2 verb
Related topics: Education
do2 S1 W1 past tense did, past participle done, third person singular does


[transitive] to perform an action or activity:
Have you done your homework yet?
You need to do more exercise.
It's a pleasure doing business with you.
I didn't know what to do.
All he does is sit in front of the television all day.
do something/nothing/anything etc
We should do something to help him.
It all happened so quickly that I couldn't do anything about it.
bored teenagers with nothing to do
do the laundry/ironing/dishes etc
It's your turn to do the dishes.


[intransitive] used to ask or talk about how successful someone is at something
do well/badly
Students are under considerable pressure to do well.
how somebody/something is doing (with/in something)
You should get promoted after about a year, depending on how you're doing.
How's he doing in trying to give up smoking?

have an effect

[transitive] to have a particular effect on something or someone:
The scandal will do serious damage to his reputation.
This will do nothing for (=will not improve) Jamie's confidence.
The colour does nothing for her (=does not improve her appearance).
Getting the job has done a lot for (=had a good effect on) her self-esteem.
A week in the countryside will do you good (=make you feel better).
Exercise can do wonders for (=have a very good effect on) body, mind, and spirit.


BO [transitive] to have a particular job:
What do you want to do after you leave school?
What do you do for a living (=as your job)?
She's very good at what she does.


[intransitive,transitive not in progressive] used to say that something will be enough or be acceptable:
We don't have a lot of wine for the party, but it should just about do.
I can't find my black shoes so these will have to do.
A few sandwiches will do me for lunch.
It won't do (=it is not acceptable) to say that the situation couldn't have been avoided.

what somebody will do for something

used to talk about what arrangements someone has made to get something they need:
What will you do for money if you leave your job?
I'm not sure what we'll do for transport yet.

what is somebody/something doing?

spoken used to ask why someone or something is in a particular place or doing a particular thing, especially when you are surprised or annoyed by this:
What's my coat doing on the floor?
What are you doing walking around at this time of night?
What on earth do you think you're doing?

do your/somebody's hair/nails/make-up etc

to do something that improves your appearance or someone else's appearance:
It must take her ages to do her make-up in the mornings.
Who does your hair?

spend time

[transitive] informal to spend a period of time doing something:
She did a year backpacking around the world.
Oh yes, I certainly did my time in the army (=spent time in the army).


[transitive not in passive] British EnglishSE to study a particular subject in a school or university:
I did French for five years.


[transitive] to cook a particular type of food:
I was thinking of doing a casserole tonight.

do 10 miles/20 kms etc

TMCTT to achieve a particular distance, speed etc:
We did 300 kilometres on the first day.
The car can do 120 mph.

provide a service

[transitive] to provide a particular service or sell a particular product:
They do interior and exterior design.
We don't do food after two o'clock.

perform a play

[transitive] to perform a particular play, show etc:
We did 'Guys and Dolls' last year.


[transitive] to paint or decorate a room, house etc:
How are you going to do your living room?


[intransitive] to behave in a particular way:
In the evenings students are free to do as they please (=do what they want).
I wish you'd do as you're told (=do what you are told to do)!

somebody doesn't do nice/funny/sensible etc

spoken informal used humorously to say that someone cannot or does not behave in a particular way:
Sensible? I don't do sensible.

copy behaviour

[transitive] to copy someone's behaviour or the way they talk, especially in order to entertain people:
He does a brilliant George Bush (=copies him in a very funny way).

do lunch/do a movie etc

informal to have lunch, go to see a film etc with someone:
Let's do lunch next week.


[transitive] informal to use an illegal drug:
He says he's never done hard drugs in his life.


[transitive] to visit a particular place, especially as a tourist:
Let's do the Eiffel Tower today.

that'll do!

spoken used to tell a child to stop behaving badly

that does it!

spoken used to say angrily that you will not accept a situation any more:
Right, that does it! I'm not going to listen to any more of this!

that should do it

also that ought to do it spoken used to say that you will have finished doing something if you just do one more thing:
I've just got to prepare the dessert and that should do it.

do it

informal to have sex - used humorously or when you want to avoid saying the word 'sex'

somebody would do well to do something

used to advise someone that they should do something:
Most people would do well to reduce the amount of salt in their diet.


[transitive] British English spoken to punish or attack someone

➔ be/get done

at done2 (8)


[transitive] British English informal to deceive or trick someone

➔ be done

at done2 (7)

what's doing ...?

spoken used to ask what is happening:
What's doing at your place tonight?

do or die

used to say that someone is determined to do something very brave or dangerous even if they die attempting it

how (are) you doing?

spoken used when you meet someone to ask them if they are well, happy etc:
Hi Bob, how you doing?

what can I do you for?

spoken used humorously to ask someone how you can help them, especially when you are trying to sell them something

do well by somebody

to treat someone well:
His relations always did pretty well by him.

do one

spoken informal used to tell someone who is making you feel upset or angry to go away:
Oh, just go and do one!
doing done2

; ➔ do your bit

at bit2 (8)

; ➔ how do you do

at how (11)

; ➔ nothing doing

at nothing1 (14)

; ➔ do somebody proud

at proud (5)

; ➔ do something to death

at death (4), can-do

do away with somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to get rid of something or stop using it:
People thought that the use of robots would do away with boring low-paid factory jobs.
2 informal to kill someone

do somebody ↔ down

phrasal verb
to criticize someone, especially in an unfair way:
I know you don't like him, but there's no need to keep doing him down in front of the boss.

do for somebody/something

phrasal verb
British English informal to kill someone or harm something or someone very badly:
Working 100 hours a week nearly did for me.

➔ be done for

at done2 (3)

do somebody in

phrasal verb
1 to kill someone:
He was planning to do himself in.
2 to make someone feel extremely tired:
That walk really did me in.

➔ done in

at done2 (4)

do something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1DH to make a room look nice by decorating it:
The room was beautifully done out in pastel colours.
2 informal to clean a room or cupboard thoroughly

do somebody out of something

phrasal verb
to dishonestly stop someone from getting or keeping something, especially something they have a right to have:
Are you trying to do me out of a job?

do somebody/something over

phrasal verb

do something ↔ over

especially American EnglishDH to make a place look attractive by decorating it:
The whole apartment had been done over in an Art Deco style.
2 American English to do something again, especially because you did it wrong the first time:
If you make too many mistakes, you'll have to do it over.

do something ↔ over

British English spoken informalSCC to steal things from a building
4 British English spoken informal to attack and injure someone

do up

phrasal verb
1 to fasten something, or to be fastened in a particular way
do something ↔ up
Do up your coat or you'll get cold.
a skirt which does up at the back

do something ↔ up

DHTTC to repair an old building or car, or to improve its appearance:
They did up an old cottage in the Scottish Highlands.

do something ↔ up

to decorate something in a particular way:
The apartment was done up in Viennese style.

do something ↔ up

to wrap something in paper

do yourself up

DCB to make yourself look neat and attractive:
Sue spent ages doing herself up.

do with something

phrasal verb

could do with something

spoken to need or want something:
I could have done with some help this morning.

have/be to do with somebody/something

to be about something, be related to something, or be involved with something:
Their conversation had been largely to do with work.
I'm sorry about the accident, but it's nothing to do with me (=I am not involved in any way).
This question doesn't have anything to do with the main topic of the survey.
I'm sure her problems have something to do with what happened when she was a child.

what to do with yourself

how to spend your time:
She didn't know what to do with herself after she retired.

what somebody should do with something/what to do with something etc

used to ask or talk about how someone should deal with something:
What shall I do with these papers?
I wouldn't know what to do with a newborn baby.

what has somebody done with something?

spoken used to ask where someone has put something:
What have you done with the remote for the TV?

what is somebody doing with something?

used to ask why someone has something:
What are you doing with my diary?

I can't be doing with something

British English spoken used to say that you are annoyed by something and do not want to have to think about it:
I can't be doing with all this right now.

do without

phrasal verb

do without (something)

to live or do something without a particular thing:
I don't have any sugar so you'll have to do without.
You can do without a carpet but you've got to have somewhere to sit.

can do without something

used to say that something is annoying you or causing you problems:
You can do without all that hassle.
Those are the type of stupid remarks I can do without.

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