- a set of twelve
- [often pl.] a large number
Origin of dozenMiddle English dozeine from Old French dozaine from douze, twelve from Classical Latin duodecim, twelve from duo, two + decem, ten
Slang a form of verbal play in which the participants exchange witty, ribald taunts and insults, often specif. about each other's mother
often in the phrase play the dozens: used first, and chiefly, by African-Americans
- pl. dozen Abbr. doz. or dz. A set of 12.
- dozens An indefinite, large number: dozens of errands to run.
Origin of dozenMiddle English dozeine from Old French dozaine from doze twelve ultimately from Latin duodecim duo two ; see dwo- in Indo-European roots. decem ten ; see dek&mlowring; in Indo-European roots.
- (countable) A set of twelve.
- Can I have a dozen eggs, please?
- I ordered two dozen doughnuts.
- There shouldn't be more than two dozen Christmas cards left to write.
- Pack the shirts in dozens, please.
- (as plural only, always followed by of) A large, unspecified number of, comfortably estimated in small multiples of twelve, thus generally implied to be significantly more than ten or twelve, but less than perhaps one or two hundred; many.
- There must have been dozens of examples just on the first page.
- There were dozens and dozens of applicants before the job was posted.
- (metallurgy) An old English measure of ore containing 12 hundredweight.
- (followed by of: a large number of): few