Definition of to-do in English:



  • [in singular] A commotion or fuss.

    ‘he ignored the to-do in the hall’
    • ‘When they returned to the foyer there had been a bit of a to-do with Oliver.’
    • ‘Any further to-do will be met with my husband coming round to the surgery to give you a good hiding.’
    • ‘They had a to-do just last week, when Simon had to tell her not to resign from politics.’
    • ‘This is not the time to make a big to-do about our report for a few weeks, and then put it into the deep freeze.’
    • ‘We make a big to-do about men's infidelity, but what about unfaithfulness among women?’
    • ‘Much to-do has been made of the relationship as depicted between Hephaistion and Alexander.’
    • ‘Much to-do has been made about whether dreaming arguments are self-refuting.’
    • ‘Just to tease the boss, the drovers made a big to-do about who would sit next to Laurie but, in the end, Gil ended up at her side.’
    • ‘There also was a bit of a to-do over what constituted a ‘strip cell’.’
    • ‘This back and forth happens once or twice more, and then there's a little to-do because the tyke has wet the little pants she is wearing.’
    • ‘Gareth Holmes and electrician James Asherton had a bit of a to-do over James' craftsmanship on Gareth's home.’
    commotion, fuss, fuss and bother, bother, trouble, ado, disturbance, flurry, excitement, uproar, ferment, tumult, turmoil, hurly-burly, brouhaha, furore, storm, palaver, pantomime, production, hoopla, folderol, hue and cry, bustle, hustle and bustle, pother
    hoo-ha, hullabaloo, flap, song and dance, business, rumpus, ballyhoo, splash
    kerfuffle, carry-on
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from to do as in much to do, originally meaning much needing to be done but later interpreted as the adjective much and a noun; compare with ado.



/tə ˈdo͞o/