To double something is to increase an amount by two:

  • Jim doubled his investment. He started with $3000 and ended up with $6000.
  • Construction on the highway doubled Natalya’s commute from 20 minutes to 40 minutes.
  • Thanks to a new computer system, the company has doubled the productivity of its workers.
  • When Gunther moved to Minneapolis to accept a new position, he doubled his salary.

There are many expressions and common uses for the word "double."

  • I need this to be completed on the double. (on the double = very quickly)
  • The police are doubling their efforts to catch the kidnappers. (double = a large increase)
  • David Ortiz hit a double to left field. (In baseball, a double is a hit that allows a player to get to second base.)
  • Sarah’s key chain doubles as a flashlight. (double = to add an additional function)
  • The motel room has a double bed. (double bed = a bed for two people and larger than a twin-size bed but smaller than a queen size.)
  • A blackjack player doubled down on his bet and lost all of his money. (double down = increase a bet by making it twice as large.)
  • The man doubled over in pain. (double over = bend over, usually when there is stomach pain)
  • Identical twins made me think, at first, that I was seeing double. (see double = to experience an illusion in which two images appear)
  • I can’t stay long because my car is double parked. (double park = to park parallel to another car parked along a curb. This is illegal but common in big cities.)

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November 4, 2013 – Word of the Day