American English

Definition of do verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they do
    he / she / it does
    past simple did
    -ing form doing
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  1. 1[transitive] do something used to refer to actions that you do not mention by name or do not know about What are you doing this evening? We will do what we can to help. Are you doing anything tomorrow evening? The company ought to do something about the poor service. What have you done to your hair? There's nothing to do (= no means of passing the time in an enjoyable way) in this place. There's nothing we can do about it (= we can't change the situation). What can I do for you (= how can I help)?
  2. behave
  3. 2[intransitive] to act or behave in the way mentioned do as… Do as you're told! They are free to do as they please. + adv./prep. You would do well to (= I advise you to) consider all the options before buying.
  4. succeed/progress
  5. 3[intransitive] + adv./prep. used to ask or talk about the success or progress of someone or something How is the business doing? He's doing very well at school (= his work is good). Both mother and baby are doing well (= after the birth of the baby). (informal) How are you doing (= how are you)?
  6. task/activity
  7. 4[transitive] do something to work at or perform an activity or a task I'm doing some research on the subject. I have a number of things to do today. I do aerobics once a week. (informal) Let's do (= meet for) lunch. Sorry. I don't do funny (= I can't be funny).
  8. 5[transitive] do something used with nouns to talk about tasks such as cleaning, washing, arranging, etc. to do (= wash) the dishes to do (= arrange) the flowers I like the way you've done your hair. Vocabulary Buildinghousehold jobs: do or make? To write or talk about jobs in the home, you can use such phrases as wash the dishes, clean the kitchen floor, set the table, etc. In conversation, the verb do is often used instead:Let me do the dishes. Michael said he would do the kitchen floor. It’s your turn to do the bathroom. Do is often used with nouns ending -ing:to do the shopping/cleaning/ironing/vacuuming The verb make is used especially in the phrase make the beds and when you are talking about preparing or cooking food:He makes a great lasagna. I’ll make breakfast while you take a shower. You can also say get ready and fix for preparing meals:Can you get dinner ready while I put the kids to bed? Sit down — I’ll fix supper for you.
  9. 6[transitive] to perform the activity or task mentioned do the ironing, cooking, shopping, etc. I like listening to the radio when I'm doing the ironing. do some, a little, etc. acting, writing, etc. She did a lot of acting when she was at college.
  10. job
  11. 7[transitive] do something (usually used in questions) to work at something as a job What do you do (= what is your job)? What does she want to do when she leaves school? What did she do for a living? What's Tom doing these days?
  12. solve
  13. 8[transitive] do something to find the answer to something; to solve something I can't do this math problem. Are you good at doing crosswords?
  14. make
  15. 9[transitive] to produce or make something do something to do a drawing/painting/sketch Who's doing (= organizing and preparing) the food for the wedding reception? Thesaurusmakedo create develop produce generate formThese words all mean to make something from parts or materials, or to cause something to exist or happen.make to create or prepare something by combining materials or putting parts together; to cause something to exist or happen:She makes her own clothes. She made a good impression on the (somewhat informal) to make or prepare something, especially something artistic or something to eat:He did a beautiful drawing of a house. Who's doing the food for the party?create to make something exist or happen, especially something new that did not exist before:Scientists disagree about how the universe was created.make or create?Make is a more general word and is more often used for physical things: you would usually make a table/dress/cake but create jobs/wealth. You can use create for something physical in order to emphasize how original or unusual the object is:Try this new dish, created by our head chef.develop (used especially in business contexts) to think of and produce a new product:to develop new softwareproduce to make things to be sold; to create something using skill:a factory that produces microchipsgenerate to produce or create something, especially power, money, or ideas:to generate electricity Brainstorming is a good way of generating ideas.form [often passive] to make something from something else; to make something into something else:Rearrange the letters to form a new word. The chain is formed from 136 links.Patterns to make/create/develop/produce/generate/form something from/out of something to make/form something into something to make/produce wine/cheese to create/develop a new product to create/produce/generate income/profits/wealth to produce/generate electricity/heat/power
  16. perform
  17. 10[transitive] do something to perform or produce a play, an opera, etc. The local dramatic society is doing “Hamlet” next month.
  18. copy someone
  19. 11[transitive] do somebody/something to copy someone's behavior or the way someone speaks, sings, etc., especially in order to make people laugh He does a great Elvis Presley. Can you do a Southern accent?
  20. finish
  21. 12[intransitive, transitive] to finish something be/have done Sit there and wait till I'm done. be/have done doing something I'm done talking—let's get started. get something done Did you get your article done in time?
  22. travel
  23. 13[transitive] do something to travel a particular distance How many miles did you do during your tour?
  24. 14[transitive] do something to complete a trip We did the round trip in two hours.
  25. speed
  26. 15[transitive] do something to travel at or reach a particular speed The car was doing 90 miles an hour.
  27. visit
  28. 16[transitive] do something (informal) to visit a place as a tourist We did Tokyo in three days.
  29. spend time
  30. 17[transitive] do something to spend a period of time doing something She did a year at college, but then dropped out. He did six years (= in prison) for armed robbery.
  31. deal with
  32. 18[transitive] do somebody/something to deal with or attend to someone or something The hairdresser said she could do me (= cut my hair) at three.
  33. be suitable/enough
  34. 19[intransitive, transitive] to be suitable or be enough for someone or something “Can you lend me some money?” “Sure—will$20 do?” do for somebody/something These shoes won't do for the party. do as something The box will do fine as a table. do somebody (+ adv./prep.) This room will do me nicely, thank you (= it has everything I need).
  35. cook
  36. 20[transitive] do something to cook something How would you like your steak done?
  37. steal
  38. 21[transitive] do something (informal) to steal from a place The gang did a warehouse and a supermarket.
  39. take drugs
  40. 22[transitive] do something (informal) to take an illegal drug He doesn't smoke, drink or do drugs.
  41. have sex
  42. 23[transitive] do it (slang) to have sex
  43. Idioms
    be/have to do with somebody/something
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    to be about or connected with someone or something “What do you want to see me about?” “It's to do with that letter you sent me.”
    have (got) something, nothing, a lot, etc. to do with somebody/something
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    used to talk about how much someone or something is connected with someone or something else Her job has something to do with computers. “How much do you earn?” “What's it got to do with you?” Hard work has a lot to do with (= is an important reason for) her success. We don't have very much to do with our neighbors (= we do not speak to them very often). I'd have nothing to do with him, if I were you.
    it won't do
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    used to say that a situation is not acceptable and should be changed or improved This is the third time you've been late this week; it simply won't do.
    not do anything/a lot/much for somebody (informal)
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    used to say that something does not make someone look attractive That hairstyle doesn't do anything for her.
    nothing doing (informal)
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    used to refuse a request “Can you lend me ten dollars?” “Nothing doing!”
    no you don't (informal)
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    used to show that you intend to stop someone from doing something that they were going to do Sharon went to get into the taxi. “Oh no you don't,” said Steve.
    that does it (informal)
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    used to show that you will not accept something any longer That does it, I'm out of here. You can't talk to me like that.
    that will do
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    used to order someone to stop doing or saying something That'll do, children—you're getting much too noisy.
    what do you do for something?
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    used to ask how someone manages to obtain the thing mentioned What do you do for entertainment out here?
    what is somebody/something doing…?
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    used to ask why someone or something is in the place mentioned What are these shoes doing on my desk?
    Phrasal Verbsdo away with somebody/yourselfdo away with somethingdo somebody/yourself indo somebody out of somethingdo somethingoverdo updo somethingupdo something with somebody/somethingdo without (somebody/something)do yourself up
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: do