1. Twice as much in size, strength, number, or amount: a double dose.
2. Composed of two like parts: double doors.
3. Composed of two unlike parts; dual: a double meaning; a double role for an actor.
4. Accommodating or designed for two: a double bed; a double room.
5. Characterized by duplicity; deceitful: speak with a double tongue.
6. Botany Having many more than the usual number of petals, usually in a crowded or an overlapping arrangement: a double chrysanthemum.
1. Something increased twofold.
2. One that closely resembles another; a duplicate.
a. Something having two identifiable or prominent parts or members.
b. Something capable of carrying, moving, or holding two people or things, as a mattress.
a. An actor's understudy.
b. An actor who takes the place of another actor in scenes requiring special skills or preparations: a stunt double; a body double.
5. An apparition; a wraith.
a. A sharp turn in a direction of movement; a reversal.
b. A sharp, often devious change in position or argument; a shift.
7. doubles Sports A form of a game, such as tennis or handball, having two players on each side.
8. Baseball A hit enabling the batter to reach second base. Also called two-bagger, two-base hit.
a. A bid in bridge indicating strength to one's partner; a request for a bid.
b. A bid doubling one's opponent's bid in bridge, thus increasing the penalty for failure to fulfill the contract.
c. A hand justifying such a bid.
v. dou·bled, dou·bling, dou·bles
1. To make twice as great.
2. To be twice as much as: doubled the score of his opponent.
3. To fold in two.
4. To clench (one's fist).
5. To duplicate; repeat.
6. To turn (an enemy spy) into a double agent.
a. To cause the scoring of (a run) by hitting a double.
b. To advance or score (a runner) by hitting a double.
c. To put out (a runner) as the second part of a double play.
8. Games To challenge (an opponent's bid) with a double in bridge.
9. Music To duplicate (another part or voice) an octave higher or lower or in unison.
10. Nautical To sail around: double a cape.
1. To be increased twofold: The debt soon doubled.
2. To turn sharply or all the way around; reverse one's course: had to double back to touch the missed base.
3. To serve in an additional capacity: a frying pan that doubles as a pie tin; a conductor who doubles as a pianist.
4. To replace an actor in the actor's absence or in a certain scene.
5. Baseball To hit a double.
6. Games To announce a double in bridge.
1. To twice the amount or extent; doubly: paid double for the customized car.
2. Two together; in pairs: sleeping double.
3. In two: bent double.
1. To bend suddenly, as in pain or laughter.
2. To share accommodations meant for one person.
on/at the double
2. In double time.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin duplus; see dwo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.