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do for - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theydo for
he/she/itdoes for
present participledoing for
past tensedid for
past participledone for
  1. 1
    do for someone British informal to make it impossible for someone to succeed or to continue living

    It was the flu that did for her in the end.

  2. 2
    do for someone British old-fashioned to regularly clean someone else’s house and cook for them

    Mrs Bradley used to come in twice a week to do for us.

    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    be done for
    1. a.
      informal if something is done for, it is in such bad condition or so badly damaged that it cannot be used

      We’re going to have to buy a new photocopier – this one’s done for.

    2. b.
      informal to be likely to be punished, hurt, or killed

      If the guards see us, we’re done for.

    3. c.
      to be so tired that you cannot continue

      I’m afraid Oates is pretty well done for – he can’t walk any further.

See also main entry: do


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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