Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “do”

do

auxiliary verb  /du/ (present tense does  /dʌz, dəz/, past tense did  /dɪd/) us  

do auxiliary verb (FOR QUESTIONS/NEGATIVES)

(past participle done  /dʌn/) used with another verb to form questions and negative sentences: Where do you work? Why don’t we have lunch together on Friday? "Didn’t you know Sophie was coming?" "Of course I did." Don’t talk about that. Note: The negative contractions are doesn’t, didn’t, and don’t.

do auxiliary verb (FOR EMPHASIS)

used to give extra force to the main verb: Do be careful. I did say she was a liar, but I was wrong. "Can I buy stamps here?" "Well, we do sell them, but we’re out of them right now."

do auxiliary verb (TO AVOID REPEATING)

(past participle done  /dʌn/) used to avoid repeating a verb or verb phrase: "I don’t like either candidate." "Neither do I." He said he’d leave the car in the garage, but he didn’t. "May I join you?" "Please do!" "Did you leave the door open?" "Yes, I did." (past participle done  /dʌn/) Do can also replace the main verb in questions that are added to the end of a sentence: You met him at a conference, didn’t you?

do

verb  /du/ (present tense does  /dʌz, dəz/, past tense did  /dɪd/, past participle done  /dʌn/) us  

do verb (CAUSE TO HAPPEN)

[T] to cause something to happen or be the cause of something happening; perform or have a part in an activity: Inviting the whole family was a really nice thing to do. What are you doing over the weekend? I’ve got to stay home and do my homework. The theater club is doing "South Pacific" this year. I’m sorry, there’s nothing more to be done (= nothing else will help). It isn’t important whether you win or lose – just do your best. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you (= dealing with you). The company is counting on each of you to do your part/share. Would you do me a favor (= help me) and get some bread while you’re out? A little fresh air will do you some good (= make you feel better). What are these toys doing here (= Why are they here)? I’ve been trying to do (= solve) this puzzle for hours. What can I do for you (= How can I help you)? What have you done with my coat (= Where have you put it)? Since she retired, she doesn’t know what to do with herself (= how to keep herself busy). [T] To do can mean to work at as a regular job: "What do you do?" "I teach high school math." [T] If you ask or say how someone is doing, you are asking or saying how the person is feeling or what the person’s condition is: How are you folks doing today? Both the mother and her new baby are doing fine. We’ve had some difficult times, but we’re doing all right now. [T] If you say what’s doing or what’s doing at a particular place, you are asking what is happening there: What’s doing at the office?

do verb (ARRANGE)

[T] to shape, arrange, or fix something in an attractive way: Who does your hair?

do verb (TRAVEL)

[T] to travel at a stated speed or over a particular distance: We were only doing 70 miles per hour. We did 400 miles yesterday.

do verb (BE ACCEPTABLE)

[I] to be acceptable, suitable, or enough: "Will this room do?" "Yes, it’ll be fine." This kind of behavior just won’t do.
(Definition of do from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of do?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “do” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

see the light of day

When something sees the light of day, it appears for the first time.

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More