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English definition of “do”


auxiliary verb uk   // /du/ /duː/ (did, done) us  

do auxiliary verb (FOR QUESTIONS/NEGATIVES)

A1 used with another verb to form questions and negative sentences, including negative orders, and sometimes in affirmative sentences for reasons of style: Where do you work? Why did you do that? Why don't we have lunch together on Friday? Doesn't Matthew look old these days? "Didn't you realize she was deaf?" "No I didn't."/"Of course I did." Not only did I speak to her, I even got her autograph!formal Never did I hear such a terrible noise. Don't (you) speak to me like that!UK Don't let's argue about it (= let's not argue about it).formal So quietly did she speak (= she spoke so quietly) that I could scarcely hear her. Little does he know (= he knows nothing about it), but we're flying to Geneva next weekend to celebrate his birthday. "I want two chocolate bars and an ice cream." "Do you now/indeed? (= that is surprising or unreasonable)." A2 used instead of the main verb in questions that are added to the end of a sentence to check information: You met him at our dinner party, didn't you? You don't understand the question, do you? used instead of the main verb in questions that are added to the end of a sentence as a way of expressing surprise: So Susannah and Guy finally got married, did they?

do auxiliary verb (TO AVOID REPEATING)

B1 used to avoid repeating a verb or verb phrase: She runs much faster than he does. Maria looks much healthier than she did. "I don't like intense heat." "Nor/Neither do I." "I hate intense heat." "So do I." "You left your umbrella." "So I did. I'm becoming so forgetful these days." "Would you mind tidying up the kitchen?" "I already have done." "May I join you?" "Please do!" "Who said that?" "I did." "Tilly speaks fluent Japanese." "Does she really?" "I thought I'd take a day off school today." "Oh no you don't (= I'm not going to let you do that)!"

do auxiliary verb (FOR EMPHASIS)

B2 [+ infinitive without to] used to give extra force to the main verb: Do shut up, Georgia, and get on with your homework. Do write and let me know how you're getting on. "Can I buy stamps here?" "Well, we do sell them, but we don't have any at the moment." He cooks a lot does Alex. He does far more than me.


verb uk   // /du/ /duː/ /duː/ (did, done) us  

do verb (PERFORM)

A1 [T] to perform, take part in, or achieve something: That was a really stupid thing to do. Why were you sent home from school early? What have you done now? What are you doing over the weekend? The only thing we can do now is wait and see what happens. You should be able to do it by yourself/on your own. What have you done (= made happen) to her? What (on earth) were you doing in the library (= why were you there) at two o'clock in the morning? What are these toys doing here? (= Why are they here?) What do you do (for a living)? (= What is your job?) What can I do for you? (= How can I help you?) What have you done with (= where have you put) my coat? She just hasn't known what to do with herself (= how to keep herself busy) since she retired. do sth about sth to take action to deal with something: It's a global problem - what can individuals do about it? do well/badly by sb formal to treat someone well or badly

do verb (ACT)

[I or T] to act or take action: Stop arguing with me, Daryl, and do as you're told! She told me not to ask any questions, just to do as she did. "Was it wrong of me to go to the police?" "Oh no, I'm sure you did right/did the right thing." You'd do well to take some professional advice on this matter.

do verb (CONNECTED)

to do with B2 connected with: "Why did you want to talk to me?" "Well, it's to do with a complaint that's been made about your work." "But I didn't have any money." "What has that got to do with it? You still shouldn't have taken my purse without asking me." She's refused to have anything (more) to do with him since he was arrested for drinking and driving. "I thought I should tell you I saw your son smoking today." "Mind your own business, would you? It has nothing to do with you what my son does!"

do verb (DEAL WITH)

A1 [T] to deal with or be responsible for something: Lucia is going to do the publicity for the school play. If they ask any awkward questions, just let me do the talking.

do verb (STUDY)

A1 [T] to study a subject: Diane did anthropology at university.

do verb (SOLVE)

[T] to solve or find the answer to something: to do a puzzle I've never been able to do crosswords.

do verb (MAKE)

A2 [T] to make, produce, or create something: I can't come out tonight - I've got to do my history essay. [+ two objects] Can you do me 20 photocopies of this report/do 20 photocopies of this report for me?

do verb (FINISH)

[I] If you say that you have done with something or someone, or have done performing a particular action, you mean that you have finished what you were doing with something or someone, or what you were saying to someone, or that you have finished the action: Have you done with those scissors yet? Where are you going? I haven't done with you yet (= I am still talking to you). [+ -ing verb] I haven't done talking to you yet.


B1 [I or T] to clean or tidy, or make something look attractive: I want to do (= clean) the living room this afternoon. I cooked the dinner so you can do (= wash) the dishes. do your hair/make-up/nails

do verb (ARRANGE)

[T] to arrange something: You've done those flowers beautifully. Can anyone here do (= tie) bow-ties?

do verb (TRAVEL)

[T] to travel a particular distance or to travel at a particular speed: It's an old car and it's done over 80,000 miles. My new car does 50 miles to the gallon/30 km to the litre (= uses one gallon of fuel to travel 50 miles, or one litre to travel 30 km). We were doing 150 (kilometres an hour) along the motorway. [T] to complete a journey: We did the journey to Wales in five hours.


C1 [I or T] to be acceptable, suitable, or enough: Will this room do or would you prefer one with a shower? This kind of behaviour just won't do. [+ to infinitive] It doesn't do to criticize your parents. I don't have any grapefruit juice, but I've got some orange juice. Will that do (you)? "Is that enough potato, or would you like some more?" "That'll do (= be enough for) me, thanks."

do verb (CAUSE TO HAVE)

[T] to provide or sell something, or to cause someone to have something: There's a special offer on and they're doing three for the price of two. Do you do travel insurance as well as flights? The pub only does food at lunchtimes, not in the evenings.

do verb (COOK)

[T] to cook or prepare food: Who's doing the food for your party? [+ two objects] I'll do you some scrambled eggs.

do verb (MANAGE)

B1 [I usually + adverb] to develop or continue with the stated amount of success: How is Mary doing in her new job/school? Both the new mother and her baby are doing very well. Are your roses doing all right this year? Many shops are doing badly because of the economic situation. I did rather well when I traded in my car - they gave me a good price for it. Alexa has done well for herself (= has achieved great personal success), getting such a highly paid job.

do verb (PLAY)

[T] to perform a play or to play the part of a character: The children are doing a play at the end of term. She's done all the important Shakespearean roles apart from Lady Macbeth. I hope she doesn't do a Helen (= do what Helen did) and get divorced six months after her wedding.

do verb (VISIT)

[T] informal to visit the interesting places in a town or country, or to look around an interesting place: We didn't manage to do Nice when we were in France.

do verb (STEAL)

[T] informal to enter a building illegally and steal from it: Our house was done while we were away.

do verb (CHEAT)

[T] informal to cheat someone: $50 for that old bike! You've been done! He did me for a thousand quid for that car.

do verb (PRISON)

[T] informal to spend time in prison: He did three years for his part in the robbery. If you're not careful you'll end up doing time again.

do verb (PUNISH)

[T] mainly UK informal to punish someone: If you mess with me again, I'll do you good and proper. I got done (= stopped by the police) for speeding on my way home last night.

do verb (TAKE DRUG)

[T] informal to take an illegal drug: How long have you been doing heroin? I don't do drugs.

do verb (HAPPEN)

be doing informal to be happening: This town is so boring in the evening - there's never anything doing.


noun [C] uk   // /du/ /duː/ /duː/ (plural dos) us  

do noun [C] (TREATMENT)

UK informal a way of treating people: There are no special privileges for the managers - we believe in fair dos all round (= equal treatment for everyone) in this company. It's a poor do (= a bad/unfair situation) when a so-called developed country can't even provide homes for all its citizens.

do noun [C] (PARTY)

mainly UK informal a party or other social event: Colin's having a bit of a do for his 50th birthday. It was one of those dos where nobody really knew each other.

do noun [C] (HAIR)

US for hairdo
(Definition of do auxiliary verb, verb, noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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