Definition of doss in US English:



[no object]British
  • Sleep (in rough or inexpensive accommodations)

    ‘he dossed down on a friend's floor’
    • ‘It is home to up to ten visitors each night who doss down in comfortable knowledge that they'll be waking to a mountain-sized breakfast!’
    • ‘We were in inner-city Brisbane, open for people travelling through, and some of you here may have dossed on our floor at some point, I don't know.’
    • ‘I'll be dossing on friends' couches for the next few days.’
    • ‘This means they are walking out of the prison gates to life on the streets or dossing on friends' floors.’
    • ‘After much consternation and consultation, it was arranged that the Queen would doss down with a wealthy family.’
    • ‘He heads for a dirty hut in the country where he can doss down and eke out a living.’
    • ‘Lots of us will be settling down in shacks - baches or cribs - or dossing by the beach or sleeping in our cars.’
    • ‘Of course, not having any income or a regular job meant that I was always broke and after a while it got embarrassing to doss down at friends' pads.’
    • ‘It was then privately-owned and I suppose letting him doss there saved them paying for a separate night watchman.’
    • ‘She had her own bedroom while the girls slept in bunks in the living room and the young men dossed down in an outbuilding.’
    • ‘I had returned to London on the Tuesday before the big match, with fifty quid in my pocket and the promise of a couch to doss on in some old friend's dingy Zone 4 dive.’
    • ‘And here is the couch where ya can doss for a few nights.’
    • ‘I got loose, tied a blanket and a counterpane together, fastened it to the bedstead, and let myself out of the window, and did not go home that night, but met my two pals and dossed in a haystack.’
    • ‘Neither of them will ever find himself dossing down in a refrigerator carton under a freeway overpass.’
    • ‘We'd save money by hitching and sleeping in train stations or anywhere we could doss down for a couple of hours.’
    • ‘I had nowhere to live and was dossing at his place.’
    • ‘He actually dossed down in my luxury apartment for most of the season, moving out when we got relegated.’
    sleep, be asleep, doze, rest, take a siesta, nap, take a nap, catnap, drowse
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  • 1An instance of sleeping in rough accommodations.

    • ‘Tents were a luxury that most couldn't afford in those pre-wars days, preferring a doss in a cave or on the floor of a roadman's hut.’
    easy task, easy job, child's play, five-finger exercise, gift, walkover, nothing, sinecure, gravy train
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    1. 1.1archaic A bed in a cheap lodging house.
      • ‘He made a doss for me on the veranda where I could lie during the day and stare into the still garden.’


Late 18th century: perhaps based on Latin dorsum ‘back’.