryden Ann. Mirab. lxx, The Holland fleet, who, tired and done, Stretch'd on their decks like weary oxen lie. 1780 Sessions' Paper 611/2 He‥got one of our cutlasses, which was drawn;‥and said, ‘D—n my eyes, here is one of Akerman's bloody thieves, let us do him first.’ 1794 Sporting Mag. III. 260/2 Much skill was displayed by both the combatants.‥ Dame Fortune‥at length favoured the tin-man, who, in the language of the schools, did his man. 1796 Grose Dict. Vulgar T. (ed. 3), Do,‥to overcome in a boxing match; witness those laconic lines written on the field of battle, by Humphreys to his patron—‘Sir, I have done the Jew.’ 1812 Examiner 9 Nov. 719/2 Oh, Charles, you have done me. 1841 P. McFarlane Sp. 25 Aug., If we shrink, we are done. 1892 Black & White 14 May 623/2 It was a decimal that did me in the Little-Go. 1893 Dunmore Pamirs I. 90 It was a‥trying march to-day for men and horses, and both were pretty well done by the time we got in. 1905 Conan Doyle Return of S. Holmes 218 ‘You've done me,’ he cried, and lay still. 1922 Daily Mail 6 Dec. 11 He came again after appearing ‘done to the world’ more than once. 1925 Fraser & Gibbons Soldier & Sailor Words, Done to the wide, utterly beaten. 1948 L. A. G. Strong Trevannion 3 If I do Sid, I'm to have a go at Sailor Berridge. 1954 M. Procter Hell is City ii. ii. 47 I'll do you if it's my last act in life. I'll swing for you with pleasure. 1959 Encounter Aug. 33/2, I‥told him‥I'd do him if I ever saw his face again. 1959 I. & P. Opie Lore & Lang. Schoolch. x. 195 ‘I'll clout you’, ‘I'll do you’, or ‘I'll do you up’ (a threat of sinister implication in London S.E.).


f. To hoax, cheat, swindle, overreach. slang. Also to do in the eye (see eye n.1 2k).

1641 Best Farm. Bks. (Surtees) 136 And I can doe, My master too, When my master turnes his backe. 1768 Goldsm. Good-n. Man ii. i, If the man comes from the Cornish borough, you must do him. 1801 Sporting Mag. XVIII. 100 To do any one, to cheat him. 1830 Disraeli in Edin. Daily Rev. 12 May (1885) 2/8 He did the Russian Legation at écarté. 1887 Sims Mary Jane's Mem. 106 If you are too suspicious of servants‥they take a pleasure in ‘doing’ you, to use a common saying.


g. To accomplish (a given distance) in travelling; to achieve; to travel at (a certain speed, etc.).

1808 Sporting Mag. XXXIII. 146/2 The Captain did the first mile in five minutes and a second. 1824 T. Moore Mem. (1853) IV. 179, [I] did the four miles in less than twenty minutes. 1890 Nature 13 Mar. 435 The 10514 miles between Grantham and London are continuously ‘done’ in 117 minutes. 1919 C. Mackenzie Early Life Sylvia Scarlett ii. i. 273 Good engine this. We're doing fifty-nine or an unripe sixty. 1919 G. B. Shaw Augustus does his Bit 228 The old cars only do twelve miles to the gallon. Everybody has to have a car that will do thirty-five now. 1963 M. Procter Moonlight Flitting i. 6 ‘That's a Rolls-Royce, isn't it?’ ‘Yes. It's practically new. Only done about a thousand.’ 1966 J. Miles in T. Wisdom High-Performance Driving vii. 70 A Ford Zodiac and a caravan‥doing 25 m.p.h. and taking up a lot of road. 1967 ‘L. Bruce’ Death of Commuter vi. 62 What do you reckon to do to the gallon?


h. To go over as a tourist, visit, see; to attend (an entertainment). colloq.

1817 Lady Granville Let. June (1894) I. 119 We shall then meet them at Basle, do the Rhine, stay two or three days at Brussels, and home. 1830 Marryat King's Own xlii, Captain Hall‥has‥done North and South America. 1844 J. T. J. Hewlett Parsons & W. xvi, We‥as he used to call it, ‘did a bit of continent’ together. 1854 R. Doyle Brown, Jones, and Robinson 8 They ‘do’ Cologne Cathedral. 1857 J. F. Maguire Rome 8 Some of the latter evidently went to the Pope's Chapel as they had gone the previous night to the Opera, to hear the music, or to ‘do’ it, as they would the Coliseum. 1861 Court Life at Naples II. 115 Travellers, zealously bent on doing the country and all the sights. 1890 E. Dowson Let. 4 Mar. (1967) 139, I rather want‥to do a St. Jame's Ballad Concert. 1932 D. L. Sayers Have his Carcase xviii. 239 We could go and do a show together. 1951 M. Kennedy L. Carmichael ii. i. 85 People over a wide area would‥dine and do a show, as they do at Stratford. 1955 Times 25 Aug. 12/3 During siesta the only activity comes from tourists ‘doing’ St. Peter's, the Colosseum, and the Trevi Fountain before sunstroke or tea. 1966 Auden About House 20 This unpopular art‥Cannot be ‘done’ like Venice Or abridged like Tolstoy.


i. To serve out (a term of punishment). slang.

1865 Daily Tel. 1 Mar. 3/3, ‘I was doing time’‥(A cant term for serving a sentence in prison). 1889 Boldrewood Robbery under Arms (1890) 316 Men that have ‘done time’. 1892 Saintsbury in Academy 30 Jan. 106/3 Tuer is a criminal‥and‥does his five years.


j. With adjectives (in its origin an ellipt. use of d): as to do the amiable, civil, grand, lazy, polite (person); but at length sometimes with thing understood. colloq.

1836–9 Dickens Sk. Boz, Steam Excurs. 234/1 He used to‥flatter the vanity of mammas, do the amiable to their daughters. 1856 G. J. Whyte-Melville Kate Cov. iii, John ‘doing the polite’, and laughing as he‥introduced ‘Captain Lovell’ and ‘Miss Coventry’. 1864 Sala in Daily Tel. 24 Aug., Honestly doing the lazy, and luxuriating in the‥bounteous summer. 1873 Tristram Moab xiii. 231 Doing the civil most oppressively. 1875 R. H. R. Rambles in Istria 195 One confesses, goes to mass, and does the proper.


k. In elliptical expressions, as to do the outside edge, i.e. to practise skating on the outside edge.

1885 Graphic 3 Jan. 3/2 To polish up their skates, and to dream‥of doing the outside edge almost before Candlemas is over.


l. To arrest; to catch or seize hold of; to charge; to convict. slang.

1784 Sessions' Paper Jan. 221/1 He stepped on one side of me and said, ‘You have not done me yet.’ I immediately pursued him. 1812 J. H. Vaux Flash Dict., Done, convicted; as, he was done for a crack, he was convicted of house-breaking. 1936 G. Ingram Muffled Man vi. 91 Blow me if one of your tribe [sc. policemen] don't go and do me, and I get found a quid. 1963 Guardian 23 Feb. 4/4 ‘This is a murder charge. There is no certainty that you will be done for murder.’‥He did not say that Kelly would only be ‘done’ for robbery and not murder. 1968 ‘R. Simons’ Death on Display iii. 44 I'm goin' straight. Last time I was done was two years ago, and I ain't been tapped on the shoulder since.


m. To look after or provide food for (an animal). dial. and N.Z.

1890 S. S. Buckman Darke's Sojourn viii. 72 Nobody can't be expected to do a flock on no vittles. 1916 N.Z. Jrnl. Agric. 20 Sep. 174 Ewes have been‥‘well done by’ during the winter. 1923 W. Perry Sheepfarming in N.Z. viii. 116 Besides the usual pasture, roots and green feed given to the flock it is often found profitable to ‘do’ the show sheep especially well. 1950 N.Z. Jrnl. Agric. Oct. 347/2 The successful management of a sheep run calls for‥an appreciation of the carrying capacity of tussock land to ‘do’ sheep well without either overstocking or understocking.


n. To provide food, etc., for (a person); to treat or entertain (well). Also, to do oneself well: to make liberal provision for one's creature comforts; to do (a person) proud: see proud a. 10b. colloq.

1897 Punch 23 Oct. 185/1 The nightmare of an artist who does himself not wisely but far too well, at an unnecessary supper. 1902 Daily Chron. 16 Aug. 3/4 For ten francs a day one is done well there. 1902 Westm. Gaz. 25 Aug. 2 His Majesty has been to Westminster Abbey, and the Crystal Palace,‥and Madame Tussaud's—really we think that on the whole we have done him very well. Ibid. 22 Oct. 3/3 The man who had done himself fairly well on everyday cooking. 1928 Daily Express 7 Sept. 1/1 They do you well, with plenty of eggs, cream, [etc.]. 1940 G. D. H. & M. Cole Murder at Munition Works iv. 55 The Chief Constable will bear me out that they do one quite well there.


o. To spend completely. Austral. and N.Z. slang.

1928 Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Feb. 35/1 He grumbled:‘‥I'd just as soon ha' done me brass on goats.’ 1931 V. Palmer Separate Lives 218, I did my last frog [sc. franc] on a feed at the estaminet to-night. 1959 G. Slatter Gun in Hand v. 71 Could you lend me a few bob to put on?‥ She was always doing her money cold on the donks. 1969 ‘A. Garve’ Boomerang i. 24 Right now I've done my money, but as soon as I can raise the fare I'll be getting back.


p. To take (a hallucinogenic or other drug); to smoke (marijuana). slang (chiefly U.S.).

[1969 R. D. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z 66 Do up (analogous to fix; from tie up, to tie a cord around an arm to distend the vein, thus making an injection easier), to inject heroin.] 1971 E. Landy Underground Dict. 67 Do a drug, use any drug; get stoned, high—e.g. Let's do some grass. 1977 McKnight & Tobler Bob Marley v. 66 Bunny Livingstone spent a year in jail during the late sixties for doing dope. 1977 Amer. Speech 1975 L. 58 Do, 1: take (a drug) ‘What are you doing, uppers?’ 2: smoke (marijuana) ‘We did some fantastic weed the other night.’ 1985 New Yorker 29 July 77/2 Their lives‥involve‥smoking (tobacco, marijuana, cloves), drinking (everything), and doing drugs—mainly cocaine.


q. In many other expressions, for which see the specific words.


12. With noun of action as object, the two being equivalent to a cognate verb of action, as to do writing = to write, to do repairs, = to repair things.
So to do battle, slaughter, etc. q.v.

c1511 1st Eng. Bk. Amer. (Arb.) Introd. 35/1 He comyth‥euery yere in his chirche and doth a sermon. 1525 Ld. Berners Froiss. II. clxii. [clviii]. 449 There the kynge kneled downe and dyd his prayers. 1611 Shakes. Cymb. iii. v. 38 The Cure whereof, my Lord, 'Tis time must do. c1750 Chatham Lett. Nephew i. 1 Your translation‥is‥done‥with much spirit. 1885 Law Reports 15 Q. Bench Div. 316 To do trifling repairs to waggons. 1894 Doyle S. Holmes 58, I was sitting doing a smoke.


13. To translate or render into another language or form of composition.

1660 Boyle New Exp. Phys. Mech. Pref. 15 He has already provided, that this piece shall shortly be done into Latine. 1710 Steele Tatler No. 230 ⁋2 Books‥ not translated, but‥Done out of French, Latin, or other Language, and Made English. 1727 Pope, etc. Art of Sinking 121 A chapter or two of Burnet's theory‥well circumstanced and done into verse. 1831 Macaulay Ess., Boswell's Johnson (1854) 189/1 When he wrote for publication, he did his sentences out of English into Johnsonese.


14. In pass., rendering L. fieri, factum esse: To be brought about, come to pass, happen. Obs.

1382 Wyclif Matt. xxvi. 1 It is don, whenne Jhesus hadde eendid alle these wordis, he seide to his disciplis. 1388 —— Isa. xxxvii. 1 It was don, whanne kyng Ezechie hadde herd, he to-rent hise clothis.


II. Intransitive senses.


15. To put forth action, exert activity of any kind whatever; to act (in some specified way). Now a leading sense of the verb.

a1000 Cædmon's Gen. 2225 (Gr.) Do swa ic ðe bidde. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1137 Næure hethen men ne diden werse þan hi diden. c1205 Lay. 1806 Als his men duden. a1225 Ancr. R. 122 Þenc, dude he so? c1380 Wyclif Sel. Wks. III. 514 Neiþer þe kyng ne his counsayl deede unriȝtfully. 1426 Audelay Poems 9 To do as thou woldest me dud by the. 1465 Marg. Paston in Paston Lett. No. 500 II. 178 Send me word how ye wyll that I doo there in. 1539 Taverner Erasm. Prov. (1552) 51 When ye are at Rome, do as they do at Rome. 1710 Steele Tatler No. 138 ⁋1 It is almost a standing Rule to do as others do, or be ridiculous. 1797 Mrs. Radcliffe Italian vi, He had done imprudently to elect her for the companion of his whole life. 1847 Tennyson Princess iv. 506 You have done well and like a gentleman. 1896 F. Hall in Nation (N.Y.) LXII. 223/3 An example which others‥would do wisely to copy.


b. To proceed in an emergency or juncture; to have recourse to some procedure or action; to contrive, manage; to make shift to live on (a limited income).

c1300 Cursor M. 28707 (Cott. Galba) When slike wrake on a syn was tane, how sall he do [that] has many ane. 1593 Shakes. Rich. II, ii. ii. 104 How shall we do for money for these warres? a1761 Richardson (Ogilvie), How shall I do to answer as they deserve your two last letters? a1897 Mod. How do you do for fresh provisions? 1924 R. Macaulay Orphan Island xviii. 237 ‘Is that a good living wage?’ he asked her; and she answered that they could just do on it, no more, with what she herself earned.


16. To perform deeds; to exert oneself; to work. (As opposed to doing nothing, talking, etc.) Hence do or die as adj. phr., expressing determination not to be deterred by any danger or difficulty.

1375 Barbour Bruce iii. 585 For all war doand, knycht and knawe. 1535 Coverdale 1 Chron. xxii. 16 Get the vp, and be doynge. 1621 Fletcher Isl. Princess ii. ii. Let's meet, and either do or die. 1724 Ramsay Tea-t. Misc. (1733) I. 7 He could neither say nor do. 1793 Burns Scots wha hae vi, Liberty's in every blow! Let us do, or die. 1809 T. Campbell Gertrude of Wyoming iii. xxxvii. 71 To-morrow let us do or die! 1850 Carlyle Latter-d. Pamph. v. (1872) 157 All human talent‥is a talent to do. 1863 L. M. Alcott Hospital Sk. i. 13 The head‥fermented with all manner of high thoughts and heroic purposes ‘to do or die’,—perhaps both. 1879 Boy's Own Paper 18 Jan. 2/2 Never soldier went into action with a more solemn do-or-die feeling than that with which I took my place on the field that afternoon. 1884 W. C. Smith Kildrostan 58 You have but to say, and they will do. 1902 Westm. Gaz. 1 Mar. 4/1 She dips the first pen into the ink with a do-or-die expression. 1907 Daily Chron. 26 Sept. 4/6 The dominant motive with all was hatred of the foreign yoke, and the ‘do-or-die’ determination to shake it off. 1947 People 22 June 7/4 His hands grip the handlebars tightly, his face is grim with a do-or-die look. 1971 Rand Daily Mail 27 Mar. 23/6 Highlands Power‥face a do-or-die effort from the Pretoria team.


b. euphem. To copulate (with). Phr. to do it [it pron. 9], used colloq. in the same sense. See doing vbl. n. 1b.

1913 D. H. Lawrence Sons & Lovers ii. vii. 162 Do you think we spoon and do? We only talk. 1922 Joyce Ulysses 724 Not that I care two straws who he does it with. 1954 R. P. Bissell High Water xvii. 181 Them island girls they'd rather do it than eat. 1959 A. Sinclair Breaking of Bumbo ii. x. 106 You don't do her? And you eat in Chelsea? There's something queer about you. 1967 V. Canning Python Project viii. 157 Some service-man‥did your mother in Cyprus‥and then‥made an honest woman of her.


17. In perfect tenses: To make an end, to conclude. have done! make an end. to have done with, to cease to have to do with; to desist or cease from.

1303 R. Brunne Handl. Synne 31 Comyþ alle home, and hauyþ doun. c1305 St. Katherine 279 (1862) Do what þu wolt and haue ido: and bring þi wille to ende. c1400 Melayne 164 Hafe done! late semble the folke of thyne! 1530 Palsgr. 525/2 Nay, and you double ones, I have done with you. 1538 Starkey England i. iii. 77 [They] ete them when they haue downe. 1592 Shakes. Rom. & Jul. iii. v. 205 Do as thou wilt, for I haue done with thee. 1596 —— Tam. Shr. iii. ii. 118 Ha done with words, To me she's married, not vnto my cloathes. 1668 Pepys Diary 17 Nov., To make clean the house above stairs; the upholsterers having done there. 1712 Hearne Collect. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.) III. 404 After we had done in the Kitchin the woman carried us to the East Part of the House. 1803 C. K. Sharpe Corr. (1888) I. 191, I wish the French would come, and have done.


18. To fare, get on (in some way). to do well: to be prosperous in one's doing or proceedings; to prosper, thrive, succeed. a. of persons.

a1300 Cursor M. 13492 (Cott.) ‘We sal’, he said, ‘do nu ful wele’. 1375 Barbour Bruce ii. 128 God‥Graunt that he thow passis to, & thow sa weill all tyme may do, That ȝe ȝow fra ȝowr fayis defend! c1489 Caxton Blanchardyn xxxi. 116 Daryus demaunded of his fader how they of þe cytye dyd. a1533 Ld. Berners Huon lxv. 223, I pray you shewe me how you haue done syn my departure. 1768 Sterne Sent. Journ. (1778) II. 14 (Passport) Let me go to Paris‥and I shall do very well. 1832 H. Martineau Homes Abroad i. 2 The farmers were doing badly. 1879 Trollope Thackeray 56 He had done well with himself, and had made and was making a large income. 1886 Stevenson Dr. Jekyll i, The inhabitants were all doing well‥and all emulously hoping to do better still.


b. of things.

1525 Ld. Berners Froiss. II. i. 174 So they had done, if the iourney had done amysse. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 31 It dooth best in good grounde. 1600 Shakes. A.Y.L. iii. v. 111 Words do well When he that speakes them pleases those that heare. 1605 —— Macb. v. viii. 3. 1823 J. Badcock Dom. Amusem. 161 Some fruits do best that are put away in a half ripe state. 1847 Jrnl. R. Agric. Soc. VIII. ii. 447 Flax does well after wheat, and wheat does well after flax. Mod. I am glad your affairs are doing well.


19. spec. With regard to health or condition: To be (in health), find oneself, feel, fare (well or ill).
[Arising out of 18, and in early instances not easy to separate from it. Cf. MDu. doen, in same use; also OF. Comment le faites vous? Lat. Quid agis? ModGr. πῶς πράσσεις; how do you do?]

1463 Marg. Paston in Paston Lett. No. 480 II. 142, I wold ye shuld send me word howghe ye doo. 1535 Palsgr. 524/1, I do, I fare well or yvell touchynge my helth. 1563–87 Foxe A. & M. (1684) III. 253 God be thanked for you, How do you? 1597 Shakes. 2 Hen. IV, iii. ii. 70 How doth the good Knight? may I aske how my Lady his Wife doth? 1597 Morley Introd. Mus. 2 Phi. How haue you done since I sawe you? Ma. My health, since you sawe mee, hath beene‥badd. 1709 Steele Tatler No. 10 ⁋1 He asked Will‥how he did? 1709 Steele & Addison ibid. No. 114 ⁋1 Child, How does your Father do? 1745 Chesterfield Lett. I. ciii. 284. 1799 Sheridan Pizarro Prol. (1883) 180 Nodding to booted beaux—‘How do, how do?’ 1826 Disraeli Viv. Grey iv. v, All‥asked him ‘how the Marquess did?’ 1854–6 Patmore Angel in Ho. i. ii. ix. (1879) 225 Learn of the language ‘How d'ye do?’ And go and brag that they've been there.


20. To ‘work’, ‘act’, operate, or turn out (in some way); to do what is wanted; to succeed, answer, or serve; to be fitting or appropriate; to suffice. that will do (that'll do): that is sufficient.
[The unfortunate conjecture of Latham (followed in subsequent dictionaries) that do here represents OE. duan, dow, and is thus a distinct verb, is entirely erroneous.]

1596 Shakes. 1 Hen IV, ii. iv. 188, I neuer dealt better since I was a man: all would not doe. 1618 Bolton Florus iv. ii. (1636) 262 As if she tride how it would do. 1750 Chesterfield Lett. (1792) III. No. 226. 24 Adieu, my dear! I find you will do. 1762 Foote Lyar iii. Wks. 1799 I. 314 No, no, Mr. Mandeville, it won't do. c1805 M. Edgeworth Wks. (Rtldg.) I. 48 She had long since prophesied he would not do for them. 1818 Cruise Digest (ed. 2) II 322 The right‥must be a present right; a future one will not do. 1848 Lowell Biglow P. Poet. Wks. (1879) 179 The present Yankee‥not so careful for what is best as for what will do. 1861 Neale Notes Dalmatia, etc. 70, I cannot say much for our inn; but it did. 1869 Freeman O. Eng. H. for Child. xi. §2. 277 Perhaps it would hardly have done to send him. a1897 Mod. That will do, thank you.


b. Hence trans. To do for, suffice for, satisfy (a person). colloq.

1846 Congress. Globe 20 July 1118, I have just enough [money] to do me to the end of the session. 1880 Congress. Rec. 22 Jan. 491/1, I should like to have ten minutes, but it will do me just as well in the morning. 1925 W. Deeping Sorrell & Son xiii, ‘What's it to be, Do? An orange cocktail?’ ‘Yes, that will do me.’ 1928 Galsworthy Swan Song i. iv. 25 Leicester Square would do me all right. 1951 J. B. Priestley Festival at Farbridge 325 That'll do me. Not choosy. 1965 F. Sargeson Memoirs of Peon i. 12 The reverse side‥did me to draw and paint on.


III. Causal and auxiliary uses.


* Causal.


21. With that and subord. clause: To make it so that, produce the effect that; to cause (that a person or thing shall do something). Obs.

c897 K. Ælfred Gregory's Past. Care xxi. (1871) 207 Ic edo ðæt ðu forgitst. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. v. 45 Se þe deð þæt his sunne up aspringð ofer þa godan & ofer þa yfelan. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 95 He dude þet heo weren birnende on godes willan. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 224 God dede ðat he on sweuene cam. c1386 Chaucer Knt.'s T. 1547 Do that I tomorwe haue victorie.


22. With obj. and inf. (the obj. being logical subject of the inf.): To make or cause a person, etc., to do something.a. with simple inf.; e.g. ‘he did them come’. to do him die: to cause or make him die, to put him to death. Obs. or arch.

c825 Vesp. Psalter xxxviii. 12 Aswindan þu didest‥sæwle his. Ibid. ciii. 32 Se elocað in eorðan & doeð hie cwaecian. c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) ciii. 30 He‥deð hi for his esan ealle beofian. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1140, Þe biscop of Wincestre‥dide heom cumen þider. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 3608 Min engel of Sal ic don ðe bi-foren gon. a1300 Cursor M. 3071 (Cott.) Þe barn sco dide drinc o þat wel. c1386 Chaucer Frankl. T. 609 In yow lith al to do me lyue or deye. 1460 J. Capgrave Chron. 264 The Kyng‥ded his officeres arestin‥his uncil the Duke of Gloucetir. 1590 Spenser F.Q. ii. vi. 7 Sometimes, to do him laugh, she would assay To laugh. 1621 Ainsworth Annot. on Ps. lix. 1 To kill him or to doe him die. [1886 Burton Arab. Nts. I. 11 So he carried her to the place of execution and did her die.]


b. with dat. inf. Obs. or arch.

a1300 Cursor M. 11222 (Cott.) He‥did þe dumb asse to speke. c1300 Harrow. Hell 124 Y shal‥do the to holde gryht [= gryþ]. ?a1366 Chaucer Rom. Rose 1063 An hundred have [they] don to dye. c1450 Merlin 29 The kynge dide hem to swere. a1547 Surrey Æneid ii. 140 Oft the boisteous winds did them to stay. 1599 H. Buttes Dyets drie Dinner Piijb, Who smoke selleth, with smoke be don to dy. [1886 Burton Arab. Nts. I. 10 He shall do you to die by the illest of deaths.]


c. to do (one) to wit, know, or understand: to cause (one) to know; to give (one) to understand; to make known to; to inform. arch.

a1131 O.E. Chron. an. 1127 Se ilce Heanri dide þone king to understandene þæt he hæfde [etc.]. c1205 Lay. 27150 And sone duden him to witen Whuder he wolde wenden. 1340–70 Alex. & Dind. 224 And þat ȝour doctours dere don ȝou to know. c1449 Pecock Repr. Prol. 1 First openyng or doing to wite, thanne next blamyng. c1460 Towneley Myst. (Surtees) 69 Syr, I am done to understand, That a qweyn here‥Shalle bere a chyld. a1540 T. Cromwell in Burnet Hist. Ref. (1681) II. 192, I commend me to your Lordship, doing you to understand that I have received your letters. 1610 in Picton L'pool Munic. Rec. (1883) I. 121 You shall‥do the Maior of this towne to wete thereof. 1674 N. Fairfax Bulk & Selv. 22 We are done to wit, that 'tis an infinite not infinite. 1828 Scott F.M. Perth xxxi, We‥do thee, Sir Patrick Charteris‥ to know, that [etc.].


d. with pass. inf. (with or without ‘to’): e.g. ‘to do him (to) be slain’. Obs.

a1300 Cursor M. 15468 (Cott.) To do his lauerd be tan. c1380 Sir Ferumb. 1853 Othre relyqes dere, þat þou dudest a-way be born. 1483 Caxton Gold. Leg. 180 b/2 That in no wyse she shold shewe ne doo be knowen that she were a woman. 1530–1 Act 22 Hen. VIII, c. 12 Euery of them shall do the sayde seales to be made.


23. With the logical subject of the inf. omitted; the infinitive being (usually) trans. with its own object. E.g. do bind him = make somebody bind him, cause him to be bound, have him bound [= Fr. faire lier, Ger. binden lassen]. Obs.

c1250 Kentish Serm. in O.E. Misc. 26 Þo dede he somoni alle þo wyse clerekes. a1300 Cursor M. 10355 ‘Maria’ sal þou do hir call. c1386 Chaucer Sqr.'s T. 38 He leet the feeste of his Natiuitee Doon cryen. 1393 Langl. P. Pl. C. iv. 140 In þe castel of corf ich shal do þe close. c1450 Merlin 57 The kynge dide do make this dragon‥and lete it be born be-fore hym. 1463 Bury Wills (Camden) 26 He shal yeerly pay or do paye all the pencyowns. 1541 Act 33 Hen. VIII, in Bolton Stat. Irel. (1621) 209 Every such person‥shall doe make a seale engraved with the name of the Castle‥which he keepeth.


b. with dat. inf. Obs.

a1300 Cursor M. 1936 (Cott.) Noe did to rais an auter suyth [Fairf. gert to raisse, Trin. let reise]. c1450 Merlin 27 Than [he] did to brynge ston and morter.


c. pass. To be caused to be done. Obs.

?a1366 Chaucer Rom. Rose 413 Another thing was doon ther write. [Passive of ‘(thei) dide write another thing’.]


** As a substitute for other verbs.


24. Put as a substitute for a verb just used, to avoid its repetition. a. Without construction, and so intransitive (as in 15), whether the verb which it represents is intr. or trans.

c1000 Ælfric Man. Astron. (Wright) 2 [Seo sunne] scinð under þære eorðan on nihtlicre tide swa swa heo on dæ deð bufan urum heafdum. c1000 —— Judg. xvi. 30 He miccle ma on his deaþe acwealde þonne he ær cucu dyde. a1131 O.E. Chron. an. 1127 Þær he wunede eall riht swa drane doð on hiue. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 111 Summe lauerdes‥god gremiað, swa saul þe king dude. c1340 Cursor M. 13950 (Fairf.), I haue him knawen & sal do [Trin. haue done] euer. 1411 Rolls of Parlt. III. 650/2 He ne hath noght born hym as he sholde haue doon. 1527 R. Thorne in Hakluyt Voy. (1589) 252 If as the king of Portingall doth, he would become a merchant. c1682 J. Collins Making Salt 141 We pay double the price we formerly did. 1835 Ure Philos. Manuf. 306 If competition advances‥as it has done for several years. 1879 Bain Higher Eng. Gram. 176 He speaks as well as you do.


b. In some (esp. late) instances do, did, is to be explained as an elliptical use of the periphrastic form: see 25.

1610 Shakes. Temp. ii. i. 195 It sildome visits sorrow, when it doth, it is a Comforter. 1816 J. Wilson City of Plague ii. iv, Spoke they not of a burial-place? They did. 1823 Byron Let. to Kinnaird 18 Jan., I will economise, and do. 1830 Fraser's Mag. I. 749, I think I said that before. Yes, I did.


c. With the construction of the verb which it represents, and thus often trans. (as in 6).

c1175 Lamb. Hom. 65 Vre gultes‥bon us forȝeuen Al swa we doþ alle men þet liuen. Ibid. 93 Nu luȝe þu na monnum, ac dudest gode. a1200 Moral Ode 304 And warnie his frend‥swo ich habbe ido mine. a1225 Ancr. R. 54 Ȝet ne seið hit nout þæt heo biheold wepmen; auh deð wummen. c1320 Song Husbandm. 57 in Pol. Songs (Camden) 152 He us honteth ase hound hare doth on hulle. c1340 Cursor M. 5672 (Trin.) Woltou me sle‥As þou didest þe egipcian not ȝore? c1394 P. Pl. Crede 357 Wouȝ halwen þei chirches And deleþ in devynitie as dogges doþ bones. 1526 Pilgr. Perf. (W. de W. 1521) 301 They did leade the bounden as they do theues. 1626 L. Owen Spec. Jesuit. (1629) 18 These diseases doe alwaies accompanie the Iesuites, as a dogge doeth a Butcher. 1766 Goldsm. Vic. W. i, I‥chose my wife, as she did her wedding-gown‥for such qualities as would wear well. 1880 L. Wallace Ben-Hur vi. iii. 144 Thank thou thy God‥as I do my many gods.


d. The following serve to connect the substitute use with senses 6 and 15.
(to do so = to act thus; to do it = to perform this act.)

a1000 Cædmon's Gen. 2586 (Gr.) Waldend usser emunde wærfæst þa Abraham arlice, swa he oft dyde. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Mark viii. 6 [He] sealde his leorning-cnihtum þæt hi toforan him asetton, hi swa dydon. c1297 R. Glouc. (1724) 377 Þat folc com‥And robbede & destrude, as hii were ywoned to done. c1380 Sir Ferumb. 932 Roland prikede is stede‥so dude scot Gwylmer, So dude Geffray and Aubrys. c1400 Mandeville (Roxb.) iii. 10 Þai sell benificez of haly kirk, and so duse men in oþer places. 1533 Bellenden Livy, Tak away that odius name‥and, gif you dois it plesandlie, thy cieteyanis sal, [etc.]. 1560 Becon New Catech. Wks. 94 If a man maim his neighbour as he hath done. 1615 Bedwell Moham. Imp. Aijb, If any man shall‥say, as the consistorie‥did by the Talmud, That it were better that such foolish fables‥were‥suppressed. 1678 Butler Hud, iii. iii. 244 For those that fly may fight again, Which he can never do that's slain. 1793 Beddoes Sea Scurvy 52 Thay may acquire this principle‥but we have no direct experience of their doing so. 1818 Cruise Digest (ed. 2) V. 561 Whoever wanted to surrender must‥do it in person. 1826 Disraeli Viv. Grey v. v, In passing through the bazaar one morning, which he seldom did.


*** As a Periphrastic Auxiliary of the present and past Indicative, and Imperative. (Formerly sometimes of the Infinitive.)
(For a detailed treatment of this, see ‘Das Umschreibende Do in der Neuenglischen Prosa’ by Hugo Dietze, Jena, 1895.)


As auxiliary of the Indicative (present and past).
Examples of this are found already in OE. (as in MDu., O. & MLG., mod.Ger. dialects). It is more frequent in ME., but became especially frequent after 1500, first as a simple periphrastic form without perceptible difference of sense, in which use it has in the s.w. dialects practically taken the place of the simple form of the verb (e.g. I dŭ zay for I say, he dŭ zim for he seems). But in standard English it is now regularly used only where, for the sake of emphasis, or of word position, it is advantageous to have the verb in two words, so that the auxiliary may receive the stress or be separated from the main verb, like the auxiliaries of the perfect and future tenses, to which the periphrastic present and past is exactly parallel in use. Thus Simple Affirmative after certain conjunctive adverbs: ‘So quietly did he come that‥’ (like ‘So quietly has he come’). Emphatic: ‘He did drink’, ‘and drink he did (like ‘I will go’, ‘and go I will’). Interrogative: ‘Do you hear?’ (like ‘Will you hear?’). Negative: ‘They do not speak’ (like ‘They will not speak,’ ‘They have not spoken’.)


25. In Affirmative sentences. a. Originally, simply periphrastic, and equivalent to the simple tense. Found in OE., frequent in ME., very frequent 1500–1700, dying out in normal prose in 18th c.; but still retained in s.w. dialects; also as an archaism in liturgical and legal use, and as a metrical resource in verse.

c893 K. Ælfred Oros. i. x. §5 Æftre ðæm hie dydon æþer e cyninga ricu settan e niwu ceastra timbredon. 1297 R. Glouc. (1724) 320 Þys lond‥ofte he dude bytraye. c1420 Chron. Vilod. 315 In hurre lyff, as we don rede. c1489 Caxton Blanchardyn xlvii. 180 She ded call after hym ryght pyteousli. 1526–34 Tindale John i. 45 Of whom Moses in the lawe and the prophetes dyd wryte. 1548–9 (Mar.) Bk. Com. Prayer Collect 1st Sund. Lent, O Lord, whiche for oure sake dyddeste faste fortye dayes and fourtie nightes. 1557 Bury Wills (Camden) 148 He do knowe the men that do owe me the sayd monie. 1615 Bedwell Moham. Imp. iii. §120, I do pity the case in which I do see they are. 1673 Ray Journ. Low C. Pref., Which doth sufficiently evince they were not of that Original. c1710 C. Fiennes Diary (1888) 192 He did design a new house. 1748 Chesterfield Lett. (1792) II. clvi. 56 Good-breeding, and good-nature, do incline us rather to help and raise people up. 1787 Winter Syst. Husb. 54 The vernal heat of the sun does also influence them. 1818 Cruise Digest (ed. 2) III. 22 This being no more than the law doth appoint. 1838 Longfellow Reaper & Fl. vi, The flowers she most did love.

βAlso employed as an auxiliary to itself as independent vb., or (formerly) in its substitute and causal uses.
a1400 Octouian 901 The kyng hym louede‥So dede al do that in Paris were. 14‥ Hoccleve in Anglia V. 30 Thogh thow no lenger do do by my reed. 1490 Caxton Eneydos Prol. 2 My lorde abbot‥ded do shewe to me late certayn euydences. c1500 Melusine xix. 103 A grete toure & bigge, whiche Julius Cesar dide doo make. 1667 Pepys Diary 29 July, He and the Duke of York do do what they can to get up an army.


b. Still used, instead of the simple tense form, in those constructions in which the ordinary order of pronoun and verb is inverted; the use of the periphrastic form allowing the main verb to retain its final position as in the perfect and future.

c888 K. Ælfred Boeth. vi, Swa doþ nu þa þeostro þinre edrefednesse wiþstandan minum leohtum larum. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 1518 An time dede ysaac flen. 1551 Robinson tr. More's Utop. (Arb.) 145 This lawe did kynge Utopus make. 1579 Lyly Euphues (Arb.) 45 Ah Euphues little dost thou know [etc.]. 1588 Shakes. L.L.L. i. i. 249 There did I see that low-spirited Swaine. 1598 Bacon Ess., Atheism (Arb.) 121 In vayne doth he striue. 1644 Milton Areop. (Arb.) 33 Thus did Dion‥counsell the Rhodians. 1692 Locke Educ. (1699) 205, I should not say this‥did I think that [etc.]. 1749 Fielding Tom Jones (Tauchn.) I. 216 Such vengeance did he mutter forth. 1766 Goldsm. Vic. W. xiv, Nor did she seem to be much displeased. 1849 Dickens Dav. Copp. (Tauchn.) I. 90 Not a single word did Peggotty speak. 1850 Hawthorne Scarlet L. 194 Never did mortal suffer what this man has suffered. Mod. How bitterly did I repent! Well do I remember the scene.


c. Now the normal Emphatic form of the present and past Indicative.
The stress is placed upon the auxiliary, as in the perfect and future tenses. There may be inversion of order as well.

1581 G. Pettie Guazzo's Civ. Conv. i. (1586) 27b, But these same‥doe manye times more offend‥than those who doe commit them [1738 Guazzo's Art. Conv. 52 Than those who actually commit them]. 1599 Shakes. Much Ado ii. iii. 204. 1601 —— Twel. N. iii. i. 32 V. Thou art a merry fellow and car'st for nothing. C. Not so, sir, I do care for something, but‥I do not care for you. 1683 Wycherley Co. Wife v. ii, H. Art thou sure I don't know her? P. I am sure you do know her. 1689 Sherlock Death ii. §1 (1731) 61 And yet die they all did. 1773 Goldsm. Stoops to Conq. ii, I do stir about a good deal, that's certain. 1826 Disraeli Viv. Grey ii. v, The floodgates of his speech burst, and talk he did. Ibid. iv. iv, Why, Mr. Grey, I do declare you are weeping. 1832 Tennyson Death Old Year iii, We did so laugh and cry with you. 1838 Dickens Nich. Nick. ix, But we do want him. 1863 Bright Sp. Amer. 26 Mar., But these concessions failed, as I believe concessions to evil always do fail. 1890 Illustr. Lond. News Xmas No. 2/1, I do wish you would let me sleep. Mod. Tell us what he did do.


d. In ME. the main verb was sometimes put in the same tense and person: cf. 30a. β.

c1205 Lay. 9385 Aras þer þe to-nome, swa doð a feole wise to-nome ariseð. 1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) I. 155 Thalestris‥did wroot to kyng Alexandre in þis manere. c1460 Towneley Myst. (Surtees) 15 Whi brend thi tend so shyre, Ther myne did bot smoked? 1483 Caxton G. de la Tour Dviij, He dyd made to rayne fourty dayes.


26. In Interrogative sentences.


The periphrastic form with do, did, is now the normal form. Its use allows the pronoun to be placed between the auxiliary and main verb, instead of coming after the latter: e.g. ‘Did he recognize her?’ instead of ‘Recognized he her?’
In monosyllabic verbs, the simple form may still be used; it is always used in be and usually in have, though very recently (esp. in U.S.) we find do you have? did you have?

c1386 Chaucer Monk's T. 442 Fader why do ye wepe? c1450 Cov. Myst. 196 Dude ȝe hym se? 1549 Latimer 3rd Serm. bef. Edw. VI (Arb.) 84 Did ye se any greate man? 1557 N.T. (Genev.) John xvi. 31 Now do you beleue? [1611 Do ye now believe?] 1610 Shakes. Temp. i. ii. 250 Do'st thou forget From what a torment I did free thee? 1738 Guazzo's Art Conv. 76 Do'st think I never saw a Crane before? 1773 Goldsm. Stoops to Conq. iii, What d'ye call it? 1852 Mrs. Stowe Uncle Tom's C. viii, ‘Why, Sam, what do you mean?’ said Mrs. Shelby, breathless.


27. In Negative sentences.


The periphrasis with do, did, is now the normal form with not. Its use allows the negative to come after the auxiliary, instead of following the principal verb: e.g. ‘We did not recognize him’ instead of ‘We recognized him not’.
The introduction of the periphrastic do not, did not, was connected with the obsolescence of the earlier usage which placed the negative particle first, ‘we ne sungen’.


The simple form is still retained with be, have (‘do’, ‘did not have’, is colloquial and recent, chiefly in U.S.), and is frequent with monosyllabic words as dare, need; with other verbs it is always possible, and not being the ordinary form has an impressive rhetorical effect.

c1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon xxii. 472 It is to late to repente me that I dyde not doo. c1489 —— Blanchardyn xli. 153 Whan ye dyde not knowe hym. 1564 Grindal Rem. (1843) 22, I do not doubt but that God revealed‥other parts. 1664 Evelyn Kal. Hort. (1729) 224 When it does not actually freeze. 1719 De Foe Crusoe ii. iii, They did not take their measures with them, as I did by my man Friday. 1776 Trial of Nundocomar 73/2 If you do not give a plain answer‥you will be committed. 1889 J. Fiske War of Independence 139 The popular histories do not have [= have not] much to say about these eighteen days. Mod. We do not know.


28. In Negative Interrogative sentences.


Now the normal form, as in 26 and 27.

1581 G. Pettie Guazzo's Civ. Conv. i. (1586) 11 Doe you not thinke that these men may be called wise? [1738 Guazzo's Art Conv. 19 Don't you think that these men may be called Wise?] 1638 Chillingw. Relig. Prot. i. iii. §4 Doe not they agree in those things? 1655 Stanley Hist. Philos. iii. (1701) 124/1 Did he not aim at your hurt? 1796 H. Hunter tr. St. Pierre's Stud. Nat. (1799) I. 387 Do we not see there‥talents distracted? 1841 Lane Arab. Nts. I. 83 Dost thou not believe that I was in it?


29. In colloquial speech do not (senses 27, 28), is usually contracted to don't (dəʊnt), does not to doesn't (vulgar don't from do not 3rd sing.: see A2c. γ), did not to didn't. The dialectal forms are numerous: Sc. dinna, disna, didna, north. Eng. dunno, dunnot.

1672 Wycherley Love in Wood ii. i, Don't you know me? 1687 Congreve Old Bach. i. iv, Faith, I don't know. 1706 Farquhar Recruit. Off. iv. iii, Don't the moon see all the world? 1713 Addison Cato ii. ii, You don't now thunder in the capitol. 1713 R. Nelson Life Bull 81 Why, said the Preacher, Solomon don't say so. 1731 Keller's Rules for Thorow Bass in Holder Harmony 168 Play common Chords on all Notes where the following Rules dont direct you otherwise. 1762 Gentl. Mag. 38 It don't regard the present war. 1775 Sheridan Rivals v. ii, Didn't you stop? 1818–60 Abp. Whately Commpl. Bk. (1864) 216, ‘I don't think so’‥is good English. But we should not say ‘he don't think so’, but he doesn't think so. 1939 Joyce Finnegans Wake 198 Didn't you spot her?


b. Colloq. phr. no, you don't: you will not be allowed to do what you intend; I shall prevent you from doing (something implied).

1884 Boy's Own Paper 4 Oct. 2/2 ‘No, you don't!’ muttered Soady, starting his melody. 1912 P. Nash Let. 21 Aug. in Bottomley & Nash Poet & Painter (1955) 48, I started a new outdoor drawing—but the devil or someone said ‘no you don't’, and at half hour intervals I was interrupted by heavy rain. 1926 B. A. McKelvie Huldowget ii. 27 ‘No, you don't,’ exclaimed Collishaw, and he caught the girl's arm and gently drew it aside. 1952 W. G. Hardy Unfulfilled 176 But then Barty started toward Pam, his face blazing, his fist up and Peter jumped forward. ‘No, you don't.’


30. As auxiliary of the Imperative. a. In the Imperative positive, adding force to entreaty, exhortation, or command (this usually with the pronoun inserted as ‘do you go at once!’); in early times, down to c1600, it was sometimes merely periphrastic.
The main verb is in OE. found both in the Infinitive (α) and the Imperative (β); the Imperative is usual in early ME.; in later use (γ) the forms are indistinguishable, but it is usually viewed as Infinitive, as in 25.

α c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) cxviii[i]. 25 Do me æfter þinum wordum wel ecwician [L. vivifica me].
β c1000 Ags. Gosp. John viii. 11 Do ga, and ne synya þu næfre ma. c1160 Hatton G. ibid., Dó ga [L. vade]. a1225 Juliana 39 Do swiðe sei me. a1225 Ancr. R. 398 Gif þi luue nis nout for to ȝiuen, auh wult allegate þet me bugge hire, do seie hu! a1300 Cursor M. 4893 Dos folus þam [F. do folow]. Ibid. 23159 Dos fles heþen, yee maledight! [Edin. do fles, Trin. do fleeþ]. c1340 Gaw. & Gr. Knt. 1533 Dos techez me of your wytte.
γ c1440 York Myst. xxxiii. 262 Do stiffeley steppe on þis stalle. 1582 Bentley Mon. Matrones iii. 342 Doo you let all men to vnderstand, that this is God. 1591 Spenser M. Hubberd 1331 Arise, and doo thy selfe redeeme from shame. 1606 Shakes. Tr. & Cr. v. ii. 105, I, come: O Ioue! doe, come! 1722 De Foe Col. Jack (1840) 31 Do you go. 1749 Fielding Tom Jones (Tauchn.) II. 15 Do tell me what I can have for supper. 1768–74 Tucker Lt. Nat. (1852) I. 442 None of your coaxing and cajoling, your ‘Pray Sirs’, and ‘Do Sirs’. 1813 Dickens Christmas Carol iii, Do go on, Fred. 1884 J. Middlemass Poisoned Arrows III. i. 7 ‘Do, do be calm’, said Camilla.


b. For emphasis, do is also added to the main Imperative.

1611 Shakes. Wint. T. v. iii. 144 Giue me the lie, do. 1775 Sheridan Duenna ii. iv, Get in, do. 1838 Dickens O. Twist lii, Let me say a prayer. Do! 1930 D. L. Sayers Strong Poison ix. 112 'Ev another crumpet, do, Mr. Bunter.


c. In do but ——, do was perhaps not originally auxiliary, but a main verb = ne do but, do nought but ——: cf. but conj. 6.

1604 Dekker Honest Wh. iv. i. Wks. (1888) 107 Do but think what sport it will be. 1638 Heywood Wise Wom. Hogsd. iv. iv. Wks. (1888) 311 Do but wait here. 1768 Goldsm. Good-n. Man v, Do but hear me. 1832 Carlyle in Fraser's Mag. V. 260 Do but open your eyes.


d. In the Imperative negative, do not, colloq. contracted don't (dəʊnt), is now the normal form. Colloq. phr. don't—— me: do not use the word —— or mention the name of—— to me.
(The simple forms, now archaic, may still be used impressively, as be not, say not, think not, withhold not.)

1590 Shakes. Mids. N. iii. ii. 306 Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. 1599 —— Much Ado iii. i. 87 O doe not doe your cosin such a wrong. 1672 Wycherley Love in Wood iii. ii, Don't speak so loud. 1687 Congreve Old Bach. ii. viii, Don't come always, like the devil, wrapped in flames. 1705 Vanburgh Mistake i. i, Hold, master, don't kill him yet. 1807 A. M. Porter Hungar. Bro. vi. (1832) 66 Do not you add to the idle race. 1829 [see dear v. 3]. 1840 Dickens Barn. Rudge 6 Don't you speak. 1870 Trollope Vicar of Bullhampton xli. 263 ‘But, Mrs. Brattle——’ ‘Don't Mrs. Brattle me, Mr. Fenwick, for I won't be so treated.’ 1892 C. M. Yonge Cross Roads x. 112 ‘Emmie!’ ‘Don't Emmie me!’ a1897 Mod. Mr. Punch's celebrated advice to those about to marry—‘Don't’.


31. As auxiliary of other parts of the verb. The 16th c. Scottish poets extended the periphrastic use to the infinitive and pples.: thus, to do incres = to increase, done discus = discussed, doand proclame = proclaiming. Traces of this occur elsewhere.

1508 Dunbar Lament for Makaris 49 He hes done petuously devour The noble Chaucer, of makaris flouir. a1520 —— Thistle & Rose 24 The lark hes done the mirry day proclame. 1513 Douglas Æneis xiii. x. 103 Onto his ceptre thou sall do succeid. 1556 Lauder Tractate 23 No geir sulde do the faltour bye. Ibid. 340 As I afore haue done discus. 1578 Scot. Poems 16th C. II. 189 And many other false abusion The Paip hes done invent. 1597 Regul. Manor Scawby Lincolnsh. (MS.), That the Carrgraues shall doe execute theire office truely.


b. done: used in U.S. dial. (chiefly Southern) as a perfective auxiliary or with adverbial force in the sense ‘already; completely’.

1827 A. Sherwood Gaz. Georgia 139 Done said it, for has said it. Done did it, for has performed, or done it. 1836 Spirit of Times (N.Y.) (1846) 22 (Th.), He had done gone three hours ago. Ibid. 94 I'd done got the licker, and I was satisfied. 1853 ‘P. Paxton’ Yankee in Texas 114 Of Alabama origin‥is that funny expression, ‘done gone’, ‘done done’, implying ‘entirely gone’, and ‘entirely done’. 1854 M. J. Holmes Tempest & Sunshine ii. 24 I've done let my best horse and nigger go off with a man from the free States. 1873 J. H. Beadle Undevel. West xix. 356 People have done forgot they had any Injun blood in 'em. 1887 Century Mag. Nov. 96/1 ‘You done had supper?’ she asked. 1917 H. T. Comstock Man thou Gavest 300, I done told Burke I—I was going to prove myself. 1938 M. K. Rawlings Yearling vii. 65 You couldn't see 'em. There ain't none left. They've done left here, jest like the Injuns. 1945 E. T. Wallace Barington 18, I don't know what you need with another boy. You done got four.


IV. Special uses of certain parts of the verb.


32. do, the imperative, was used absolutely, as a word of encouragement or incitement = Go on! go it! (Cf. L. age; also 30b.) Obs.

c1440 York Myst. xxviii. 297 Do, do, laye youre handes Belyue on þis lourdayne. 1590 Shakes. Mids. N. iii. ii. 237, I, doe, perseuer, counterfeit sad lookes. 1610 —— Temp. iv. 239 Doe, doe; we steale by lyne and leuell.


33. to do (formerly in north. dial. at do: see ado), the dative infinitive, is used predicatively after the verb to be, also attributively after a n. = Proper or necessary to be done, hence, †the thing to be done, necessary, needful (obs.). [= MDu. te doene, MLG. to dônde, to dôn, needful.] what's to do? what is the matter? †to have somewhat to do: to have something the matter with one (obs.).

c1290 Beket 476 in S. Eng. Leg. I. 120 ‘We schullen do’ seint Thomas seide ‘al þat is to done.’ c1340 Cursor M. 1651 (Trin.) Wreche to take hit is to done [= It is necessary to take vengeance]. c1420 Pallad. on Husb. i. 11 What is to rere or doon in everything. 1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. ccxlii. 357 If it were to do agayn. a1533 —— Huon cxxxix. 521, I can not beleue but that my wyfe hath sumwhat to do. 1603 Shakes. Meas. for M. i. ii. 114 What's to doe heere, Thomas Tapster? let's withdrawe. 1605 —— Macb. v. vii. 28 And little is to do. 17081774 The devil and all to do [see devil n. 22g].


b. Hence it has passed into a subst. phr. = ado, work, business, bustle, fuss.

1570–6 Lambarde Peramb. Kent (1826) 211 The husband (with much to doe) consented to the condition. 1675 Evelyn Mem. (1857) II. 103 What a to-do is here! 1782 Priestley Corrupt. Chr. III. ii. 141 There was much to do about‥readmission. 1830 Galt Laurie T. iv. v. (1849) 159 In the midst of the bustle and to-do. 1882 Stevenson Stud. Men & Bks. 224 Many a to-do with blustering Captains.


c. to have to do, to have something to do, to have business, or concern. what has he to do? what business has he…? arch. and dial.

?a1500 Sir Penny in Ritson Anc. Songs & B. (1877) 116 If I have to don fer or ner And Peny be myn massangar. 1530 Palsgr. 596/2 If I kembe my heed tyll to morowe what have you to do? 1570–6 Lambarde Peramb. Kent (1526) p. xii, All these Nations have had to doe within this our Countrie. 1603 Holland Plutarch's Mor. 135 Neither any man hath to doe, to forbid and warne them. 1611 Bible Ps. l. 16 What hast thou to doe, to declare my Statutes? 1748 Richardson Clarissa (1811) I. 187 What has he to do to controul you?


d. to have to do with (in ME. also to do of, at do with): to have dealings or business with; to have connexion or intercourse (of any kind) with; to have relation to.

c1175 Lamb. Hom. 77 Na mon‥mid me flesliche nefde to done. c1205 Lay. 19056 The king hire wende to, & hæfde him to done wið leofuest wimmone. a1300 Cursor M. 14974 (Cott.) Þe lauerd has Wit þam for to do. Ibid. 16487 (Gött.) Han we noght þar-of to do. c1460 Towneley Myst. (Surtees) 76, I had never with the to do, How shuld it [that chyld] then be myne? 1555 Eden Decades 34 He wolde not haue to doo with suche myscheuous men. 1630 Wadsworth Sp. Pilgr. viii. 90, I neuer had any thing to doe with the said Duke. 1711 Steele Spect. No. 33 ⁋1 Insolent towards all who have to do with her. 1830 Fraser's Mag. I. 203 It has nothing to do with the purpose. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) V. 34 All law has to do with pleasure and pain.


34. doing, the pres. pple., is used in the sense ‘in action, at work, actively engaged, busy’.

1375, 1535 [see 16]. 1838 Longfellow Psalm of Life ix, Let us then be up and doing.


b. to be doing with: to be engaged with, at work with, engaged in active hostilities with. Obs.

1601 Holland Pliny I. 106 As if he would now and then be doing with the seas. 1608 Golding Epit. Frossard ii. 127 The truce‥being expired, the French King had a meruailous desire to bee doing with the King of England. 1724 De Foe Mem. Cavalier (1840) 268 Our general would fain have been doing with him again.


c. to be doing [in which an early passive use of the present pple. (cf. northern doand, a 1300, and mod.Sc.) seems to have blended with a-doing, i.e. the verbal n. governed by the prep. a = on, in] is used with a passive signification (= the passive of senses 6–12), for which in more recent use the passive form being done is often substituted. nothing doing: lit. nothing being done, or transacted; no business on foot; hence (slang or colloq.) an announcement of refusal of a request or offer, failure in an attempt, etc.

a1300 Cursor M. 26812 (Cott.) Þat þere er dedis doand neu, Þat þai agh sare wit resun reu. 1526 Tindale Col. iv. 9 All thynges which are adoynge here. a1592 H. Smith Wks. (1867) II, Sin, which is here expressed (while it is a-doing) to be, not bitter, but sweet. 1666 Pepys Diary 22 Aug., My closett is doing by upholsters. a1715 Burnet Own Time (1766) I. 152 While these things were doing. 1749 Lady M. W. Montagu Let. to C'tess Bute 7 May, What is doing among my acquaintance at London. 1827 De Quincey in Blackw. Mag. Feb. 211/2 Complaining ‘that there was nothing doing’. 1858 Leisure Hour 25 Mar. 186/2 There's nothing doing now. 1870 Porcupine 26 Mar. 503/3 A friend of mine hailed an outfitter the other day, ‘How is business?’ ‘Nothing doing.’ 1910 N.Y. Even. Post 13 Dec. 7 Spottford offered the porter a dime. The negro waved it aside and said: ‘Nothing doing; my price is a quarter at least.’ 1915 ‘I. Hay’ First Hundred Thou. xx. 302 ‘Na pooh!’‥also means, ‘Not likely!’ or ‘Nothing doing!’ 1928 Boston Even. Transcript 30 Mar. 15/7, I looked in the dictionaries. ‘Nothing doing!’ 1930 W. S. Maugham Gent. in Parlour x. 46 Then my girl asked me to marry her.‥ I told her there was nothing doing. 1937 —— Theatre xii. 107 He can hardly expect me to ask him to come and sleep in here.‥ Nothing doing, my lad. 1947 People 22 June 1/1 It was suggested that she should come incognito. Nothing doing.


35. done, the pa. pple., is used esp. in the sense ‘accomplished, finished, brought to an end’: see 8. Hence a. in dating an official document.

1833 Fraser's Mag. VII. 49 ‘Done at Battle, in the County of Sussex’; signed as our ambassador at Paris would sign a treaty of peace.


b. as the word for the acceptance of an offer, esp. of a wager.

1596 Shakes. Tam. Shr. v. ii. 74 A match; 'tis done. 1610 —— Temp. ii. i. 32 Done: The wager? 1719 D'Urfey Pills II. 54 Gad Dam-me cries Bully, 'tis done. 1771 P. Parsons Newmarket II. 149 ‘Squib against Janus, ten guineas to eight.’ ‘Done, sir, done.’ 1833 Fraser's Mag. VIII. 614 ‘I'll lay you five guineas I have.’ ‘Done!’ 1844 Dickens Mart. Chuz. xxvii, ‘Dine with me to-morrow’‥‘I will’, said Jonas. ‘Done!’ cried Montague.


V. With prepositions in specialized senses.


36. do after ——. To act in obedience to or compliance with: see after prep. 12. Obs.

1388 [see after prep. 12]. a1450 Knt. de la Tour (1868) 21. Y tolde her‥but she wolde not do after me.


37. do by ——. To act towards or in respect of; to deal with: see by prep., 26. (With indirect passive.)

c1175 Lamb. Hom. 51 Þenne do we bi ure sunne al swa me deað bi þe deade. 1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) V. 213 If a man‥doþ wel by hym as þey he were his own childe. 1408 E.E. Wills (1882) 15 That he do be me, as he wolde y dede by hym. 1667 Pepys Diary (1879) IV. 317 My Lord Arlington hath done‥like a gentleman by him. 1865 Kingsley Herew. ix, To do as he would be done by.


38. do for ——. (With indirect passive; esp. in b.) a. To act for or in behalf of; to manage or provide for; to attend to. Now colloq.

1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. ccccxiii. 723 God dyde for them‥to abate the pride of the flemynges. 1526 Tindale Luke vi. 33 Yf ye do for them which do for you what thanke are ye worthy of? 1658 T. Wall Charac. Enemies Ch. (1659) 2 When God does for man, he expects that man should do for God. 1712 Steele Spect. No. 426 ⁋3 Men who would do immoderately for their own offspring. 1844 J. T. J. Hewlett Parsons & W. xliii, The slip-shod maid who ‘did’ for the lodgers. 1914 B. Stoker Dracula's Guest 21 He‥got‥the name of an old woman who would probably undertake to ‘do’ for him. 1936 A. Christie Cards on Table xiv. 136 The superintendent's researches‥led him‥to Mrs. Astwell—who ‘did’ for the ladies at Wendon Cottage.


b. To ruin, damage, or injure fatally, destroy, wear out entirely. colloq. Now freq. in pass. Also done-for adj.

1740 Sessions' Paper 9 July 190/2 D–mn you, I'll do for you. 1752 Fielding Amelia vi. iv. (Farmer) He said he would do for him‥and other wicked, bad words. 1803 Nelson 28 Dec. in Nicolas Disp. (1845) V. 334 The Kent is almost done for, and she is going to Malta. 1811 Jane Austen Sense & Sens. xli. (Farmer) He has done for himself completely! shut himself out for ever from all decent society. a1817 Jane Austen Persuasion (1818) xi. 279 Give Anne your arm.‥ She is rather done for this morning. 1847 J. S. Robb Squatter Life 128 They found Sam holding the straw figure in his arms, and looking in a state of stupor at the horse; he thought his master was ‘done for’. 1876 C. D. Warner Wint. Nile i. 18 The railway up the Nile had practically ‘done for’ that historic stream. 1950 J. Cannan Murder Included i. 12 These doomed and done-for ladies and gentlemen.


39. do to ——, unto ——. a. To act or behave to; to treat. (With indirect passive.)

14‥ Tundale's Vis. 1704 Pore pylgrymis‥Too whom of hys charyte he dyd. 1549 Bk. Com. Prayer, Catechism, To do to all men as I would they should do to me. 1748 G. White Serm. (MS.) We should‥do as we have been done unto.


b. Colloq. phr. to do something (or things) for or to: to improve; to render more pleasing or attractive.

1942 D. Powell Time to be Born (1943) ii. 43 The bathing-suit would have to be‥very carefully cut indeed to ‘do things for her’. 1960 Daily Express 21 Jan. 1/3 A beret always seems to do something to generals. 1961 Sunday Express 12 Nov. 18/7 Here it is—a suit that does things for a woman. 1961 Guardian 13 Dec. 6/6 A coffee flavoured liqueur‥really does something to the ice-cream.


40. do with ——. a. To deal with, meddle with, have to do with. (Cf. 33d.)

a1300 Cursor M. 26833 (Cott.) Namli wit fals scrift doand. 1470–85 Malory Arthur iii. v, I maye not doo therwith said the kynge. 1607 Tourneur Rev. Trag. i. i. Wks. 1878 II. 5 And thou his Dutchesse that will doe with Diuill. a1897 Mod. She has grown old and difficult to do with.


b. To get on with, put up with, manage with. (With indirect passive.)

1815 Jane Austen Emma (1866) 207 A mind lively and at ease can do with seeing nothing. 1842 Penny Cycl. XXII. 128/2 Persons in middle life can do with less sleep than children or very old persons. 1891 Law Times XC. 443/1 We‥could well do with a little leaven of the Nisi Prius leader. a1897 Mod. He does with very few books. I think ten as many as can well be done with. I am busy, I cannot do with you here.


c. I (you, etc.) could do with: I could make use of or profit from; I should be glad to have; I need. colloq.

1783 R. Benson Let. 3 Nov. in T. W. Thompson Wordsworth's Hawkshead (1970) 335, I cd. also do with some Apples. 1859 Geo. Eliot A. Bede II. xxv. 197 Well, I could do wi't, if so be ye want to get rid on't. 1936 J. B. Priestley They walk in City vi. 140 Ah'll pay up, ay, an' Ah'll give it to t'lad. He could do wi' it. Ibid. xii. 376, I could do with a cup of tea and a smoke. 1941 Punch 18 June 584/2 ‘If ever there was a man who could do with a little assistance—.’ ‘Just independent perhaps.’ 1955 M. Gilbert Sky High xiv. 205 You look as if you could do with a wash and brush up.


41. do without ——. To do one's business or get on without; to dispense with. (With ind. pass.)

1713 Addison Cato ii. vi, Come 'tis no matter, we shall do without him. 1849 Ruskin Sev. Lamps vii. §5. 189 But there are some things which‥all the real talent and resolution in England, will never enable us to do without. 1884 W. C. Smith Kildrostan i. ii. 238, I daresay‥you did without a frock, Until those debts were paid. Mod. Among things that must be done without.


VI. With adverbs: forming the equivalents of compound verbs in other languages: e.g. do about, L. circumdăre; do off, L. exuĕre. (Chiefly trans. with pass.)


42. do about. To surround, enclose. ? Obs.

1657 R. Ligon Barbadoes (1673) 89 A little platform‥done about with a double rayle.


43. do abroad. To diffuse, promulgate, publish.

c1290 Beket 1764 in S. Eng. Leg. I. 157 To don þe sentence al a-brod.


44. do away.a. trans. To put away, dismiss, remove. Obs.

c1205 Lay. 3387 Do we awai þane twenti, a tene beoð inohȝe. a1300 Cursor M. 3028 (Cott.) Yon bastard Do him a-wai. c1400 Mandeville (1839) xxii. 235 He byddethe hem to don here hond a wey. 1486 Bk. St. Albans Cijb, Cast it out and doo away the bonis. 1596 Spenser F.Q. vi. xi. 29 Doe feare away, and tell.


b. To put an end to, abolish, destroy, undo.

c1230 Hali Meid. 11 Do þu hit eanes awei, ne schal tu neauer nan oðer‥acoueren. a1340 Hampole Psalter Prol., It dos away & distroys noy and angire of saule. c1440 Promp. Parv. 126/1 Doon a-wey‥deleo. 1450–1530 Myrr. our Ladye 294 Thou that doest away the synnes of the worlde. 1480 Caxton Descr. Brit. 8 Kynadius kyng of scotland dyde away the pictes. 1552 Huloet, Do awaye or vndo, abrogo. 1631 Gouge God's Arrows ii. §25. 168 Sundry and ancient demaines of husbandmen were in a manner quite done away. 1794 Southey Wat Tyler ii. iii, Your grievances shall all be done away. 1804 Med. Jrnl. XII. 47 To do away every jealousy. 1855 Prescott Philip II, I. ii. vii. 214 Necessary to do away this impression.


c. intr. do away with: a later substitute for prec. (With indirect passive.)

1789 Romilly in Bentham's Wks. X. 225 Doing away with‥the amenability to law. 1832 Fraser's Mag. V. 149 This does away with much of the disgustfulness. 1891 Law Times XCI. 204/2 The Act of Parliament which does away with the distinctions. Mod. A practice which has since been done away with.


d. do away! (Imperative): see do way, 53.


45. do down. a. To put down; to take down; to lower; to subdue; to depose. Obs.

c1330 R. Brunne Chron. (1810) 90 To wend with Sir Dunkan, & do Dufnald doune. c1340 Cursor M. 19167 (Fairf.) Euer wiþ conquest ȝe do vs doun. 1382 Wyclif Gen. xxxviii. 19 The abite doon doun that she toke. —— Mark xv. 36 Se we if Hely come for to do hym down. c1430 Freemasonry 603 Furst thou most do down thy hode. 1587 Turberv. Trag. T. (1837) 221 And do their wrathfull weapons down.


b. To overcome, master, get the better of, bring to grief; to ‘do’ (sense 11f). colloq.

1911 H. S. Walpole Mr. Perrin & Mr. Traill viii. 154 He saw nothing but a spiteful and malignant world trying, as he phrased it, to ‘do him down’. 1922 D. H. Lawrence England, my England 257 Poor Fanny! She was such a lady, and so straight and magnificent. And yet everything seemed to do her down. 1923 Daily Mail 12 Mar. 6 Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen‥said they had been done down by what had been rightly called an act of treachery. 1936 L. A. G. Strong Last Enemy 13 To get your rights from Fosdyke was to cheat him, since he had never meant you to have them.‥ It was a real injury to stop him from doing you down. 1958 Economist 29 Nov. 784/1 School for them is the great game of doing down, or being done down by, the teacher.


46. do in. To put in. Obs.

a1300 Cursor M. 11411 (Cott.) Ilk yere quen þair corns war in-don [G. in done]. a1375 Joseph Arim. 40 Make a luytel whucche Forte do in þat ilke blod.


b. To spend completely (cf. sense 11o). slang (chiefly Austral. and N.Z.).

1889 Referee 19 May 2/1 A young fellow‥rushes to ‘do in’ every spare fiver or tenner that comes into his possession. 1909 T. H. Thompson Ballads about Business 27 I'd‥never make for home again until I'd ‘done it in’. 1930 V. Palmer in Bulletin (Sydney) 19 Feb. 51/1 Now he's done his money in.


c. To bring disaster upon, do a great injury to, ruin; often, to murder, kill. slang.

1905 Daily Chron. 22 May 6/3, I heard people tell her to do me an injury, throw glasses at me, and ‘do me in’. 1906 Ibid. 11 Dec. 4/4 It seems funny that the first blooming order I got in Enfield I should be done in. 1914 G. B. Shaw Pygmalion 111 in Nash's Mag. Dec. 308 My aunt died of influenza: so they said.‥ But it's my belief they done the old woman in. 1918 W. J. Locke Rough Road vi, If you engage a second-rate man‥who isn't used to this make of car, he'll do it in for you pretty quick. 1919 J. B. Morton Barber of Putney xiv. 235 ‘Yes,’ said Graves. ‘That's what did my nerves in. Still sleep bad.’ 1928 Galsworthy Swan Song i. ix. 66 That house had ‘done in’ her father. 1963 Listener 4 Apr. 585/2 These were professional killers who ‘did in’ John Regan.


d. To exhaust, wear out; freq. done in, exhausted. colloq.

1917 S. McKenna Sonia v. 245 Loring mopped his forehead. ‘I feel absolutely done in,’ he murmured. 1955 E. Hillary High Adventure 143 For the first time I really feel a bit done in.


47. do off. a. To put off, take off, remove (what is on); to doff. arch.

Beowulf 1346 (Th.) He him of dyde isern-byrnan. c1000 Sax. Leechd. II. 86 Do þonne of þa rinda. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2781 Moyses, moyses, do of ðin s[h]on. c1340 Cursor M. 20211 (Trin.) Of dud she hir cloþes. c1430 Pilgr. Lyf. Manhode i. cxxxvi. (1869) 71 Dauid dide of the armure. a1533 Ld. Berners Huon x. 27 Huon‥dyd of his brothers gowne. 1554 Interlude Youth in Hazl. Dodsley II. 19 Every poor fellow‥Will do off his cap, and make you courtesy. 1606 Holland Sueton. 156 As wee use to veile bonet or do of our hats. 1870 Morris Earthly Par. I. i. 313 He did off all his rich array.


b. To sketch off, hit off. rare.

1879 Shairp Burns viii. 195 In this‥poem you have the whole toiling life of a ploughman and his horse, done off in two or three touches.


48. do on. To put on; to don. arch.

c1000 Sax. Leechd. II. 32 Haran eallan do wearmne on. c1205 Lay. 1701 Brutus hehte his beornes don on heora burnan. a1300 Cursor M. 20214 (Cott.) A new smock scho did hir on [v.r. on she dude]. c1460 Urbanitatis 12 in Babees Bk. (1868) 13 Holde of þy cappe‥Tylle þou be byden hit on to do. 1535 Coverdale Song Sol. v. 3, I haue put off my cote, how can I do it on agayne? 1582 N. T. (Rhem.) Rom. xiii. 14 Doe ye on our Lord Jesus Christ. 1606 Holland Sueton 185 He did the diademe on. 1828 Scott F.M. Perth xxix, ‘I did on my harness,’ said Simon.


49. do out.a. To put out, expel, extirpate, remove. Obs.

c1250 Gen. & Ex. 3012 Ðis fleȝes fliȝt vt is don. c1440 Gesta Rom. xi. 35 (Harl. MS.) His yen were don out.


b. To put out (a light), extinguish, dout.

c1440 Promp. Parv. 126/2 Doon owte, or qwenchyn (liȝth),‥extinguo. c1450 St. Cuthbert (Surtees) 1856 Þe fire with water oute to do. 1572 R. H. tr. Lavaterus' Ghostes (1596) 44 Having the candles done out. a1652 Brome Novella i. ii. Wks. 1873 I. 111 Doe out the uselesse taper.


c. To clean out, sweep out.

1728 Vanbr. & Cib. Prov. Husb. ii. i. 37 Are all the Rooms done out? 1881 A. B. Evans Leicestersh. Words 139 Ye're ollus a-doin' out the house of a Saturday! a1897 Mod. The woman who does out his office. 1910 A. Bennett Clayhanger iii. i. 326 Once a week‥his room was ‘done out’. 1955 J. Cannan Long Shadows iii. 44 'E's not arriving till‥this afternoon but I did the room out yesterday.


d. to do out of: to put or take away out of.

a1225 Juliana 30 Þohte þat he walde anan don hire ut of dahene. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 381 He ben don ut of paradis. c1400 Mandeville (Roxb.) Pref. 2 To do it oute of straunge men handes. 1496 Dives & Paup. (W. de W.) Introd. ii. 22/1 I do the out of doubte. 1660 Bond Scut. Reg. 39 They have undone themselves by doing thee out of thy Kingdom.


e. to do (any one) out of: to deprive or dispossess of; now esp. to deprive of by sharp practice or fraud.

1825 T. Creevey Creevey Papers (1963) xii. 209 Mrs. Taylor and I having done Mylord and Mylady out of £3. apiece at Ecarté. 1831 Disraeli Yng. Duke iv. vi, Who boasted of having done his brothers out of their‥£5000. 1840 R. Barham in Bentley's Misc. Mar. 269 Rubuked 'em For unhandsomely doing him out of his Dukedom. 1929 H. S. Walpole Hans Frost ii. i. 118 Your aunt's so unselfish, she'd do herself out of anything.


50. do over. a. To overlay, overspread, cover, coat.

1611 Cotgr., Ardiller‥to dawbe, or do eouer, with clay. 1703 Moxon Mech. Exerc. 243 [It] is done over with Linseed Oil. 1725 Bradley Fam. Dict. s.v. Tapestries, Rub out the Chalk with which you have done it all over. 1870 Morris Earthly Par. III. iv. 6 A mighty club with bands of steel done o'er.


b. To cheat, swindle, get the better of. slang.

1781 G. Parker View of Society II. 43 And now, Hostler, can't you tell me how you have done 'em over? 1789 —— Life's Painter v. 44 His huntsman was his prime-minister‥who could, at any time, do him over, as they phrased it, for half-a-crown or half-a-guinea. 1930 ‘A. Armstrong’ Taxi xii. 164 ‘Pinching (or knocking) a job off the rank’, means cruising near a rank head and snapping up a fare who would otherwise have taken a cab from the standing. To ‘do the rank over’ has the same meaning. 1939 H. Hodge Cab, Sir? xv. 219 ‘Doing a man over’, or ‘doing the rank over’, is‥‘wrongfully‥taking away the fare from any other driver who‥appears to be fairly entitled to it’.


c. To disable, wear out, tire out. colloq.

1789 W. Dunlap Darby's Return 13 For while we were watching, like sportsmen for plover, The linen took fire—and did us all over. Ibid. 14 We sneak'd into town;—very fairly done over. 1837 Dickens Pickw. xxxviii. 417 He's in a horrid state o' love; reg'larly comfoozled, and done over vith it. 1853 ‘P. Paxton’ Yankee in Texas 96 [The dogs] were completely done over and used up.


d. To handle (a person) roughly. Austral. and N.Z. slang.

1866 Maungatapu Murders 17 Since we are going to do these people [sc. their murder/robbery victims] over‥I think we had better prevent him from doing us any harm. 1953 A. Upfield Murder must Wait ix. 81 ‘Done over properly, wasn't he?’ ‘From appearances, yes. Mitford must be a rough place.’


e. To copulate with; to seduce. slang.

1873 Hotten Slang Dict. 145 Done over‥also means among low people seduced. 1961 R. Amato in C. K. Stead N.Z. Short Stories (1966) 233 All the sailors‥want to marry the girl they've done over. 1961 John o' London's 3 Aug. 163/2 A truly Moravian rape-scene in a ruined church, with Cesira and Rosetta both done over by a screeching pack of Moroccan goums.


f. To decorate, refurbish; = make over (make v.1 92d).

1905 E. Wharton House of Mirth i. i. 10 It must be pure bliss to arrange the furniture just as one likes.‥ If I could only do over my aunt's drawing-room I know I should be a better woman. 1908 Smart Set Sept. 84/1 If only somebody would ‘do over’ Browning into English. 1941 J. P. Marquand H. M. Pulham xxxiv. 386 We ought to keep this as the spare room and do the nursery over.


51. do to.a. To put to, add, apply. Obs.

c1000 Sax. Leechd. II. 28 Do huni to and baldsamum. c1380 Wyclif Sel. Wks. III. 70 Þis vers had Cristen men doon to. c1420 Pallad. iii. 926 Askes and shalkes do to.


b. To put to, shut (a door, a book). Obs.

1562 Great Curse in Becon Reliq. Rome (1563) 254b, Do to the boke. Quenche the candle. Ring the Bell.


52. do up.a. To put up; to raise; to open. refl. To get up, arise. Obs.

c1205 Lay. 1704 Vp heo duden heora castles ȝaten. Ibid. 5714 Doð vp an waritreo þer on heo scullen winden. c1305 Land Cokaygne 160 in E.E.P. (1862) 160 Hi doth ham up, and forth hi fleeth. c1386 Chaucer Miller's T. 615 Vp the wyndowe dide he hastily.


b. To repair, restore, put into proper order.

1666 Wood Life (Oxf. Hist. Soc.) II. 79 To my taylor for dying and doing up my puff suit. 1766 Goldsm. Vic. W. xi, They can do up small clothes. 1829 P. Hawker Diary (1893) II. 4 [I] found the gun‥newly done up. 1884 Besant Ch. Gibeon i. x, But who is to do up your room every day?


c. To put up, fasten up (a parcel), wrap up. Also, to dress up. colloq.

1806–7 J. Beresford Miseries Hum. Life (1826) xii. i, Labouring in vain to do up a parcel, with‥weak, bursting paper. 1882 Century Mag. XXIV. 842/2 The peasants are bundles done up in fur caps. 1897 M. Kingsley Trav. W. Afr. 21 Here and there in the street you come across a black man done up in a tweed suit, or in a black coat and tall hat. 1946 R. Lehmann Gipsy's Baby 10 The younger ones could not be said to be dressed, in the accepted sense. They were done up in bits of cloth, baize or blanket.


d. To disable, wear out, tire out. (Chiefly in pa. pple.) colloq.

1803 Nelson 27 Dec. in Nicolas Disp. (1845) V. 332 The Kent being done up. 1812 Sporting Mag. XXXIX. 55 Horses and riders were completely done up. 1831 J. Porter Sir E. Seaward's Narr. I. 119 We were often languid, what I called ‘done up’.


e. To ruin financially; to ‘smash up’. Also, to ruin other than financially; to get the better of; to settle or finish; to beat up. colloq.

1785 Grose Dict. Vulgar T., Done up, ruined by gaming, and extravagances, (modern term). 1801 Sporting Mag. XVIII. 100 Done up‥Ruined by gaming. 1833 Fraser's Mag. VIII. 113 They have reformed them [the West Indies] so totally, that they are done up. 1835 Coleridge Table-t. I. 5 It is not easy to put me out of countenance,‥yet once I was thoroughly done up, as you would say. a1846 B. R. Haydon Autobiogr. (1927) iii. xvi. 317 Lord Elgin saw Knight was done up, and done up was the whole clique. a1849 M. Edgeworth Stories Irel. i, There was a pleasure in doing up a debtor which none but a creditor could know. 1854 A. E. Baker Gloss. Northants Words I. 192 Done-up, ruined in circumstances. ‘They can't go on much longer, they're quite done up.’ 1887 Lantern (New Orleans) 30 Apr. 2/2 The idea of this gang jumping on J. C. Matthews and doing him up. 1894 Harper's Mag. LXXXIX. 389/1 They lame Bob Griffiths fer life. And then they do up Buck. Shoot a hole through his spine. 1904 W. H. Smith Promoters ii. 54 The thing to do is to do up your competitor. 1906 ‘O. Henry’ Four Million 121 I have many times told you those Dagoes would do you up. 1962 ‘R. Simons’ Killing Chase vi. 77 Some of the boys did me up last night.


53. do way (in Imperative). Obs. a. trans. To put away; to leave off, abandon, have done with.

a1300 Cursor M. 13049 (Cott.) Do wai fra þe yon wicked womman. a1325 Prose Psalter I[i]. 2 Do way my wickednes. a1541 Wyatt Poet. Wks. (1861) 4 Arise for shame, do way your sluggardy. 1578 Scot. Poems 16th C. II. 163 Idolatrie do way, do way.


b. absol. or intr. To leave off, let alone, cease.

a1300 Cursor M. 3667 (Cott.) ‘Do wai, leue son,’ rebecca said, ‘þat malison on me be laid.’ c1340 Ibid. 5976 (Trin.) Do wey þei seide hit is not so. c1475 Rauf Coilȝear 436 ‘Do way’, said Schir Rolland, ‘me think thow art not wise.’ 1514 Barclay Cyt. & Uplondyshm. (Percy Soc.) p. xi, Do way, Coridon, for Gods love let be.


54. do withal. intr. To do to the contrary; to withstand; to help it. (In negative and interrog. sentences.) Obs.

1470–85 Malory Arthur x. xxii, It was his owne desyre‥and therfore I myghte not doo with alle for I haue done alle that I can and made them at accord. c1570 Pride & Lowl., It was agreed The craftes man could not do there withall. 1596 Munday tr. Silvayns Orator 269 But what can a woman doe withall, if men doe love her? 1611 Chapman May-day Aiv, It is my infirmity, and I cannot doe withall, to die for 't.


55. Comb. in attrib. phr. as do-as-you-please, do-it-yourself.

1923 D. H. Lawrence Kangaroo ii. 24 The sense of do-as-you-please liberty. 1963 Listener 10 Jan. 73/2 The opportunities for enjoying the kind of do-as-you-please holiday that more and more Russians‥now take for granted every year.