Word Confusion: Dose versus Doze

Posted February 23, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m reading Keystone Kops or a serious story when I fall across this particular confusion.

Of course, it’s always possible that somewhere in the storyline someone is intending to slip a dose of poison to a dozing person or…is that bore someone into dozing himself into a dose?

Wait, I’m confused…

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Dose Doze
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: dose and doze; Merriam-Webster: dose

“Methadone, 60mg” courtesy of the Addiction blog

One dose coming right up.

“Dozing at Javaone” courtesy of O’Reilly

Part of Grammar:
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: doses
Past tense or past participle: dosed
Gerund or present participle: dosing

Verb 1, 2, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: dozes
Past tense or past participle: dozed
Gerund or present participle: dozing

Quantity of medicine or drug taken or recommended to be taken at a particular time

A substance, situation, or quantity of anything analogous to medicine, especially of something disagreeable

[Vinification] An amount of sugar added in the production of champagne

[Physics] The quantity of ionizing radiation absorbed by a unit mass of matter, especially living tissue

[Slang] A case of gonorrhea or syphilis

Verb, intransitive:
To take a dose of medicine

Verb, transitive:
Administer a quantity of medicine or drug to a person or animal

  • Adulterate or blend a substance with another substance

To divide as a medicine into doses

To treat with an application or agent

A short light sleep

  • Nap

[Informal] To clear or level with a bulldozer 2

Verb, intransitive:
Sleep lightly or fitfully 1

  • Fall lightly asleep

To fall into a light sleep unintentionally (often followed by off)

To sleep for a short time

  • Nap

To be dull or half asleep

Verb, transitive:
To pass or spend time in drowsiness (often followed by away) 1

Take a dose of cold medicine before you go to bed.

Be careful that the dose of radiation doesn’t exceed the safety limits.

Damn, I got a dose of the clap.

I wanted to give you a dose of the hell you put me through.

Computer games are great in small doses.

Failing the exam was a hard dose to swallow.

I prefer champagnes with less sugar, such as an extra-brut which has a dose between 0 and 6 grams per liter of residual sugars.

Kenny added a healthy dose of skepticism to the discussion.

Verb, intransitive:
He is forever dosing but he is only getting worse.

Verb, transitive:
He dosed himself with vitamins.

The champagne was dosed with sugar.

That creep dosed my drink!

Most patients are dosed at 50 milligrams per day.

I had a short doze this afternoon.

You’ll need to doze that house down by tomorrow afternoon.

Verb, intransitive:
He found his mother dozing by the fire.

No, he’s just dozing.

I must have dozed off.

Verb, transitive:
He dozed away the afternoon.

Adjective: well-dosed
Noun: dosage, doser, superdose, underdose
Verb, transitive: underdose, underdosed, underdosing
Adjective: dozy
Noun: dozer
History of the Word:
Late Middle English from the French, via late Latin from the Greek dosis meaning gift from didonai meaning give. 1 Mid-17th century in the sense of stupefy, bewilder, or make drowsy. It may be related to the Danish døse meaning make drowsy.
2 1940-45 as a shortened form of bulldoze

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

A post, “Steroids, Pro-hormones, HGH, Peptides, On- and Post-cycle Therapy, Ephedra, Hardcore Supplements”, explores steroids and supplements used in the gym, via All HipHop.com.