a. A stream of water, often containing medicinal or cleansing agents, that is applied to a body part or cavity for hygienic or therapeutic purposes.
b. A stream of air applied in a similar way.
2. The application of a douche.
3. An instrument for applying a douche.
4. Vulgar Slang A foolish or contemptible person.
v. douched, douch·ing, douch·es
To cleanse or treat by means of a douche.
To cleanse or treat oneself with a douche.
[French, shower, from Italian doccia, conduit, back-formation from doccione, pipe, from Latin ductiō, ductiōn-, act of leading, from ductus, past participle of dūcere, to lead; see deuk- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.