Definition of dose in US English:



  • 1A quantity of a medicine or drug taken or recommended to be taken at a particular time.

    ‘he took a dose of cough medicine’
    • ‘Patients receiving the highest average daily dose were at an increased fracture risk.’
    • ‘In some cases, doctors may recommend low doses of aspirin along with heparin.’
    • ‘Smokers with mild asthma may be best advised to go straight for high dose steroid inhalers.’
    • ‘Then, all total opiate doses were converted to equivalent doses of morphine.’
    • ‘Therefore, doctors are always trying to find a way to use as low a dose of these drugs as possible in order to minimize these side effects.’
    • ‘Some doctors recommend a dose just before the immunization.’
    • ‘If you miss a dose of this medicine, and you remember it within 12 hours, take it as soon as you remember.’
    • ‘The maximum recommended daily dose is 50 mg.’
    • ‘In 17 cases, lethal doses were administered.’
    • ‘All the psychiatric participants were using therapeutic doses of neuroleptic medications as prescribed by their attending psychiatrist.’
    • ‘Therefore, booster doses of the vaccine are administered later to re-start protection.’
    • ‘The bullet is designed to inject a small dose of some drug in the victim's body.’
    • ‘The maximum recommended dose for patients greater than 60 kg is 100 mg three times daily.’
    • ‘If your vertigo is caused by poor circulation, taking small doses of aspirin can help.’
    • ‘When asthma control deteriorates, a common strategy is to double or quadruple the maintenance dose of inhaled steroids.’
    • ‘Still, to be on the safe side, doctors usually prescribe the lowest effective dose of nasal corticosteroids.’
    • ‘Taking a large single dose could cause severe respiratory depression or be fatal.’
    • ‘After taking a dose of this medicine you may get a headache that lasts for a short time.’
    • ‘Overall, patients took the recommended doses of inhaled medication on 20 to 73 % of days.’
    • ‘An early increase in the risk of fractures was associated with patients using the highest daily doses of oral corticosteroids.’
    amount, quantity, measure, portion, dosage, drench, draught
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    1. 1.1 An amount of ionizing radiation received or absorbed at one time or over a specified period.
      ‘a dose of radiation exceeding safety limits’
      • ‘The sites were arranged in column pairs receiving the same irradiation doses.’
      • ‘Thus, clustered damages are presumably produced by low doses of ionizing radiation such as those to which human populations may be exposed.’
      • ‘It can be totally dehydrated and can take huge doses of ionizing radiation in the dehydrated state.’
      • ‘They blame her behavior on the high doses of radiation she received late last year.’
      • ‘One of them, a boy who is now 14 years old, received large doses of radiation to his brain when he was 4.’
      • ‘A radiation therapy device malfunctioned, delivering lethal radiation doses at several medical facilities.’
      • ‘Other investigators have shown that reducing the irradiation light dose rate could significantly improve tumor response.’
      • ‘Some had received large doses of densely ionizing radiation while processing plutonium.’
      • ‘Thus hospital workers constitute the group most consistently exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation.’
      • ‘They would receive a much lower dose of radioactivity than those walking down the street near the explosion.’
      • ‘He has no memory of the terrible events that lie buried in his childhood - until he absorbs a massive dose of gamma rays and miraculously lives to tell the tale.’
      • ‘Cultures were immediately irradiated with a UV dose of 27 J / m.’
      • ‘Perhaps most importantly, the findings from our study should be compared with doses of ionizing radiation.’
      • ‘However, for simulating sunlight conditions we used lower UVB doses.’
      • ‘The principle long-term effect of exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation is now considered to be the induction of cancer.’
      • ‘Irradiation exposes food to a dose of ionizing radiation to kill bacteria.’
      • ‘In the scramble to recover the spilt heavy water, at least seven technicians received heavy doses of radiation and they were taken off duties involving radioactive materials.’
      • ‘The conscripts were only permitted to be on site for two weeks, during which they might absorb a lifetime dose of radiation.’
      • ‘These two factors will influence the spectral dose of UV radiation received by covered biota.’
      • ‘The therapy consists of delivering a single high dose of radiation directly to involved tumor sites during surgery.’
    2. 1.2informal A venereal infection.
    3. 1.3informal A quantity of something regarded as analogous to medicine in being necessary but unpleasant.
      ‘I wanted to give you a dose of the hell you put me through’
      • ‘He states that people suffering from low self-esteem can unconsciously drive their partner away, in hopes that they will receive a dose of reassurance.’
      • ‘He is there to assist those of us who think we know how to golf, but who receive a dose of reality on the course.’
      • ‘They evoked the necessary concern and dose of reality that print simply could not.’
      • ‘And his response, of course, contained the requisite doses of hard-man menace necessary to maintain his image as an intimidator.’
      • ‘After more than a decade in which the balanced budget had assumed quasi-religious status, many were suddenly converted to the necessity of a major dose of deficit spending.’
      • ‘Each conversation is laden with emotional weight, which gives the movie a necessary dose of credibility.’
      • ‘And they must also ask whether a large dose of social justice is not a necessary accompaniment to political freedoms.’
      • ‘But theists are not usually willing to say, in all contexts, that all the evil that occurs is a minute and necessary dose.’
      • ‘In recent times this has received a dose of European Community law.’
      • ‘Perhaps this unpleasant dose of fiscal reality carries a political message - it may be time for the North's politicians to start running their own affairs.’
      • ‘Because I try to grow a high yield on a relatively small area (the raised beds), a good dose of compost is necessary.’
      • ‘For most people a dose of winter flu is unpleasant.’
      • ‘Excuse me for being slightly cynical, but going to a film doesn't necessarily imply a dose of culture.’
      • ‘It metes out necessary background in minor doses and towards the end things are actually starting to make more sense.’
      • ‘He gives the corps a necessary dose of athleticism.’


[with object]
  • 1Administer a dose to (a person or animal)

    ‘he dosed himself with vitamins’
    • ‘In addition, they had probably already thought of something, such as dosing her with a stimulant.’
    • ‘My dad probably viewed it as a way of surreptitiously dosing us with cricket rules, and regrets it to this day.’
    • ‘Well, I guess it's time to dose up.’
    • ‘Male and female mice were dosed once orally.’
    • ‘It is stable for only 24 hours after mixing, so it cannot be saved for dosing multiple patients on different days.’
    • ‘Negative results were obtained after dosing mice orally on four consecutive days with 10% ethanol.’
    • ‘Women were dosed one hour before anesthesia was administered.’
    • ‘He nursed me, dosing me with aspirin, sponging me off to keep the fever down.’
    • ‘It provides the clinician with the most information for dosing the patient in the future as opposed to the other methods.’
    • ‘A total of 27 patients were dosed according to the method.’
    • ‘It is advisable to dose all cattle coming off their first season at grass with a drug that is effective against type II stomach worms.’
    • ‘Please do not dose the child on your own and always consult the doctor.’
    • ‘Orthodox doctors dosed him up with more and more painkillers, without being able to sort out the underlying problem, he says.’
    • ‘Clearly dosing people up with psychiatric drugs is inadequate, as is just telling them to ‘snap out of it’.’
    • ‘Then calves are dosed and moved to clean pasture such as silage aftergrass.’
    • ‘Groups of six rats were dosed once daily.’
    • ‘Every day you are in excruciating pain and every day the doctors come along and dose you up to the eyeballs in morphine, so much so that you don't know what is going on around you.’
    • ‘A total of 22 patients were dosed according to the multiple point method.’
    • ‘You're saying that the day after you were dosed, twenty-seven hours later, the effects were totally gone?’
    • ‘He was on antidepressants and very often he would dose up to make sure he slept.’
    treat, medicate, dose, soothe, cure, heal
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    1. 1.1 Adulterate or blend (a substance) with another substance.
      ‘the champagne was dosed with sugar’
      • ‘An original child's rocker is also kept here, which has been in the family for over 150 years, and is dosed with creosote in an effort to preserve the wood.’
      • ‘Later we found out that it had dosed their food with sleeping pills to stop them rioting.’
      • ‘I would show up for meals (I dined there regularly, proffering red wine as my contribution), never knowing what part of the meal would be dosed with pot.’
      • ‘At times he will eat nothing but the fish (heavily dosed with lemon juice), and at other times the fish is left to sit forlornly on the plate, while he consumes every French fry within reach (including mine).’
      • ‘By the time they were done placing concrete from the first truck, the other trucks had arrived and were dosed with the second nonchloride accelerator.’
      • ‘Conventional crops - where the land had been heavily dosed with herbicide before planting - also suffered dramatic loss of wildlife.’
      • ‘I purchased a small bag of the things, liberally dosed with salt and vinegar.’
      • ‘At the blending station, process and dilution water is dosed with pure lime.’
      • ‘With open sand bioreactors dosed with septic tank effluent, odors should not be a problem.’
      • ‘You'd probably like it dosed with sugar, but I preferred not this time.’
      • ‘As part of the amber level action the water system was spot dosed with chemicals and subjected to increased water temperatures to kill off the bacteria.’
      • ‘Some one went off in the motor to the nearest chemist's shop and returned presently with two large pieces of bread, liberally dosed with narcotic.’
      • ‘Staple foods, such as bread or cereal, should be dosed with folic acid.’
      • ‘Liquid test substances may be dosed directly or diluted prior to dosing.’
      • ‘The other herbs in the formula are adjusted and dosed according to signs and symptoms.’
      • ‘Methods of delivery include drug-filled rubber bullets, aerosol sprays and dosing a people's food or water supplies.’
      • ‘Agency experts believe dosing the water with chemicals could reduce the smell.’
      • ‘I made the mistake of dipping my pinkie into the sauce and trying it neat before dosing my food with it.’
      • ‘It doses the water with a chemical called orthophosphate which lines the pipes and limits the amount of lead dissolved into the water.’
      • ‘Since the 1940s, most American municipal water supplies have been routinely dosed with fluoride in a grand attempt to ward off tooth decay.’


  • in small doses

    • informal When experienced or engaged in a little at a time.

      ‘computer games are great in small doses’
      • ‘I believe it's slightly overrated but it's fun in small doses.’
      • ‘I'm used to being able to tolerate wheat in small doses.’
      • ‘And I can be almost tolerable, if you take me in small doses.’
      • ‘Even more than dance music (which he can just about tolerate in small doses and at low volumes, if pushed), this represents everything he hates.’
      • ‘The fourth album is like an incredibly rich chocolate cake - utterly indulgent, strikingly intense in small doses, quickly sating the appetite.’
      • ‘I'm learning that paradise on earth exists in small doses - part of experiencing it is the ability to leave it behind and keep going in the faith that you have been there and that days like these come around if you let them.’
      • ‘I'll be leaving 2003 exactly as I entered it: enjoying the band in small doses, still uncertain as to whether they're a triumph of style over substance.’
      • ‘Something unpalatable may be acceptable in small doses, but not in a big dose.’
      • ‘Get to know the anti-social cutie in small doses.’
      • ‘General readers should not be put off by these somewhat academically impenetrable study aims, for, absorbed in small doses, the general reader obtains a useful insight into the Japanese mind.’


Late Middle English: from French, via late Latin from Greek dosis ‘gift’, from didonai ‘give’.