Meaning of doughboy in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdəʊbɔɪ/

See synonyms for doughboy on


  • 1A boiled or deep-fried dumpling.

    • ‘He had a doughboy (fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon) and recommended the place (he's seven).’
  • 2US informal A United States infantryman, especially one in the First World War.

    • ‘some 70 local young men went off to serve their country as doughboys’
    • ‘Like the ubiquitous Union infantry, Southern rebels, and World War I doughboys found in dozens of cities and towns throughout the United States, Toy Soldier is a production-line memorial ready to take his place in a long line of statues.’
    • ‘Writers unmercifully poked fun at the mass-produced Civil War statues on their nearly identical plinths, or World War I doughboys standing awkwardly in town squares.’
    • ‘I still believe today's infantrymen could learn from the WWI doughboys.’
    • ‘The flat style came with the original 1911 pistol, but when our military determined that doughboys tended to shoot low during the Great War, in the 1920s they came up with the arched housing for the 1911A1 modification.’
    • ‘It is not different,’ he said very matter-of-factly, ‘than the doughboys in the world war bringing back German helmets and other souvenirs.’’
    • ‘During World War I, the War Department closed red-light districts near military installations and warned doughboys against prostitutes through posters, lectures, and films.’
    • ‘It was impossible to resist the line of World War I toys - including doughboys with fixed bayonets and artillery attached to caissons that were pulled by teams of horses.’
    • ‘After World War II, no typology equivalent to the World War I doughboy arose.’
    • ‘During World War I, while some young men donned doughboy uniforms in the service for Uncle Sam at a government wage, others went into factories to arm the war machine.’
    • ‘The room closest to the audience is the living room with a fold-out couch, an old fashion whatnot with a collection of tiny glass animals, and an enlarged picture of a smiling man in a World War I doughboy hat.’
    • ‘He's smiling from beneath a World War I doughboy cap.’
    • ‘Blackjack was a big hit with American doughboys sent to France.’
    • ‘The ships were in the air early that morning, every ship owned by the 30th taxied out to grab a glimpse of the doughboys making a gateway to glory and to death.’
    • ‘These Americans were a colorful mix of former doughboys, cowboys, and college boys, most of them hungry for adventure in the wake of the Great War.’
    • ‘It seemed exciting and vaguely romantic - a war where American doughboys met cute French girls named Charmaine and came home as heroes.’
    • ‘History reveals that 250,000 doughboys were eligible for the Purple Heart decoration as a result of Gen. MacArthur's decision.’
    • ‘Perhaps more incredibly, four other doughboys used Colts in Medal of Honor actions that same day, including three from the 30th Division.’
    • ‘In an independent operation in September, the doughboys completely wiped out the salient at St. Mihiel, bringing the German assault to a standstill.’
    • ‘A year after the Mexican revolutionary torched Columbus, N.M., in 1916, his doughboys were on their way to fight the Germans in France.’’
    • ‘When Germany threatened France in World War I, American doughboys came to the rescue.’
    infantrymen, foot soldiers, foot guards


Late 17th century in doughboy (sense 1). In doughboy (sense 2) it is said to have been a term applied in the American Civil War to the large globular brass buttons on the infantry uniform; it may also derive from the use of pipe clay ‘dough’ to clean the white belts worn by infantrymen.