dozen c.1300, from O.Fr. dozaine "a dozen," from doze (12c.) "twelve," from L. duodecim "twelve," from duo "two" + decem "ten" (see TEN (Cf. ten)). The O.Fr. fem. suffix -aine is characteristically added to cardinals to form collectives in a precise sense ("exactly 12," not "about 12"). The dozens "invective contest" (1928) originated in slave culture, the custom probably African, the word probably from BULLDOZE (Cf. bulldoze) (q.v.) in its original sense of "a whipping, a thrashing."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dozen — Doz en (d[u^]z n), n.; pl. {Dozen} (before another noun), {Dozens} (d[u^]z nz). [OE. doseine, dosein, OF. doseine, F. douzaine, fr. douze twelve, fr. L. duodecim; duo two + decem ten. See {Two}, {Ten}, and cf. {Duodecimal}.] 1. A collection of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dozen — doz‧en [ˈdʌzn] written abbreviation doz. noun dozens PLURALFORM or dozen [countable] a group of twelve things: • More than a dozen managers have come …   Financial and business terms

  • dozen — is a collective noun used in two ways, (1) as dozen, preceded by a numeral, meaning a unit of twelve (two dozen eggs), and (2) as dozens, in informal use, meaning ‘very many’ (We made dozens of mistakes) …   Modern English usage

  • dozen — ► NOUN (pl. same) ▪ a group or set of twelve. ● talk nineteen to the dozen Cf. ↑talk nineteen to the dozen DERIVATIVES dozenth adjective. ORIGIN Old French dozeine, from Latin duodecim twelve …   English terms dictionary

  • dozen — [duz′ən] n. pl. dozens or, esp. after a number, dozen [ME dozeine < OFr dozaine < douze, twelve < L duodecim, twelve < duo, TWO + decem, TEN] 1. a set of twelve: see also BAKER S DOZEN 2. [often pl.] a large number ☆ the do …   English World dictionary

  • Dozen — (engl., spr. dösn), das Dutzend, als Zählgröße bei Stückgütern = 12, das long D. = 13 …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dozen — Doz redirects here. For the Afro Asiatic language, see DOZ. Dozens redirects here. For other uses, see Dozens (disambiguation). Group of twelve redirects here. For other uses, see Group of Twelve (disambiguation). A dozen (common abbreviated doz… …   Wikipedia

  • dozen — 01. He bought about a [dozen] CDs yesterday during the one day sale. 02. Can you pick up a [dozen] eggs at the grocery store on the way home? 03. I picked up half a [dozen] bagels and some cream cheese to take on the picnic. 04. There were about… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • dozen — doz|en W3S2 [ˈdʌzən] number plural dozen or dozens written abbreviation doz. [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: dozeine, from doze twelve ] 1.) twelve ▪ a dozen eggs …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • dozen — [[t]dʌ̱z(ə)n[/t]] ♦♦ dozens (The plural form is dozen after a number, or after a word or expression referring to a number, such as several or a few .) 1) NUM: usu a/num NUM If you have a dozen things, you have twelve of them. ...a dozen eggs...… …   English dictionary

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