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do - definition and synonyms

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verb     do pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participledoing
past tensedid
past participledone
Do can be used in the following ways:
as an auxiliary verb, especially for forming questions and negatives in the simple present or simple past tense (followed by an infinitive without “to”): Did you enjoy the party?She does not understand. In conversation and informal written English the following negative short forms of the auxiliary verb are used: doesn’t, don’t, and didn’t.
as an intransitive verb that replaces or refers to an ordinary verb in the simple present or simple past tense that was in a previous clause or sentence: You know as much as I do (=as much as I know).
as an auxiliary verb to form a tag question in the simple present or past tense (when there is no auxiliary or modal verb in the main clause): You teach English, don’t you? (where do is used in the main clause): They don’t believe us, do they?He did well, didn’t he?
as an ordinary transitive verb: He always did his duty.
as an ordinary intransitive verb: I need something sharp. That screwdriver will do.
When do is an ordinary transitive or intransitive verb, questions and negatives are formed by using the auxiliary verb do with it: What do you do in your spare time?He didn’t do his homework.
  1. 1
    [auxiliary verb] used before another verb for forming a question or a negative

    Do you drive?

    We do not need another cat!

    What did the doctor say?

    Didn’t they tell you I was coming?

    Max doesn’t live here any more.

    Don’t believe what he tells you.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      used in a question tag at the end of a sentence when you are asking someone to agree with you, or when you are asking for information

      Bill played well, didn’t he?

      You didn’t see my keys lying around anywhere, did you?

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [intransitive] used instead of repeating the same verb that was used earlier in the sentence, or in a previous sentence

    “You promised to come with me.” “No I didn’t.”

    She doesn’t travel around as much as I do.

    I like Chinese food, but George doesn’t.

    “I enjoyed our trip to New Orleans.” “So did I.”

  3. 3
    used for emphasis [auxiliary verb]
    1. a.
      used for emphasizing the meaning of a positive statement

      My memory isn’t very good, but I do remember what she was wearing.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      used when you are politely trying to persuade someone to do something

      Do stay and have dinner with us.

      Do be quiet!

      Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    perform an action, activity, or job [transitive]
    1. a.
      to perform an action

      I hope you’re sorry for what you’ve done.

      He shouldn’t have thrown the bottle – it was a stupid thing to do.

      do something for someone:

      Is there anything I can do for you?

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      to take part in an activity

      I do yoga twice a week.

      Are you doing anything this weekend?

      While I’m in Norway, I want to do some skiing.

      nothing to do:

      There’s nothing to do around here – it’s really boring.

    3. c.
      informal to take part in an activity with others
      do lunch/a movie/dinner etc.:

      Call me and we’ll do lunch.

    4. d.
      to perform or complete a job or a piece of work

      He’s just doing a few jobs around the house.

      Have you done your math assignment yet?

      He did his Ph.D. at Harvard.

      do the washing/ironing/cooking etc.:

      I do the cooking, and Peggy washes the dishes.

      do business:

      The Russians were not ready to do business with American companies.

      Synonyms and related words
    5. e.
      to perform a play, song, dance, etc.

      To start with, we’d like to do a song from our first album.

    6. f.
      to take action in order to deal with a situation

      Don’t just stand there, do something!

      do something about something:

      What is the government going to do about the growing crisis in the healthcare system?

      Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    [transitive] informal to clean something, or to make a place neat

    A man comes in once a week to do the yard.

    I want to do the living room and the bedrooms before our guests arrive.

    do the dishes/windows/floors etc.:

    Here, let me help you do the dishes.

  6. 6
    used for talking about health or success [intransitive]
    1. a.
      [always progressive] used for talking about someone’s health or their general situation

      Sam! I haven’t seen you in a while – how are you doing?

      be doing well/fine etc.:

      Grandpa’s not doing too well – we had to take him to the hospital last night.

    2. b.
      used for talking about how someone is progressing or how successful they are

      How’s Monica doing? Has she graduated yet?

      do well/badly/all right etc.:

      He did well on the test.

      I’m afraid the business is doing pretty badlyprofits are way down.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to have a good or harmful effect

    It’s amazing what a little encouragement can do.

    Frost can do a lot of damage.

    do something to someone/something:

    Can’t you see what all this stress and uncertainty is doing to our family?

    do good/harm:

    The doctor gave him some special medicine, but it didn’t do a lot of good.

    How much harm did the oil crisis do to our economy?

    do someone/something good/harm:

    The fresh air will do you good.

  8. 8
    [transitive] informal to spend an amount of time doing something

    I did two years in the navy.

    Synonyms and related words
  9. 9
    make something [transitive]
    1. a.
      to draw or paint a picture or decoration

      All these paintings of Venice were done by Canaletto.

      Who did the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?

  10. 10
    [transitive] informal to copy someone’s voice, manner, or way of moving, in order to entertain people

    You should see him do Elvis Presley.

  11. 11
    move a particular distance or at a particular speed [transitive]
    1. a.
      used for saying how far someone or something succeeds in traveling

      We did 32 miles that day, marching over rough mountain roads.

    2. b.
      used for saying what speed someone or something achieves

      The Toyota MR2 will do 130 mph.

  12. 12
    [intransitive] informal used for talking about how something may change

    I wonder what the weather’s going to do.

    It all depends on what interest rates do over the next twelve months.

  13. 13
    [transitive] informal to use illegal drugs

    He doesn’t drink or do drugs, but he smokes.

  14. 14
    [transitive] informal to visit a famous place as a tourist

    After we’d done the Pyramids we went back to the Cairo Museum.

  15. 15
    [transitive] to provide a service or product for customers to buy

    We do sandwiches and other snacks in the bar.

    Southwest is doing a really cheap fare to Chicago.

  16. 16
    [transitive] informal to have sex with someone
  17. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    it/that will never do said when you think that something should not be considered acceptable

    It will never do to send a résumé without a cover letter.

    That will never do to abuse a child like that!

    Submitted by Caleb Judy from United States on 22/06/2015
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